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A multiple intelligence view of learning at the high school level Weber, Ellen 1994

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A MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE VIEW OF LEARNING AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVELByELLEN WEBERB.Ed., University of Alberta, 1978M.Ed., University of Victoria, 1991A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF EDUCATION(Centre for Curriculum and Instruction)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAJuly 1994© Ellen Weber, 1 994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department chThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate, /9DE.6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThis study drew upon a constructivist and Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligenceview of learning, to develop an interactive curriculum development model involving highschool students and teachers. Eight grade ten students contributed in a central way tothe study, a factor precipitated by my intention to emphasize students’ perspectivesconcerning their individual abilities and interests, and the way in which the high schoolcurriculum did or did not accommodate these. Four grade ten teachers also participatedin the task of identifying the degree to which students’ individual differences can beaccommodated in an integrated high school curriculum.The study, conducted over a ten-month period during one school-year, addressedthree questions. 1). What is the nature of the curriculum development process when highschool students and teachers in their classroom practices, apply ideas congruent withMultiple Intelligence Theory, in order to address individual student differences, within thetraditional constraints of a high school? How can these processes be incorporated into amodel? 2). What was the role of the students in the development of the MultipleIntelligence Theory Application Model? and, 3). What was the role of the teachers in thedevelopment of the Multiple Intelligence Theory Application Model? My response to thesequestions involved the monitoring of students’ perspectives concerning their interests andabilities as reflected by both their current curriculum and the integrated curricular unitprepared by the teachers. The students’ and teachers’ perspectives are discussed andexamined by means of in-depth interviews, interactive group discussions, and field notesand documentation of the collaborative processes involved in developing the integratedcurriculum unit.The analysis of the findings suggests that change within the curriculum content,consistent with a constructivist and MI view of learning, would enable students todevelop further their individual differences. Such change is endorsed particularly by thehigh school student participants. The study also examines the usefulness of the MITAModel as a means of initiating that change, within an integrated studies context. Finally,I suggest a number of related issues for further research.TABLE OF CONTENTSPaeABSTRACTTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiLIST OF FIGURES viACKNOWLEDGEMENTS viiCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION1 .1 Background to the Study1 .2 The Need for the Study1 .3 The Aim of the Study as Defined1.3.1 The Setting1 .3.2 Student Participants Describe their Passions1 .3.3 The Researcher’s Role As Shaped by Students’ Stories .1 .4 The Research Problem and Questions1 .5 A Final NoteCHAPTER 2: INTEGRATION, LEARNING THEORIES AND CURRICULAR CHANGE . 192.1 Introduction2.1.1 Recommended Change for High School EducationObstacles to ChangeChange at Shorecrest High SchoolTheoretical and Practical Contexts .An Integrated Curriculum PerspectiveA Theoretical PerspectiveA Practical Perspectivethe Research Questions2.2 Rationale for Integration: A Curriculum Integration Context2.2. 1 Integration According to Good, Bruner, and Jacobs2.2.2 Personal Integration and Curricular Integration2.3 Constructivist Learning Approaches: A Theoretical Context2.3.1 A Constructivist View of Learning2.3.2 Ml Theory View of Learning2.3.2.1 An Ml View of Intelligence2.3.3 Individual Development: Gardner, Piaget, and Bruner2.3.4 Constructivism, MI Theory, and Interdisciplinary Teaching2.3.4.1 Resistance to MI Theory Encountered2.4 Year 2000 Proposals: A Practical Context2.4.1 The Background to Change in British Columbia2.4.2 The Change Process2.4.3 An Ongoing Commitment to Change2.4.4 The Year 2000 Graduation Documents2.5 Summary and Conclusionby Student Concerns14799111617182.1.1.12.1.1.22.1.2 Integrative,2.1.2.12.1.2.22.1.2.32.1.3 Positioning19212226282829303031323537384142434651545555565758IIITABLE OF CONTENTS, Continued:PageMETHODOLOGYOverview and Rationale of MethodsContext of the Study3.2.1 Gaining Access3.2.2 Subject Areas Represented3.2.3 Sources of Data3.3 Data Analysis3.3.1 Question Framing