by Sandra Kerka 1999 T RENDS AND I SSUES ALERT NO . 8 Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education Multiple Intelligences and Career Development Howard Gardner 9s (1999) theory of multiple intelligences (MI) views intelligence as a set of abilities, talents, and skills in eight areas: mathematical-logical, spatial-visual, bodily-kinesthetic, musical- rhythmic, verbal-linguistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and natu- ralistic. All humans possess these intelligences in varying degrees and apply them depending on their preferences, activities, and en- vironment (Mantzaris 1999); most people can develop all of them to a degree of competence.
Because the theory was formed in part by examining what people do in the world 4in the performance of jobs and tasks (Checkley 1997), MI profiling and learning activities should be useful in career choice and career development. A profile of an individual 9s strengths and weaknesses in the intelligences can be developed using a tool such as the Multiple Intelligences Devel- opmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS) created by Shearer (1997, 1999). The use of MI theory can assist the career development and counseling process in a number of ways: Self-knowledge .
Awareness of one 9s MI strengths and weaknesses adds to the self-knowledge that is a prerequisite for successful ca- reer ... more. less.
choice. Shearer (1997) found that students who completed the MIDAS profile had a clearer sense of their skills and abilities. As with Holland 9s personality and interest categories, potential career options for each intelligence can be identified (Shirley 1996).<br><br> Expansion of career possibilities . Mantzaris (1999) found that adults involved in MI activities broadened the parameters of their career choices. Rather than focusing on the cright fit, d learners found that the self-discovery inspired by MI added multiple dimensions to the process of career choice.<br><br> Enhancement of self-esteem . Schools historically have valued ver- bal and mathematical intelligences over all others. Vocational sub- jects and related occupations have sometimes been denigrated be- cause the spatial, kinesthetic, and other intelligences needed in these areas have not been recognized (Smagorinsky 1996).<br><br> At-risk stu- dents and adults who may not have experienced career success have benefitted from recognizing that they are intelligent and that they can identify jobs that match their strengths (Shearer 1999; Taylor- King 1997). Issues in the use of MI include not clabeling d people by their pre- ferred intelligences, not matching intelligences to careers too early, and encouraging individuals to develop less-preferred intelligences (Armstrong 1994; Shearer 1999). The following resources provide additional information on using multiple intelligences in career de- velopment.<br><br> Resources Antoniotti, W. cEducation in a World of Multiple Intelligence. d 1999. <http://www.businessbookmall.com/philos1.htm> Discusses the relationship between intelligences and career success and advocates appropriate education and the development of spe- cial intelligence skills throughout working life.<br><br> Armstrong, T. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom . Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1994.<br><br> (ED 374 104) Provides concrete examples of how MI can be applied to curriculum development, teaching strategies, classroom management, assessment, special education, and career counseling. Bartolini, V. cOn-the-Job Training: Children 9s Play and Work. d In Playing for Keeps: Supporting Children 9s Play.<br><br> Topics in Early Childhood Education, v. 2, edited by A. L.<br><br> Phillips, pp. 119-126. St.<br><br> Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 1996. (ED 405 107) Play enables children to develop lifelong interpersonal intelligence that will enhance success in the future workplace. Through play, children develop social competence, pose and solve interesting prob- lems, and thus develop the types of skills needed as future effective employees.<br><br> Cantrell, M. L.; Ebdon, S. A.; Firlik, R.; Johnson, D.; and Rearick, D.<br><br> cThe Summer Stars Program. d Educational Leadership 55, no. 1 (September 1997): 38-41. (EJ 550 531) Designing projects around multiple intelligences, a Connecticut school created a 1-week summer camp where children can tap into their unique strengths.<br><br> The Summer Stars program allows children aged 7-12 to choose materials and activities from many topics and to participate in one of three internships involving a discovery mu- seum, a maritime center, and an aircraft corporation. Checkley, K. cThe First Seven&and the Eighth: A Conversation with Howard Gardner. d Educational Leadership 55, no.<br><br> 1 (Sep- tember 1997): 8-13. (EJ 550 524) Reviews seven multiple-intelligence types and adds naturalist intel- ligence, the ability to discriminate among living things. Challenges the IQ concept and common testing practices and urges educators to distinguish multiple intelligences from learning styles.<br><br> DeFalco, A. cThe Learning Process, Apprenticeships, and Howard Gardner. d Journal of Cooperative Education 30 no. 2 (Winter 1995): 56-67.<br><br> (EJ 502 490) Basing cooperative education in a behaviorist view of learning fails to link curriculum, work experience, and learners. A better approach is Gardner 9s concept of cognitive apprenticeship: structured experi- ential learning that recognizes multiple intelligences and is based on the psychology of learning. Gardner, H.<br><br> Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century. New York: Basic Books, 1999. Offers practical guidance on the educational uses of the theory and responds to critiques.<br><br> Introduces two new intelligences (existential intelligence and naturalist intelligence) and argues that the con- cept of intelligence should be broadened, but not so absurdly that it includes every human virtue and value. Speculates about the rela- tionship between multiple intelligences and the world of work in the future. Glasgow, J.