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Multiple Intelligence, Self-Efficacy/Mindset & Perspective-taking

Cognitive development in adolescence: Multiple Intelligence, Self-Efficacy/Mindset & Perspective-taking Duy Nguyen Charles Sturt University

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Multiple Intelligence, Self-Efficacy/Mindset & Perspective-taking

Cognitive development in adolescence: Multiple Intelligence, Self-Efficacy/Mindset & Perspective-taking

The largest predictor of student academic achievement is the student. Hattie (2003) argues that the student accounts for 50 percent and of the variances in their academic achievement and teachers account for approximately 30 percent. As such, the cognitive development of an adolescent and its impact of learning and achievement are of particular interest. Three cognitive processes and its role in adolescent development have been explored multiple intelligence; self-efficacy & mindset and; perspective-taking. Influential theories on multiple intelligence include Sternbergs triarchic theory of successful intelligence and Gardners eight frames of mind. According to the triarchic theory, there are three dimensions of successful intelligence analytical (ability to analyse, evaluate, judge, contrast and compare); creative (ability to create, design, invent, image and originate) and; practical (ability to use, apply, implement and put ideas into practice) (Santrock, 2010). Rather than view intelligence as processes, Gardner (1983, 1993, 2002 as cited in Santrock, 2010) proposed eight frames of mind or intelligences verbal, mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinaesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. Academic motivation, learning and achievement is influenced by the concept of self-efficacy (Pajares, 1996; Schunk, 1995). Self-efficacy can be defined as the belief that one can master a situation and produce favourable outcomes (Santrock, 2010, p. 368). Aside from imparting knowledge, the fundamental aims of teaching includes the moral development (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008, p. 4). One aspect of moral development is perspectivetaking which refers to the ability to take on the perspective of another (Underwood & Moore, 1982). Noting the significance of the role of teachers, classroom and teaching implications classroom have also been considered. Sternberg (2010, 2012 as cited in Santrock, 2010) proposed that students with different triarchic patterns perform differently at school. Students with high analytical ability are typically favoured in conventional schools where the teacher provides content
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material through lectures and assessment of outcomes is via objective testing. Creatively intelligent students often experience difficulty conforming to the expectations of the teacher when facing objective assessment criteria. They often provide unique answers which are reprimanded or marked down. Similarly, practically intelligent students also struggle to relate to the demands of the school. However, it should be noted that their social skills and common sense may enable them to become successful managers, entrepreneurs or politicians. Multiple intelligence can also be conceptualised in domains rather than processes (Sternberg, 2003). According to Gardner (1983, 1993, 2002 as cited in Santrock, 2010), individuals possess eight frames of mind, or intelligences, to different degrees. The individual variations of these eight intelligence suggest that individuals learn and process information in different ways. Multiple intelligence theory has positive implications for adolescent learning and development (Fasko, 2001). Theories of multiple intelligence can easily be applied in classroom settings, both in instruction and in assessment (Sternberg, Torff, & Grigorenko, 1998a). Whilst general intelligence evaluates whether a student is smart, multiple intelligence theory explores in what ways are students smart (Douglas, 2008). It is noted that one of the drawbacks of educational programs focusing on linguistic and mathematical intelligence is that students who fail to conform to traditional academic intelligence are held in low self-esteem(Campbell, Campbell, & Dickinson, 1996). As such, their strengths may remain unrealised. Theories of multiple intelligence have motivated educators to think more broadly about what constitutes intelligence and competence (Santrock, 2010). Teachers are encouraged to expand their repertoire of techniques, tools, and strategies. Pedagogically, this incorporates a variety of teaching practices such as balanced programming, matching instruction to learning styles, individualising student education, teaching subject matter in more than one way and project-based learning (Klein, 1997; Krechevsky & Seidel, 1998). Research suggest that adolescent learning is most effective when their preferred learning style is matched by appropriate teaching methods (Hayes & Allinson, 1993; Kaur & Chhikara, 2008; Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2004). Studies have found that
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teaching triarchically is able to facilitate the matching of a students preferred learning style to the teaching methods (Sternberg, Torff, & Grigorenko, 1998b). Furthermore, due to individual differences amongst students, balanced programming ensure students have more opportunities to learn and understand the material as it is presented in a number of ways (Stanford, 2003). Triarchic instruction methods require consideration of analytical, creative and practical thinking. Teaching for analytical thinking involves encouraging students to analyse, critique, judge, compare and contrast, evaluate, and assess (Sternberg, 2003). This includes activities such as analysing the development of a character as part of a literature review. Teaching for creative thinking means encouragement of students to create, invent, discover and predict (Sternberg, 2003). Examples of creative thinking activities include writing an alternative ending to a story. Teaching for practical thinking involves students applying and rendering their knowledge as a practical element (Sternberg, 2003). This including computing a compound interest problem. Teaching for multiple intelligence has been found to be effective for students