and Data Analysis3.3.2 Data Reduction Issues3.3.3 Researcher’s Intentions and Roles3.3.4 An Organizing Scheme3.3.4.1 Housekeeping Functions3.3.4.2 Identification Functions3.3.4.3 Coding Functions3.3.4.4 Reporting Functions3.4 Questions of Validity and Reliability3.4.1 Issues of Methods3.4.2 Issues of Analysis3.5 Issues of Generalizability3.6 Limitations of the StudyCHAPTER 4: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MITA MODEL4.1 Introduction4.2 Origins of the MI Theory Application (MITA) Model4.3 Multiple Intelligence Theory Application Model: An Overview4.3.1 Collaborating Among Teachers4.3.2 Brainstorming With Students4.3.3 Introducing MI Theory to Students4.3.4 Completing Interest Inventories4.3.5 Linking Mandated Curriculum4.3.6 Inviting Parents’ Ideas4.3.7 Consulting with Each Student4.3.8 Negotiating Assessment Criteria4.3.9 Displaying and Presenting Projects4.3.10 Videotaping and Filing Projects4.4 SummarySTUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOLING AND THEIRABILITIES5.1 Introduction5.2 Student Responses to Research Question Two5.3 Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Time in School5.3.1 Time Concerns As they were Addressed in the Study5.4 Students’ Perceptions of Space at SchoolCHAPTER 3:3.13.26262646667676868707478808081818284899090CHAPTER 5:92929293949697100100101103104105106106OWN107107107108111114ivTABLE OF CONTENTS. Continued:Page117119125127131139143146CHAPTER 6: TEACHER PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOLING AND STUDENTABILITIES 1486.1 Introduction 1486.2 Teachers Respond to Research Question Three 1486.3 Teacher Perceptions of the Study’s Curricular Initiative 1496.3.1 Teachers’ Perceptions of MI Ideas 1506.3.2 Teachers’ Perceptions of Individual Student Differences . . . 1516.3.3 Teachers’ Perceptions of Traditional Constraints of HighSchool 1 536.4 Teachers’ Perceptions of the Use of Time at School 1 556.5 Teachers’ Perceptions of the Use of Space at School 1 576.6 Teachers’ Perceptions of Student Authority in School 1616.7 Teachers’ Perceptions of Subject Matter in School 1646.8 Teachers’ Perceptions of the Roles of People at School 1696.9 How Teachers Perceived the MITA Model Development andImplementation of Ml Theory 1716.1 0 Teachers’ Perceived Barriers to Ml THEORY Application 1 746.11 AFinalNote176CHAPTER 7:7.17.27.37.47.57.67.7CONCLUSIONSIntroduction and OverviewThe Questions Guiding This WorkLimitations of the StudyIssues of Generalizability .Questions For Further ResearchLarger Educational Issues . .A Final Note 1901951985.4.1 Space Concerns as they were Addressed in the Study5.5 Students’ Perceptions of their Own Authority in School5.5.1 Student Authority Concerns as they were Addressed in theStudy5.6 Students’ Perceptions of Subject Matter5.6.1 Subject Matter Concerns As They Were Addressed in theStudy5.7 Students’ Perceptions of the Role of People in School . .5.7.1 Students’ Responses Concerning the Roles of People5.8 Summary of Student Responses to the Research Questions178178178185186187REFERENCESAPPENDICES212VLIST OF FIGURESPageFigure 1 .1: Relationships Between Student Passions, High School Curriculum andMl Theory 11Figure 2.1: Development of Student Individual Differences in High School . . . 20Figure 2.2: Toward an Integrated Curriculum 36Figure 3.1: Autonomous Learner Model 66Figure 3.2: MITA Model Development and Implementation 69Figure 3.4: An Integrating Model 77Figure 4.1: MITA Model Development and Implementation (Expanded Version) . 95Figure 4.2: Interest Inventory for Student Use 98Figure 5.1: Relationships Between Student Passions, MI Theory, and Final Interdisciplinary Thematic Study’s Projects 134Figure 5.2: Examples of Letters Written by Parents and Students 140viACKNOWLEDGEMENTSIn grateful acknowledgement for the assistance and encouragement extended bymany people during this project, I would like to elaborate specifically on the valuablesupport of a few.The guidance, patience and mentorship provided by my supervisor, GaalenErickson, and committee members, Billie Housego, and Jim Anderson is acknowledgedand especially appreciated.To my four colleagues at the high school research site, and to the eight studentsin grade ten I extend my sincere thanks. Also, to my friends and colleagues at theUniversity of British Columbia, who have provided me with encouragement, critiques andan occasional push to move on, thank you. Here I especially think of, Akosua Addo,Nadine Binkley, Tony Clark, Penny Collett, Sandra Hoenle, Ron Jarman, Gaby Minnes,Walt Werner, and John Willinsky.I would especially like to thank Howard Gardner and Dee Dickinson for yourcontinuous and valuable support. Thank you also for sharing your own corner- stoneideas, as these were instrumental in the development of many concepts in this thesis.To friends who have “been there” at every stage, especially Pearl Kingsfield, DorisBailey, Gladys Clark, Geoff and Bev Still, your