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The Relationship between Students' Academic Self-Efficacy and Teachers' Multiple Intelligences Instructional Practices

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Ruth Anne Beichner
Abstract:
With the adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 (NCLB), the already challenging task of closing the educational achievement gap has become an even more critical topic. Ensuring that students from all backgrounds are given the best opportunity to learn is at the forefront of importance for educational leaders and policy makers. Based on the theoretical concepts of self-efficacy and multiple intelligences, the purpose of this cross-sectional quantitative study was to investigate the relationship between students' academic self-efficacy and teachers' use of pedagogy which addresses multiple intelligences (MI). The research question addressed the differences in self-efficacy between groups of students whose teachers utilized strategies that complimented student's dominant intelligences to those that did not adapt their teaching style to student personality. A sample of 5th grade classrooms was used in the study. Students were placed into three categories: students who were in classrooms where the teacher used two of their three dominant MI, students who were in classrooms where teachers used one of their three dominant MI, and students who were in classrooms where none of the students' dominant MI were used. The self-efficacy of the students in each group was then compared using ANOVA with Scheffe post-hoc tests to analyze the data. The results were used to demonstrate that the students who were in classrooms where the teacher used two of their three dominant MI reported significantly higher self-efficacy than was reported by either of the other two groups. The implications for social change include an understanding of the relationship between multiple intelligences and self-efficacy as it provides evidence of how instructional practices related to students' self-efficacy affects their ability to achieve in a high-stakes testing environment.

Table of Contents List of Tables and Figures.................................................................................................. iii

Section 1: Introduction to Study ..........................................................................................1

Introduction ....................................................................................................................1

Definition of the Problem ..............................................................................................3

Nature of the Study ........................................................................................................4

Research Question and Hypotheses ...............................................................................5

Purpose of the Study ......................................................................................................5

Theoretical Base.............................................................................................................6

Definition of Terms........................................................................................................7

Assumptions and Limitations ......................................................................................10

Scope and Delimitations ..............................................................................................11

Significance of Study ...................................................................................................12

Summary ......................................................................................................................12

Introduction ..................................................................................................................14

Self-Efficacy ................................................................................................................14

Multiple Intelligences ..................................................................................................18

Standardized Testing ....................................................................................................23

Research Related to Methodology ...............................................................................27

Summary ......................................................................................................................28

Section 3: Research Method .............................................................................................30

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Research Design...........................................................................................................30

Setting and Sample ......................................................................................................32

Instrumentation and Materials .....................................................................................34

Description of Collection Tools ...................................................................................34

Data Collection ............................................................................................................39

Data Analysis ...............................................................................................................39

Section 4: Presentation of Findings ..................................................................................42

Research Tools .............................................................................................................43

Data Collection and Analysis.......................................................................................43

Conclusion ...................................................................................................................49

Section 5: Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations ...............................................51

Introduction ..................................................................................................................51

Interpretation of Findings ............................................................................................52

Implications for Social Change ....................................................................................52

Conclusions ..................................................................................................................56

References ..........................................................................................................................58

Appendix A: Teacher’s Survey ..........................................................................................77

Appendix B: Online Midas System Instructions ...............................................................79

Appendix C: Student MI Survey........................................................................................81

Appendix D: Student Self Concept Survey .....................................................................100

Curriculum Vitae .............................................................................................................108

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List of Tables and Figures

Table 1: Ethnicity of School, County, State and Country ............................................33 Table 2: Self Concept Classification ............................................................................44 Table 3: Posthoc Scheffe Multiple Comparisons Between Groups .............................46 Figure 1: Means Plot Showing Self Efficacy ..............................................................48

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Section 1: Introduction to Study Introduction The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) that the federal government passed in January 2002 has as a goal, “to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind” (U.S. Department of Education, 2009, section 1, para 2). With this goal in mind, standardized testing was implemented to monitor school performance across the United States. By monitoring standardized tests, the government can track districts, specific schools, and subgroups such as ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status, assuring students are making at least minimal achievement. This is known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), a requirement of NCLB (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Any school not making AYP is put on an improvement plan that can lead to school restructuring (Georgia Department of Education, 2007). An elementary school in suburban Atlanta, Georgia that recently became Title 1 because of redistricting faced new struggles maintaining AYP. Adjustments to teaching styles to meet students’ different MI might help to maintain or even improve student test scores. Standardized tests evaluate students in a verbal-linguistic manner giving a numeric score to measure proficiency (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Gardner’s multiple intelligence (MI) theory suggests that learners all have a unique combination of MI strengths and dispositions. Gardner (1993) proposed that the concept of intelligence is not unitary and cannot be numerically quantifiable. Rather, there are eight different intelligences: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic,