in many content areas and grade levels (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2004). Various studies have found that students who are taught triarchically perform better on assessment tasks, regardless of the form of assessment, even where the assessments are based on factual memory (Grigorenko, Jarvin, & Sternberg, 2002; Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2004; Sternberg et al., 1998a, 1998b). Douglas (2008) examines classroom implications of teaching for multiple intelligence in year 7/8 Mathematics. Although mathematical constructs are typically analytical in nature, the use of triarchic instruction resulted in notable improvements in standardised achievement scores, performance of students having learning difficulty, parent involvement and overall student achievement. Classroom activities to teach year 7/8 mathematics include completing logic problems, creating rhymes of remember mathematical concepts, building or constructing a model, inventing a board game to illustrate learned material, giving feedback on what they would like to learn, and performing a class presentation (Douglas, 2008) Aside from academic achievement, incorporating multiple intelligence in classroom activities and instruction
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increase accessibility of the curriculum and make the content area more engaging and exciting (Smerechansky-Metzger, 1995). Throughout adolescence, student achievement and motivation becomes increasingly important. One of the cognitive processes involved in motivating students to learn is related to mindset and self-efficacy (Santrock, 2010). Carol Dwecks (2006, 2007, 2012 as cited in Santrock, 2010) analysis of motivation emphasises the importance of developing a mindset. This is defined as the cognitive view individuals develop for themselves (Santrock, 2010, p. 367). Individuals have one of two mindsets fixed (qualities cannot change) or growth (qualities change and improve through effort). It is contended that an individuals mindset can influence their outlook, shape their goals and how hard they strive to achieve these goals (Santrock, 2010). An individuals mindset is shaped through the interactions with parents, teachers, coaches. Similar to the concept of mindset is self-efficacy. The concept of self-efficacy answers the question Can I do this task in this situation (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003). It should be noted that there is a considerable amount of literature which examines self-efficacy in teaching mathematics (see Hackett & Betz, 1989; Lent, Lopez, & Bieschke, 1991; Pajares & Miller, 1994). Research suggest that self-efficacy influences academic motivation, learning and achievement (Pajares, 1996; Schunk, 1995). The adolecents self-efficacy influences their choice of tasks, their effort and persistence on tasks and resilience (Phan, 2012; Schunk, 1995). Schunk (2008, 2012 as cited in Santrock, 2010) stated that an adolescents self-efficacy also influences their choice of activities as a student. Students with low self-efficacy for learning may avoid learning tasks that are challenging. Conversely, students with high efficacy for learning eagerly approach these learning tasks and proactively seek ways to solve problems (Phan, 2012). Furthermore, students who demonstrate high efficacy are more likely to persist with effort at a learning task than students with low efficacy (Walsh, 2008 as cited in Santrock, 2010). It is contended that high self-efficacy students have higher academic aspirations, spend more time doing homework and more likely to associate learning activities with optimal experience than their low self-efficacy counterparts (Bassi, Steca,
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Delle Fave, & Caprara, 2007). Furthermore, research on the role of self-efficacy in motivating academic attainment has illustrated that there are correlations with personal goal setting (Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992). Aside from performing better academically, adolescents with high self-efficacy have been found to cope more positively with stress in personal relationships and observed to be happier at school (Bacchini & Magliulo, 2003). Perceived self-efficacy beliefs in adolescence have been found to be predictors of life satisfaction (Vecchio, Gerbino, Pastorelli, Del Bove, & Caprara, 2007). Younger adolescents who judge themselves as more capable of regulating academic activities and managing interpersonal relationships have reported higher level of life satisfaction in late adolescence. However, perceived self-efficacy beliefs tended to decrease in accordance with the demands on pressures on the youths academic performance. Consequently, adolescents who reported a lower decline in self-efficacy were more satisfied with life five years later. Furthermore, females reported a higher sense of self-efficacy in regulating their learning and resisting peer pressure whist reporting a higher level of academic achievement than their male counterparts. Through the study of Australia students in the final year of high school, Smith (2009) observes the decline of the adolescents self-efficacy. It is suggested that the students confidence in their ability to undertake and execute academic tasks declined. Self-efficacy is developed where effective and engaging teachers are able to make encourage students to become motivated to work hard (Santrock, 2010). Further, in the final years of schooling, increase in academic self-handicapping was observed. These include procrastinating and being involved in many activities so that these circumstances, rather than ability would be seen as the cause if subsequent performance is low (Urdan, Midgley, & Anderman, 1998). The implication for classroom instruction is the need to ensure students remain motivated and there is a minimal decrease to self-efficacy. It is suggested that teachers should foster the belief that competence or ability is a controllable aspect of development (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003). This includes accurate feedback, providing tasks that are challenging but still able to be completed with effort and