contribution of friendship and support arevery much appreciated. Above all, to my close friend, encourager and daughter, Tanya,you have inspired and taught me more than you will ever know. Thank you.VII1CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONWhat are students’ perceptions of their individual abilities and interests, as theseare developed in high school? More central to this study is the question: have studentsbeen asked about their perceptions? This thesis emphasizes students’ responses to theissue of whether their individual differences are being addressed in their high schoolcurriculum, and to a lesser degree, teachers’ perceptions of student differences. Thestudy also examines two distinct but related views of learning, in terms of the capacityof each view to accommodate individual differences among students. The first view,constructivism, holds that people learn by actively constructing knowledge in relation totheir prior knowledge and experiences. The second view, Gardner’s (1984) MultipleIntelligence (Ml) view of learning, holds that learners possess at least seven autonomousintelligences. Both learning theories are examined in terms of their usefulness to addressstudent individual differences. The study is organized in seven chapters.Chapter 1, the introduction, outlines the need, aims, and scope of the study. Inthis chapter the eight students and their urban high school setting are briefly described.Here, the interconnectedness is illustrated, between the students’ expressed passions(which include interests and abilities), their high school curriculum and Howard Gardner’sseven ways of knowing.Conversations with eight grade ten students, about their individual differences andtheir high school curriculum, provided the frame for the study in several ways. Followingmy initial interviews with these students, came a determination to provide a forumwhereby students could express further their views about their own learning. Students,in fact, through their individual stories about their interests and abilities, contributed to2the refinement of my research focus. As students shared their perceptions of theirindividual differences, and provided illustrations of their high school curriculum, theyidentified several curriculum issues that the study subsequently addressed. For example,students expressed the significant contribution that peers bring to their learning, and theyreinforced the notion of collaborative group work in the classroom. Similarly, studentsrecommended other curriculum changes, such as more parental involvement in thedevelopment of curriculum content. Not surprisingly, students confirmed severalrecommendations that are currently found in the research literature on high schoolchange. For these reasons, the students are introduced in the first section of the studyrather, than the more typical introduction of participants in the research analysis section,in Chapter 5.Chapter 2, the review of the literature, is divided in three contexts: the curriculumintegration context; the theoretical context; and, the practical context. The first, orcurriculum integration context, provides a rationale for curricular integration based onJacob’s (1989) model. The second, or theoretical context, discusses constructivism andMl Theory as research paradigms that accommodate the development of studentindividual differences. The third, or practical context, illustrates the current plan forcurriculum changes proposed by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. The ministrydocuments for high school change, the Year 2000 Graduation Documents, are examinedas illustrations of an integrated curriculum approach within a constructivist, and an MlTheory related context.Chapter 3, the methodology section, examines the data collection and analysisprocedures. First, the context of the study is presented, as a foundation from which todiscuss the rationale for the particular organizing scheme used, and to respond to issues3of validity and reliability. The qualitative methods of participant observation and in-depthinterviewing are discussed in this chapter.Chapter 4 describes the background and implementation of the Ml TheoryApplication (MITA) Model. The MITA model was developed in cooperation with bothstudent and teacher participants. The model, developed from my interpretations of ourlengthy discussions, was then reported back to the four grade ten teachers at the highschool, in order to provide a common strategy for implementing change that wouldaddress student individual differences. All eight student participants were enrolled ingrade ten, at the time of the study. The four teacher participants represented four highschool disciplines: English, mathematics, science, and social studies.Chapters 5 and 6 report the findings and provide an analysis of the data obtainedfrom the students and the teachers, respectively. In these two chapters