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interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist (Silver, Strong, & Perini, 2000). Standardized tests do not accommodate for the varying intelligences (McKim, 2007), which is a negative effect of NCLB. Giving students different ways to express their varying knowledge and intelligence broadens their understanding, they gain insights into themselves (Silver et al., 2000), and they gain confidence in their abilities (Pajares & Schunkm 2001). Studies on self-efficacy conducted by Bandura (1997) stated that self-efficacy is a person’s personal beliefs of what he thinks he is capable of doing. Bandura contended people with high self-efficacy have high assumptions and aspirations to which they will rise. Pajares and Graham (1999) added that the way people carry out actions and manage prospective situations are also elements of self-efficacy. Conversely, people with low self-efficacy will not take chances for fear of failure and will only aspire to things easily reached (Bandura, 1997). Fan, Lindt, Arroyo-Giner, and Wolters (2009) as well as McCabe and Margolis (2001), found that academic self-efficacy is linked to student achievement. With standardized testing achievement is currently being measured with one intelligence. The review in section 2 presents literature related to MI and self-efficacy. This study examined the relationship between MI, self-efficacy, and achievement. By examining the relationship, educators in the school in which the study was conducted now have an indication of how their pedagogical approaches influence students’ self- efficacy.

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Definition of the Problem Students at a suburban elementary school in Atlanta, Georgia, are not all making minimal requirements for promotion as defined by NCLB. This problem of low or underachievers impacts all grade levels. NCLB requires students to attain at least a minimal score on standardized criterion tests for promotion. Those tests work well for the majority of students (Fiene & McMahon, 2007) but are not reliable for a small minority of students who do not express their knowledge well with these types of assessments. Gardner realized that IQ tests measured intelligence in one manner and theorized that there was more than one type of intelligence (Gardner, 2000). As Silver et al. (2000) found, “most people demonstrate an especially high ability in one or two intelligences” (p. 9). If Gardner’s theory is to be accepted, then the criterion reference tests that measure student achievement in a strictly verbal-linguistic way would put a small group of students at a disadvantage. If students became aware of their MI and were allowed to express their knowledge in their dominant styles, student achievement scores might be improved. Because of the recent redistricting at the school where this research was done teachers and administrators are trying to adapt to the changing status of being a Title 1 school. Title 1 gives federal aid to schools that have a disproportionate number of families with low incomes. Income is determined by free and reduced lunch reports. The percentage of needed recipients in the free and reduced program and the actual monies that are funded change from year to year and from area to area as funding and population

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fluctuates. Most schools which fall into Title 1 see falling scores on high stakes tests (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). The administration and teachers are trying to circumvent that problem by finding innovative teaching strategies. This research might assist in that search by improving student self-efficacy by teachers’ awareness of MIs. Nature of the Study A cross-sectional quantitative survey with between-group, quasi-experimental design was used in this study to examine the relationship between student self-efficacy and teachers’ instructional practices. This study examined groups of students with high, moderate, low, and no self-efficacy and how they were being taught in the classroom. How they were being taught was measured by asking teachers to complete a survey about their use of instructional methods that aligns with Gardner’s multiple intelligences. Students were asked to complete two different surveys, one measuring their multiple intelligences and the other measuring self-efficacy. The data placed students into four anticipated groups: (a) Students who are in classrooms where the teacher uses all three of their top three dominant MI, (b) Students who are in classrooms where the teacher uses two of their three dominant MI, (c) Students who are in classrooms where the teacher uses only one of their three dominant MI, and (d) Students who are in classrooms where the teacher does not use any of the students’ dominant MI. Participants were all fifth grade students in a suburban Atlanta, Georgia elementary school. Data was collected and analyzed during the 2010-2011 school year.