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fostering the belief that competence is a controllable aspect of development (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003). Literature suggest there is correlation between an adolescents moral development and educational outcomes (Feshbach & Feshbach, 1987). Moral development involves thoughts, behaviours and feelings regarding standards of right and wrong (Santrock, 2010, p. 224). One of the main domains of moral development is moral feeling. Studies suggest that positive feelings such as empathy contribute to an adolescents moral development (Eisenberg, 1986; Malti & Latzko, 2010). Empathy can be broadly defined as the reaction to another's feelings with an emotional response that is similar to the others feelings (Santrock, 2010, p. 235). Although empathy is experienced as an emotional state, it also has a cognitive component and an affective component (Eisenberg, 1986; Fabes, Carlo, Kupanoff, & Laible, 1999; Hoffman, 1991). The cognitive component, perspective-taking, is the ability to take on the viewpoint or perspective of another person and to step into their mental shoes(Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006) The development of perspective-taking is part of a series of stage-like progressions (Selman, 1980; Shantz, 1983). These stages of perspective-taking involve the transition from egocentric to socio-centric functioning, gradually leading to an understanding of the internal and external states of others (Fabes et al., 1999). It is proposed that by empathy is developed in children by the ages of 10-12 (Fabes et al., 1999). As part of their development, children begin to emphasise with others and their life situation, particularly those in unfortunate circumstances (Damon, 1988 as cited in Santrock, 2010). Research indicate that perspective-taking and empathetic concern increases with age during adolescence (Davis & Franzoi, 1991; Eisenberg, Cumberland, Guthrie, Murphy, & Shepard, 2005; Ritter, 1979). Therefore, as adolescents become exposed to an increasing array of viewpoints, perspective taking become increasingly important for social development (Fabes et al., 1999). Correlational studies have linked positive intellectual outcomes with pro-social behaviour and empathy (Feshbach & Feshbach, 1987). It is suggested that pro-social
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behaviour can influence academic achievement in two ways (Wentzel, 1991). Firstly, responsible behaviour can facilitate learning as it promotes positive interactions with teachers and peers. Secondly, the goals of students to be compliant and responsible can enhance the learning process. Critical to adolescent development, perspective-taking is also proposed as including a motivational component (Gehlbach, 2004). To achieve social competence, adolescents need to be motivated to understand the perspective of another. Crucial to the development of empathy and perspective taking is the adolescents peer relationships and group identification (Johnson, 1981; Laible, 2007; Ritter, 1979). Through interaction with peers, an adolescents develop the ability to view situations and problems from perspectives other than their own. The influence of peers has been shown to intensify between the ages of 11 and 13 and gradually decrease (Ritter, 1979). Furthermore, constructive relationships among students contribute to the achievement of educational goals (Johnson, 1981). Studies have examined relationships between younger and older adolescents and have found that older peers have are enormously influential on younger peers (Harris, 1998). As a young adolescent, it is suggested that one of the primary goals of social development is simply wanting to be like the bigger kid (Harris, 1998, p. 267). The positive implication of this relationships is that through role-modelling empathy and perspective taking, olders peer provide younger peers the opportunity to develop perspective taking skills (Karcher, Nakkula, & Harris, 2005). This relationship can be enhanced through school interventions such as cross-age mentoring. The inclusion of cross-age mentoring in the school setting has been found to directly improve social and cognitive skill development in adolescence (Karcher, 2008). The examination of literature suggest that there are number of different cross-age peer mentoring programs which have been found to be effective in building and sustaining cross-age peer mentoring relationships and outcomes (Deutsch & Spencer, 2009; Hamilton & Hamilton, 2010; Karcher et al., 2005). It is suggested that a developmental relationship approach to cross-age peer mentoring focuses on relationship building (Karcher & Nakkula, 2010). In this approach, students are encouraged to collaboratively
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decide on activities. The focus of the older adolescent is being a role model and establishing a connection with their peer mentee. The interactions should be enjoyable and dependent on the younger adolescents preferences. Furthermore, school based mentoring programs have been found to benefit not only the adolescents involved, but also the school as a whole through the establishment of networks that integrate role models as mentors from the same community/school (L. H. Smith, 2011). The adolescents cognitive development is complex and involves concepts of intelligence, self-efficacy and perspective taking. Understanding multiple intelligence theory enables educators to think more broadly about what constitutes intelligence and developing programs that instruct students in different domains. Specifically, a teacher could incorporate multiple intelligence theory into their classroom practice through incorporating a range of activities which focus on the different intelligences. This is particularly useful in early adolescence at what is sometimes regarded the critical juncture of development. Academic achievement can be correlated with the cognitive process of self-efficacy. A range of classroom practices aimed at increasing motivation can be employed to ensure that any decline to self-efficacy in late adolescence during the final schooling period. Finally, the role of teachers and schools extends to moral development of students. Perspective-taking is associated with empathy and has been linked to positive intellectual outcomes. Cross-age mentoring as part of teaching practice has been shown to be effective in the development of perspective-taking skills of younger adolescents.

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