the strengthsand weakness of the research are discussed in relation to both the questions raised andthe outcomes achieved. The views of students and teachers concerning studentindividual differences, the existing curriculum, and their recommended changes to thecurriculum, are highlighted.Finally, Chapter 7 presents a brief overview of the study and outlines theconclusions derived. Implications for further research relate the conclusions to theprevious literature discussed in the thesis. This final chapter discusses ways in whicheach research question was addressed in the study, and outlines the contributions madeby the research.41.1 Background to the StudyAccording to Zessoules, Rieneke, and Gardner (1991), traditional, Western highschool curriculum has neither recognized the many nuances of individual students’ uniqueabilities, nor has it woven the multicultural fibers necessary to include the uniqueexperiences of an increasingly ethnic, racially diverse, structurally changing society.Societal changes, in addition to our new understandings about the ways in which welearn, may require significant reorganization of high school curriculum structures. Bycurriculum structures, I am referring to the way in which time, space, authority, subjectmatter and people, are organized in a high school. Is most time spent on lectures, forexample, or is equal time allotted to student-directed activities? Are desks in rows or dostudents move around, according to the nature of the task? Who controls the learningthat takes place? What knowledge base contributes to the subject matter? Finally, whatcan students’ contribute to our understanding about high school curriculum structuresthat address their unique abilities? In short, this study sought to determine whatcontributions these young partners might make in the deliberations about the delivery ofcurriculum.If high schools are to keep pace with a changing society, and respond to thecurrent social pressures exerted on schools, high school curriculum, for example, will haveto change. Conventional high school curriculum do not appear to be able to accommodatean information age, where the ability to cooperate with others sometimes surpasses theability to memorize isolated facts. A fixed timetable of classical studies, for example, maybe meaningless in a multicultural society where more than one canon is acceptable.According to Hargreaves (1988), Sternberg (1991), and Cuban (1990), five suchsocietal forces - economic, social, demographic, organizational, and educational have5moved us away from rigid, and fragmented disciplinary structures in high school.Dickinson (1991) suggests high schools have moved towards the development of morethematic units where teachers collaborate in the production of curricular materials, andencourage individually designed projects from each student (p. 210).This study explores how a constructivist perspective of learning and Ml Theorymight facilitate the accommodation of students’ individual differences. Studentdifferences refer to their expressed abilities and interests. The term “passion” was usedthroughout the study and in my conversations with students to include: “perceivedability”, “a skill you excel in”, or “a high interest of yours”, and throughout the studythese four expressions are used interchangeably with the notion of “intelligence” asarticulated by Ml Theory (Gardner, 1983). In contrast to Rowe’s (1991) claim thatpresent high school curriculum has led to “a narrow and dogmatic view whereeducationalists and industry evaluate performance potential and practice on the basis ofwhat they regard as scientific and objective knowledge” (p. 4), Gardner, in Frames ofMind (1983), argues that all human beings are capable of at least seven different waysof knowing the world. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence (MI) Theory suggests that we areable to know the world through linguistic representation, logical-mathematical analysis,spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or makethings, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. Gardner(1991) argues that each person is born with a unique combination of strengths andweakness in these seven areas, but that all of them can be more fully developed througheducation.How then can high school teachers make sense of Multiple Intelligence ideas intheir classroom planning, given the traditional constraints of a high school? Four basic6changes are necessary: (1) MI Theory proposes that people use at least seven relativelyautonomous intellectual capacities; a concept, if adopted, which would alter the way weview high school curriculum; (2) since students learn in many different ways, a highschool curriculum would need to be flexible in order to accommodate these studentinterests and ability differences; (3) assessment would become broader and moreperformance-based, and less dependent on memorization and