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More details about participants, setting, instrumentation, data collection procedures, and other research design elements are provided in section 3. Research Question and Hypotheses The research question addressed the relationship between students’ self-efficacy and teachers’ use of instructional practices that address students’ dominant intelligences. Data collected provided insight about instructional practices that might effectively engage all students in the classroom. Individually, students had the opportunity to become aware of their MI and self-efficacy, and teachers had the opportunity to become aware of their classroom instructional practices. Research question: What is the relationship between students’ academic self- efficacy and teachers’ level of addressing students’ dominant intelligences in their instructional practices? Null hypothesis of research: There will be no relationship between students’ self- efficacy and teachers’ level of addressing students’ dominant intelligences in their instructional practices. Alternative hypothesis of research: There will be a relationship between students’ self-efficacy and teachers’ level of addressing students’ dominant intelligences in their instructional practices. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between students’ self- efficacy and their teacher’s level of addressing students’ dominant intelligences in their

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instructional practices. Having an understanding of this relationship will provide teachers with evidence about how their instructional practices affect students. Instructional practice is particularly important in the educational climate of schools in the United States today where NCLB penalizes schools that do not meet federal and state quotas of student achievement. Improving instructional practices at the school where this study took place might improve student success rates. Theoretical Base This study was grounded by Bandura’s (1997) self-efficacy theory. Bandura defined self-efficacy as “beliefs (that) determine the goals people set for themselves, how much effort they expend, how long they persevere, and how resilient they are in the face of failures and setbacks” (para. 3). Bandura’s (1993) findings in the area of self-efficacy state that students often place a self-determined limitation on their success; however, Bandura also noted teachers may invite negative self-appraisal in whole group settings when all students use the same materials and are asked to produce the same things. This study used Bandura’s theory as a basis to explore student efficacy in a fifth grade classroom at the beginning of the study and then reviewed students’ efficacy again at the end after working with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. This research relied on the teachings of Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligences (1983). Gardner’s theory stated there are eight different intelligences and people learn in many combinations of those intelligences. Because of these diverse styles, Gardner’s theory was adopted into the world of education as teachers began to

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teach in multiple ways in an effort to reach the various groups of learners in the classroom (Hopper & Hurry, 2000). Gardner (1993) disagreed with the attitude of intelligence in the United States where it is widely accepted that intelligence cannot be changed from birth. Gardner cited that there is no connection between what a person accomplishes and their IQ. Silver et al. (2000) explained Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences by stating intelligences cannot be quantified with a number but rather exhibited in the context of real life situations. Recent studies give new insights to at-risk students and state that many of these students respond well to more tactile and kinesthetic intelligences (Honigsfeld & Dunn, 2009). Honigsfeld and Dunn (2009) stated that at-risk students literally learn better on their feet; in other words, it is important for these students to be engaged in active learning. Definition of Terms The content of this study refer to the following terms when describing background, methods, and findings. Academic Self-Efficacy: Bandura (1977) explains self-efficacy as the belief individuals have to complete a task. Academic self-efficacy is the belief individuals have to complete academic tasks (Bandura). At-Risk: At-risk refers to low performing children who are at risk of failing. At- risk also refers to students who have had lower than average scores on standardized tests

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and are at risk of dropping out of school prior to getting a degree (U.S. Department of Education, 2008). Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction is a method of teaching lessons beginning where the student is rather than assuming all students are at the same place in instruction (Cox, 2008). Cox explains, As classrooms become more culturally diverse, it becomes more imperative that differentiated instruction occur in elementary classrooms. Today's classrooms usually contain students with a wide range of abilities and varied experiential backgrounds. These students learn at different rates and in different ways. (Cox, 2008, p. 53) Early Intervention Program (EIP): Early intervention program as maintained in the state of Georgia where this study takes place “serves as the state’s safety-net program providing acceleration and/or differentiated instruction to students who are below grade level or at-risk of not maintaining grade level performance” (Georgia Department of Education, 2009). English Language Learners (ELL): English Language Learners are students who have limited proficiency in English and receive additional instruction for the state’s ELL program (Georgia Department of Education, 2009). Gray Area Students: Refers to students who are struggling but do not fall into a special education or learning disability program (Gwinnett County Public Schools, 2009).