<br><br> N., and Bush, M. S. cPromoting Active Learning and Collaborative Writing through a Marketing Project. d English Journal 84 no.<br><br> 8 (December 1995): 32-37. (EJ 517 595) An 11th-grade English teacher promoted active learning in her class through a hands-on project that required group problem solving, decision making, and technical writing skills. Students simulated a toy factory by working collaboratively in teams to design, build, and market a LEGO toy using multiple intelligences.<br><br> Glasgow, J. N., and Bush, M. cStudents Use Their Multiple Intelli- gences to Develop Promotional Magazines for Local Businesses. d Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 39 no.<br><br> 8 (May 1996): 638-649. (EJ 527 422) High school students developed promotional magazines for local businesses, thus experiencing business operations and developing MI skills while researching a product. Students took responsibility for their learning and made connections between school and work- place knowledge.<br><br> Jans, S. cImproving Adolescents 9 Motivation through the Use of Creative Teaching in the Industrial Arts. d Master of Arts Action Research Project, St. Xavier University and IRI/Skylight, 1997.<br><br> (ED 410 423) Multiple intelligences strategies were one of three interventions tried. Learning activities were taken from industrial arts topics, including measurement, technical drawing, woodworking, research and de- sign, and small engines. Although teacher observations indicated that students exhibited more time on task with greater involvement in learning tasks, motivation changes could not be documented.<br><br> Mantzaris, J. cAdding a Dimension to Career Counseling. d Focus on Basics 3, no. 1 (March 1999).<br><br> <http://ncsall.gseweb.harvard. edu/fob/1999mantzari.htm> An adult basic education teacher describes how multiple intelli- gences profiles and activities helped adult learners expand their range of career choices. Morris, C.<br><br> cCareer Success, Multiple Intelligences and the MIDAS. d MI News 1, no. 5 (May 1999). Reviews MI theory and describes research validating the use of the Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS) as a career development tool.<br><br> National Business Education Association. cMultiple Intelligences: A Wealth of Human Potential. d Keying In 8, no. 2, November 1997.<br><br> Reston, VA: NBEA, 1997. (ED 413 446) Includes cHow Do Students Learn Best and How Can Teachers Best Help Them? d; cMultiple Intelligences in Action in the Busi- ness Classroom d; cBook-Smart, Street-Smart or Both? A Personal Checklist d; cAssessment Strategies d; and cHints from the Experts. d O 9Neill, L.<br><br> Matching Multiple Intelligences to Careers. Tucson, AZ: Zephyr Press, 1999. Teacher 9s manual that can be used to identify an individual 9s domi- nant intelligence based on MI theory using the O 9Neill Talent In- ventory.<br><br> Connects the intelligences to careers, leisure activities, and avocations. Project Link: Bee Anything. Choose-a-Career.<br><br> Plymouth, MN: In- termediate District 287, 1999. <http://www.int287.k12.mn.us/link/ bee/> A component of the Project Link K-12 career education curricu- lum, Choose-a-Career allows children to do career inquiry learning on the Web based on areas of personal interest. It is organized around the eight MIs.<br><br> Shearer, C. B. cReliability, Validity and Utility of a Multiple Intelli- gences Assessment for Career Planning. d Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL, August 15-19, 1997.<br><br> (ED 415 476) In a study of 98 college students who were enrolled in career explo- ration classes, a strong majority reported that the MIDAS Profile was beneficial and almost three-fourths of the students reported that they learned new information about their skills and abilities from the profile. Shearer, B. cAssessing the Multiple Intelligences: What Good Can Come of It? d The MIDAS 1999.<br><br> <http://www.angelfire.com/ oh/themidas/article1.html> Eight 4th-12th grade teachers describe their use of MI activities and the MIDAS profile to help students develop self-awareness for ca- reer decision making and to motivate at-risk students by showing them a relationship between their intelligences and future work. Shirley, L. J.<br><br> Pocket Guide to Multiple Intelligences. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center, 1996. (ED 405 376) Discusses characteristic strengths of each type of MI and the appli- cation of the type of intelligence.<br><br> Provides sample assessment tools and lists of potential career options for each intelligence. Smagorinsky, P. cMultiple Intelligences, Multiple Means of Com- posing: An Alternative Way of Thinking about Learning. d NASSP Bulletin 80 no.<br><br> 583 (November 1996): 11-17. (EJ 535 649) Home economics is often denigrated for requiring little intellect. There is a strong cultural bias that undervalues sewing and relegates it to chandedness d instead of the loftier cheadedness. d According to Howard Gardner 9s theory of multiple intelligences, the two do not stand in opposition.<br><br> Handiwork is a spatial intellectual process. Taylor-King, S. cUsing Multiple Intelligences and Multi-Sensory Re- inforcement Approaches to Enhance Literacy Skills among Homeless Adults. d Paper presented at the International Con- gress on Challenges to Education, Kihei, HI, July 19, 1997.<br><br> (ED 417 332) The use of multiple intelligences can individualize education for homeless adults. Adult learners should be encouraged to share their backgrounds, both as a source of improving their self-esteem and as a starting point for enhancing their educational work. Visser, D.<br><br> R. cThat 9s Using Your Brain. d Training and Development 50 no. 9 (September 1996): 38-40.<br><br> (EJ 530 291) Discusses new adult learning theories, including those of Roger Sperry (left brain/right brain), Paul McLean (triune brain), and Howard Gardner (multiple intelligences). Relates adult learning theory to job training. 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