short paper-and-pencil tests;(4) instructional units would shift further from a teacher-centered and disconnectedcurriculum toward a more integrated or thematic approach, which builds on individualstudents’ prior knowledge in each unit taught, and capitalizes on the variousconfigurations of abilities represented in the participants.The British Columbia Ministry of Education (1990) responded to the need forchange, through the development of the Year 2000 Documents. A Framework forLearning, suggests that several aspects of human development, such as mind, soul, spiritand body, impact on student learning. For example, the intermediate program promotesdevelopment in six areas: (1) intellectual; (2) artistic and aesthetic; (3) emotional; (4)physical; (5) social; and, (6) social responsibility. In order to address these developments,the Year 2000 Documents propose some possibilities for curricular integration. Thisproposal is based upon student-centered instruction, and increased student responsibilityfor setting standards. Year 2000 supports performance-based assessments at the highschool level which would include portfolios and conferencing. As well, increasedcommunications are encouraged with the wider community as part of the notion of lifelong learning.While the notion of educating individual differences is recognized by many(Sternberg, 1991; Perkins, 1989; Gardner, 1991; Shekerjian, 1990; Walters, 1986),7recent studies have suggested that this ideal is more difficult to achieve in the uppergrades (Gardner, 1991). Philosophically, this study supports Dickinson’s (1991) notionthat high school students should have opportunities both for creative exploration of theirindividual interests and abilities, as well as opportunities for learning valued skills andconcepts through multimodal means. According to Brown (1991) there is a myth oftenexpressed that a return to mastering the 3 R’s would improve the quality of high schooleducation. Simply stated, this study seeks to temper concerns with mastery of the 3 R’s,which Brown argues, traditionally characterizes high schools, with concern for how wellstudents adapt their knowledge within new socio-cultural contexts available to them. Forexample, how can knowledge be adapted to address the challenges presented bycontemporary technology in a changing society. Since high school students’ voices arevirtually absent in the literature on high school change (Fullan, 1 982), students’perspectives were emphasized as essential and central to the research. To ensure thestudents’ voice remained paramount to the work, I included responses from conversationsheld with students concerning their individual abilities and the high school curriculum’scapacity to address those differences, as a central part of this study. In this way, thestudy “brings to the table” high school students’ perceptions concerning their uniqueabilities, their high school curriculum, and their perceived relationship between the two.1.2 The Need for the StudyWhile a primary purpose of the study is to extend our present knowledge of howstudent individual differences are addressed in the high school setting, a secondarypurpose is to explore the application of constructivist and Ml theory as useful curriculartools to address these differences, given the constraints of traditional high school8curriculum. In part the study emerged from my own desire to involve students in aconversation concerning the creation of an active learning community, responsive to theinitiatives outlined in the Year 2000 documents. The community envisioned here,provides teens with opportunities to develop their unique abilities. In part, the studyprovides a response to the increasing demands on high schools to equip teens with theskills that provide what Dickinson (1991) refers to as “a sense of destiny and purpose inorder to face a changing world.” In proposals such as British Columbia’s Year 2000documents, we are encouraged to create a richer culture in school, richer through therecognition of the whole gamut of human abilities. To facilitate such a shift in high schoolpractice, would be to weave a less arbitrary curricular fabric, one in which a diversity ofhuman abilities is accepted.How can we accommodate students’ abilities unless we talk with them, and listento their suggestions? This study, through listening and conversing with teens, suggestsa framework for an extension to the present perimeters of conventional high schoolcurriculum. That is, it argues f or a shift toward a broader-based recognition of expressionsof student achievement. An example of one such extension, would be the developmentof an educational community where teens are motivated to develop their individualpassions, and to explore the relationship between mandated school curriculum and theirreal world environment. For too many teens, including those who are identified as gifted,school restricts such personal