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Individual Education Plan (IEP): Individual Education Plan is an education plan for students who require support through resource or special education teachers. IEPs are unique to each student and differ from the regular classroom student (Gwinnett County Public Schools, 2009). Learning Style: Carl Jung’s theory of learning style states that there are four dimensions of personality that we experience and in which we prefer to learn. Silver et al. (2000) more specifically stated that learning style is the focus of how individuals learn best. Multiple Intelligence: Howard Gardner’s theory states that there are eight distinct categories of intelligences in which knowledge is acquired (Silver et al., 2000). Within the context of this study, MI will measured using the MIDAS Kids Questionnaire based on Gardner’s description. The MIDAS questionnaire was developed by C. Branton Shearer in 1996 after working directly with Gardner at Harvard University and will use Gardner’s eight different constructs: Linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Self-Concept: Self-concept is what an individual believes he is (Pajares & Schunkm 2001). In this study, students will be taking the Multidimensional Self Concept Scale (MSCS) developed by Bracken. Self-concept is different from self-efficacy because self-concept pulls from past behavior to define who we are as people, and self- efficacy pulls from past behavior to help us define what we are capable of doing (Bracken, 1996).

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Self-efficacy: Self-efficacy as described by Bandura (1977) is how people are motivated in specific content areas and how well one completes tasks in that area. Special Education: In Georgia, this is defined as “All students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). This includes children who are eligible for special education from the ages of three (3) through twenty-one (21)” (Georgia Department of Education, 2009, para 1). Transition Students: Transition students are those students who do not pass requirements in fourth grade in Gwinnett County. The transition program places these students in fifth grade but gives additional support during the year for the students in their area of deficiency. Students remain in this program until they pass the appropriate tests to move on to the regular fifth grade program; otherwise, they are held back from advancing into sixth grade (Gwinnett County Public Schools, 2009). Assumptions and Limitations It was assumed that that all participants answered the surveys as honestly as they could. It was also assumed that the study used the best possible methods and surveys to best understand the research question. There are a number of threats that could have affected internal validity of student responses and teacher responses including teachers’ awareness of their own instructional practices. Students might have responded by indentifying how their teachers teach in the classroom. Students might not have understood questions or might have wanted to answer in a way to please the teacher.

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Over 50% of the five classrooms were receiving or had received ELL services prior to this study. Language limitations must be realized even with exited ELL students because their ability to speak English might have yielded different interpretations. A limitation that might have affected the outcome of the study is the time of year the research was collected since when the study was conducted was determined by the school involved. The student-teacher relationship might have already been established after the beginning of the school year. As teacher expectations have been linked to student responses and achievement, this could have affected student responses (Rubie-Davies, Hattie, & Hamilton, 2006). Teachers’ responses might have been affected by their knowledge of multiple intelligences. Teachers might have overestimated their instructional practices based on their knowledge of multiple intelligences thereby causing a threat to internal validity. In addition, a limitation to this study is attributing self-efficacy to teacher practices. Scope and Delimitations This study was conducted in a northern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia at an elementary school where all fifth grade students and fifth grade teachers were included. A delimitation of the study is that only MI levels and student’s self-efficacy were measured; the teachers’ MI and self-efficacy and their instructional traits were not addressed. Furthermore, the school serves a disproportionate percentage of low-income students compared with county and state averages. Therefore, results of the study should not be used to represent populations that do not share these characteristics.

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Significance of Study This research might support teachers by encouraging the use of surveys to determine what motivates and reaches each student in the classroom through MI while improving self-efficacy. Teachers could then construct lessons to encourage the complete classroom and to include more students without leaving students behind. Should all students be engaged in lessons, this approach could have the potential to improve student scores on mandated tests. Specifically, this study might help administration at the local school place students with teachers that instruct with common MIs. New insights found through this study could be used to inspire and motivate students by improving self-efficacy, therefore improving drop-out rates. Successful students tend to graduate as well as further their education and that makes them more apt to become gainful members of society (U.S. Department of Education, 2010), Summary Most research on student motivation has taken place in real classroom situations since the late 1970s (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003). This research study contributed to the body of knowledge about the classroom by studying the relationship between students’ self-efficacy and teachers and addressing students’ dominant intelligence in the classroom. This study included three surveys to measure student self-efficacy, multiple intelligences, and teachers’ classroom instructional practices. Through these surveys, the relationship between teachers’ instructional practices and students’ self-efficacy was examined.