development, and they drop out mentally or physically. Thenumber of students who leave school before graduation, is on the rise (Roach & Bell,1990). Due to the continuing problem of teens dropping out of school, Canada’s federalgovernment recently committed $296.4 million per year, in a five year initiative towardkeeping teens in school. While this study is not concerned specifically with high school9dropouts, it does agree with Roach and Bell (1 990) that students who are motivated andinterested in school, and who find high school personally meaningful, will be less likelyto leave. This study provides one possible response to the dropout problem, an extensionof present knowledge about students’ individual needs and abilities.Since the participant teachers had expressed a desire to work for further changein addressing individual differences, and because we agreed that Ml Theory might providea useful tool to address those differences, it appeared timely and appropriate to worktogether to introduce the application of Ml Learning Theory as a useful response to thisproblem.1.3 The Aim of the Study as Defined by Student ConcernsOn one level, the study describes the responses of four teachers to the applicationof the Multiple Intelligence (Ml) Theory model to planning and teaching several integratedcurriculum units to students in grades eight, nine and ten, and illustrates both theobstacles encountered, and the successes resulting from the effort. As defined bystudent concerns, this study is a collection of eight grade 1 0 students’ stories about theirindividual abilities, how their passions are addressed within their high school curriculum,and how their individual differences relate to Ml Theory.1.3.1 The SettinciThe participant school enrolls 200 gifted students in grades 8 through 1 2 in analternative school setting within a larger public high school. The school’s definition of“gifted” is examined further in chapter 3 under the title, “Context of the Study”.10The participating students attend some elective classes in the main school. Thegifted school area, on the third and top floor of the larger public school, consists of fiveregular classrooms and a small workroom with 10 computers that the students are freeto use. One room designated the “all purpose room” is reserved for small group work orproject endeavors.The enriched program at the research site, is characterized in several ways. First,the school is committed to “provide students with gifted potential an exciting andchallenging educational environment” (School’s Statement of Intent), which includes“access to up-to-date educational technology”. Second, students are admitted to anenriched program (in all classes) in grades 8, 9, and 1 0. In grade 11, the students takeenriched elective classes as well as enriched English and Social Studies, and take all otherclasses at the main school. In grade 12, only English is enriched. Third, the four mainteachers (of enriched mathematics, social studies, English, and science) have metregularly for the past seven years, in order to integrate their curriculum around commonthemes.The eight student participants were selected by the head teacher, in response tomy request. As I requested, they represented a variety of abilities, as well as (Canadian,Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian) cultures. The students and I first met as one largegroup, in the computer room during a regular social studies class. In order to getacquainted, we talked informally about school, their likes and dislikes, and what theywanted to accomplish through their education. Subsequently, I spoke for approximatelyone additional hour with each grade 1 0 student over a period of several weeks. AlthoughI visited the school at least once a week for several months, I did not interview thestudents individually again until June. Following their completion of interdisciplinary11thematic projects, I met once with the students in a group, and then individually for a finalinterview. In the weeks between the initial interviews and the final discussions withstudents, I often spoke informally between classes, with both the participant students andtheir peers in the high school halls or classrooms.1 .3.2 Student Participants Describe their PassionsIn order to identify what students perceived to be their highest interests andabilities, we sometimes interchanged the terms, “interests” and “abilities” with the term“passion”. Students were very clear concerning their “passions” for knowledge, and howthese were addressed at school. Figure 1.1 illustrates relationships that students madebetween their individual differences, and the accommodation for their passions, withinthe high school curriculum. The figure demonstrates a wide variation in students’perceived intelligences, and includes all seven intelligences which are contained in MlTheory.Figure 1.1: Relationships Between Student Passions, High School Curriculum and MlTheoryParticipant Passion Reference to Student QuoteMl TheoryJoe sports kinesthetic “use in French questions”computers spatial “schools need more”Elaine math logical- “like more applications”mathematicalphotography spatial “need teacher’s help”camping intrapersonal “enjoy being in nature”teaching others interpersonal “it’s more fun”Les debate linguistic “I excel in”singing musical “used in English once”Figure 1.1 Continued 12..................... . . . .................Mi Theory ................................................ ......................... ......................................Kara swimming kinesthetic “a competitive swimmer”art spatial “drawing and stuff”history linguistic “especially Can. history”drama kinesthetic “wing it type of person’communicating interpersonal “speaking & teaching”science labs intrapersonal “not in the textbook”Sam sports kinesthetic “a wide range”creative ideas linguistic “original ideas”art spatial “pretty good at it”business interpersonal “marketing business”Chetsie math logical- “I’m pretty good”mathematicalpiano musical “popular & classical”sports kinesthetic “badminton & tennis”reading linguistic “I like reading”writing linguistic “essays and stuff”Cathy piano music “I like playing”socials linguistic “very interesting”English linguistic “I like doing”Working with interpersonal “a social worker”peoplemusic musical “I’d add music”Keith sports kinesthetic “I do really well”math mathematical “do exceedingly well”science mathematical “Chemistry was easy”socials linguistic “more oral presentations”art spatial “more projects”Joe stated a high interest in basketball, football, hockey, baseball and computers,but told me he found grade 1 0 “tough”. He regretted having only three hours of physical13education each week. When I asked how much time he spent relating his interests orabilities to curriculum content, Joe told me that only one such relationship ever occurred.On one occasion he used sports ideas to compose his sentences in French class.Unfortunately, while Joe tried to relate his kinesthetic interests and abilities to someaspect of high school learning, the curriculum did not appear to accommodate theseabilities. According to Dickinson (1992), in order to prepare students like Joe for atechnologically sophisticated future, we need to recognize a wider range of abilities inhigh school students. In Joe’s case, would it not, for example, be useful to to facilitatehis kinesthetic strengths through the increased use of computers, or audio-visualmaterials? Could drama also be used in order to relate Joe’s kinesthetic abilities tomeaningful classroom activities?From our conversations, Joe appears to learn most, and to enjoy learning most,through his body - especially through movement, and particularly through sports. Itappeared to him as though the curriculum did not accommodate those learningproclivities, and so, while other students who expressed meaningful relationships betweentheir passions and school’s activities tended to enjoy school, Joe simply tolerated school.In Joe’s words there is, “nothing much” he liked about his classes. Joe’s insights beg thequestion: Is it possible that the curriculum could be expanded in order to accommodatea variety of abilities, in order to increase students’ enjoyment and development of avariety of skills?Elaine expressed a proclivity for math, photography, camping (she told how herclass camped for 5 days away from the big city and spoke of how she enjoyed nature).Elaine also expressed enjoyment through teaching other students math and English. Sheresented having to wait for all the kids to understand each math skill since she said that14“you can learn math on your own and you don’t need a teacher,” but felt she had to “payattention” to the explanations provided anyway. In photography she said it was alrightto have to pay attention all the time, because the teacher had to teach all the new parts.But in math it was different - since she knew the material ahead of time. Others in thegroup told how Elaine taught them most of the concepts they struggled with - and theyfrequently confirmed her own perception of her expertise in math skills.Les said his highest abilities included debate, singing, math, and he particularlyliked to listen to different sounds in music. When asked about his opportunities to usehis abilities to learn, Les told of his pleasure once in English class when the group actedout scenes from Romeo and Juliet and he sang for the play. Les stated, however, thathe did not expect that he would have many opportunities to develop his unique abilitiesin high school.Kara spoke of her competitive swimming classes which consumed 4 hours per day,as “training 6 to 8 times a week”. While school did not allow her to use this ability,teachers were described as understanding when she left early for swimming or turnedassignments in late