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The research in this study could encourage teachers to redirect struggling students not only for a class or a school year but to motivate students to use their MI to be successful for all of life’s endeavors. The shift from concentrating on curriculum to concentrating on students would foster strong, caring individuals which in turn would foster strong, caring communities (Levy, 2008). This research could help teachers better understand how to reach all students within the fifth grade classroom through MI while improving self-efficacy. The integration of different learning styles and multiple intelligences within the classroom allows students the flexibility to succeed in different ways and broaden their horizons to other learning methods (Silver et al., 2000). Students can observe each other within the classroom using objective testing to focus on what was learned rather than what was not learned. By using the many learning styles that incorporate the different multiple intelligences to include all of the students in the classroom, all students can enjoy and benefit from the feeling of success. Helping each struggling student find a personal learning style will increase self-efficacy, resulting in higher achievement. Section 2 of this study is a literature review discussing self-efficacy, theorists, multiple intelligences, standardized testing, and recent studies. Section 3 gives greater detail to the methodology, focusing on setting and sample, instrumentation, data collection, comma here and analysis. Section 4 explains the research tools presented and analyzes the data. Section 5 summarizes with a conclusion and recommendations for further research.

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Section 2: Review of Literature Introduction The review of literature includes: self-efficacy, self-efficacy theorists, multiple intelligences, standardized testing, recent studies, and methodology. These ideas are then merged into a summary as they relate to this research study. The literature review looks at theorists in the areas of self-efficacy and multiple intelligences as well as research that had been done in these fields. The vast majority of literature for this review was from recently published text books in the area of education as well as current professional journals. Searches were made using several databases including: Academic Search Complete, ProQuest Central, ERIC, Education Research Complete, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Keywords and descriptors for searches included but were not limited to self-efficacy, multiple intelligence, elementary education, education, and teacher practices. Self-Efficacy Pajares and Schunk (2001) explained how the idea of self-efficacy changed social learning theory in the mid-20th century. Pajares and Schunk acknowledged that Bandura’s (1986) view of self-efficacy was the reflection of humans’ self-beliefs or self- referent beliefs. Self-efficacy was further discussed by Pajares and Schunk that in Bandura’s sociocognitive perception, individuals are proactive and self-regulating enabling humans to control their feelings, emotions, and actions. Bandura discussed how

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the management of these critical elements controls human motivations and individuals’ beliefs and predictions about their capabilities.

Margolis and McCabe (2004) restated Bandura’s theory, noting that without high self-efficacy, or at least a sufficient self-efficacy, specific tasks cannot be mastered. Margolis and McCabe particularly noted that effort in academic tasks such as homework cannot be mastered, particularly in struggling learners. There is a link between self- efficacy and better learning and understanding (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003). Albert Bandura Bandura (1997) defined self-efficacy as “beliefs (that) determine the goals people set for themselves, how much effort they expend, how long they persevere, and how resilient they are in the face of failures and setbacks” (para. 3). According to Bandura, people with high aspirations and high self-efficacy rise to their personal beliefs of what they think they are capable of doing. Bandura stated that the contrary is also true: people with low self-efficacy will not take a chance because of fear of failure and will not risk anything other than what is easily obtainable. Bandura also noted that those individuals with low self-efficacy tend to be troubled with self-doubt, focusing on the obstacles put before them rather than how to remove or get around the obstacle and stated that they are also plagued with stress and depression and tend to view themselves as victims or are guilt ridden because of their own inadequacies.

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Bandura, Bardaranelli, Caprara, and Pastorelli (1996) continued the self-efficacy theory and discussed many issues that affect personal efficacy including socioeconomic, family, culture, and peers. Ultimately, “students' firm belief in their efficacy to manage their own motivation and learning activities provides the staying power and enhances performance accomplishments” (Bandura et al., 1996, p. 1220). Bandura et al. suggested that improved self-efficacy can be accomplished through experiencing success, social modeling and persuasion, and reduction of stress. Bandura (1997) spelled out how efficacy is regulated in three different ways: cognitively, motivationally, comma here and mood. Cognitively, Bandura explained, efficacy is maintained through a long term view and visualization of the completed end results. Motivationally, Bandura stated that efficacy is sustained through understanding and anticipating problems and being resilient enough to work through any obstacles. Finally, Bandura stated that mood or affect sustains efficacy because people with a high belief in themselves are self-motivated, and they do not have high anxiety. Bandura continued to explain that highly motivated people understand there will be bumps along their personal paths; therefore, they are not thrown off track by any upsets. Bandura maintained that these people simply adjust their journey’s path and know how to manage their own stress by relaxing through positive means such as exercise, friends, or family. Bandura (1997) observed that high self-efficacy people are also very optimistic, and this feeling of optimism attracts like minded people who provide feedback though support in personal and professional aspirations. Bandura made the distinction that those

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with high self-efficacy are not realists, he noted that realists tend to be cynical regarding change and tend not to attempt to accomplish difficult tasks. Perceived positive self- efficacy is seen through attitude; difficult tasks are seen as challenges to be overcome rather than avoided. Bandura (1997) noted that those who have low self-efficacy also tend to attract like minded influences. Pessimistic people tend to surround themselves with other pessimistic people. Consequently, Bandura continued, this is not a positive support group to fall back on or offer encouragement or support. Jerome Bruner In 1960, Jerome Bruner’s theory that education is a process and not a product was ground breaking (Bruner, 1996). Bruner (1996) also felt that the connection between identity development and learning was especially significant (Bruner, 1996). A constructionist theorist, Bruner deemed that students learn through doing or constructing and forming their own concepts. Bruner felt that education should have a spiral curriculum where learned knowledge continues to build on itself. Research by Bruner also supports the idea that students need to be motivated and engaged in their learning (Bruner, 1996). Bruner’s idea of motivation and being engaged supports the self-efficacy theory that if students are not engaged because they have a negative self-concept, they will not learn. More recently Weinbaum et al. (2004) spoke to the notion that students must be self-monitoring and realize that they are in control of their learning. Weinbaum et al. also emphasized that because students do not believe they can achieve, they often

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have trouble turning in homework and successfully completing assignments; they feel school is a struggle and futile, a place where they have little or no control; therefore, these students do not invest in their educational experience. Supporting these findings, Vacca (2006) as well as Cunningham (2005), both discuss self-efficacy and students rising to their own levels of expectation. Multiple Intelligences In 1905, Binet developed the first standardized test that is now called the intelligence quotient (IQ) test, the predecessor to all the standardized tests today (Lemann, 1999). Binet’s purpose for the IQ test was tracking public school children and assessing who needed extra assistance. This is still a main use of the test in the United States (Lemann, 1999). Binet divided the chronological age of the test taker by their score to get a “mental age” (Lemann, 1999). The test gained its positive reputation during World War I when the United States gave close to 2 million tests to new recruits (Lemann, 1999). Binet’s IQ was the widely accepted form of measuring intelligences until Gardner formulated the MI theory. As Oliver noted, “Gardner transformed the traditional question about intelligence from ‘How smart are you?’ to ‘How are you smart?’” (1997, p.62) MI is firmly rooted in neurobiological research as explained by Nicholson and Nelson (1998) who stated “Gardner’s theory is based on extensive brain research, which includes interviews, tests, and research on hundreds of individuals” (p. 66). Gardner acknowledged the belief that culture also plays a role in MI, realizing that humans are not

Full document contains 119 pages
Abstract: With the adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 (NCLB), the already challenging task of closing the educational achievement gap has become an even more critical topic. Ensuring that students from all backgrounds are given the best opportunity to learn is at the forefront of importance for educational leaders and policy makers. Based on the theoretical concepts of self-efficacy and multiple intelligences, the purpose of this cross-sectional quantitative study was to investigate the relationship between students' academic self-efficacy and teachers' use of pedagogy which addresses multiple intelligences (MI). The research question addressed the differences in self-efficacy between groups of students whose teachers utilized strategies that complimented student's dominant intelligences to those that did not adapt their teaching style to student personality. A sample of 5th grade classrooms was used in the study. Students were placed into three categories: students who were in classrooms where the teacher used two of their three dominant MI, students who were in classrooms where teachers used one of their three dominant MI, and students who were in classrooms where none of the students' dominant MI were used. The self-efficacy of the students in each group was then compared using ANOVA with Scheffe post-hoc tests to analyze the data. The results were used to demonstrate that the students who were in classrooms where the teacher used two of their three dominant MI reported significantly higher self-efficacy than was reported by either of the other two groups. The implications for social change include an understanding of the relationship between multiple intelligences and self-efficacy as it provides evidence of how instructional practices related to students' self-efficacy affects their ability to achieve in a high-stakes testing environment.