during competitions. Kara also expressed enjoyment and ability inart, speaking, communicating and drama, and social studies. She especially likeCanadian history, and attributed this enjoyment to what she referred to as her father’s“mouse stories”. From as far back as Kara could remember, her father told his “mouse”stories which tended to teach about trains, landscapes and early settlers. While not sureof why they were “mouse stories”, these stories related to “real life” according to Kara,and “you learn more when school relates to life”. Relating school to real life also madelearning more interesting. Kara especially enjoyed a science project in which a lab not inthe text but created by the teacher allowed her to collect wood lice from home and15observe their habits over time. Sometimes in P.E. she was allowed to teach others,another activity which enhanced learning and enjoyment for Kara. Unfortunately, thereare far too few opportunities for such teaching, according to Kara.Sam told me he liked basketball, volleyball, swimming, badminton, racquetball,tennis, creative ideas, arts, and marketing business. He told me he wished school wouldrelate more to his interests in business. Sam expressed the desire to understand taxesand other material “related to real life after”, so that he could prepare better for his futurecareer.Chelsie, who speaks both English and mandarin fluently, expressed high abilitiesin math, piano (both popular and classic), badminton, tennis, reading, music theory andwriting essays. Chelsie told me that if the teachers could lengthen their classes so thatthe number of disciplines changed from 5 shorter periods to 3 longer sessions daily, shefelt they would have more time to relate school to the real world, an important butmissing factor in high school curriculum.Cathy stated her highest abilities as: playing the piano, socials, working withpeople, English, drama, and music. Along with many others of the group, Cathysuggested that the reason there was “little time to follow your passions” was that theteacher had to “get through” a certain amount of prescribed curriculum.Keith seemed to especially enjoy discussing his educational interests, and referredto several passions with enthusiasm. When asked about his highest abilities he told mehe does really well in sports, running (only finds time to run twice a week) math, science,(especially Chemistry because it’s so easy), computers, socials and art. He emphasizedthat he does exceedingly well in math. Keith’s interests include doing projects and he16wishes there was more time to do these. He regretted there was little time for hands onactivities and also wanted to see more oral presentations in high school.1 .3.3 The Researcher’s Role As Shaped by Students’ StoriesThe students, through their stories about their own individual differences as wellas their school’s ability to address these differences raised five questions which helpedshape my own role and the focus of this study: Following initial student responsesconcerning their own passions and their high school curriculum, I was challenged toconsider: 1). How can we divide school time in order to include the students’ passionsfor development of their individual abilities and interests?; 2). How can we cultivate anenvironment where friends are free to nurture and support one another; 3). How can weincrease student autonomy in order to produce independent learners?; 4). How canschools be more connected to the students’ passions and the real world of today?; 5).How can we encourage parental involvement in critical curriculum issues?After my conversations with students, I gradually recognized that they wouldstructure the research in a way that I had not anticipated. In other words, theirunderstandings, their suggestions, their concerns became central to the study. Mycontribution to the study was to introduce teachers to the Ml Theory approach, and towork with them toward implementing of the Multiple Intelligence Theory Application(MITA) Model in each of the four disciplines (mathematics, science, English, and socialstudies). While students were not asked direct questions about any particular disciplineor teacher they spoke most favourably of their school environment and of theirrelationship with teachers. Because of the mutual respect apparent between students andteachers and because I too had come to care for and respect each student and teacher17through many hours of working together, I felt comfortable about allowing this study torepresent a conversation of sorts between students and their teachers -- one that wouldhopefully have an effect on educational change reaching farther than one school.Certainly, however, my own role as researcher was a significant factor in how thoseconversations were formulated and in how they are represented. For according to Tesch(1991), all understanding is interpretation, and whenever a researcher encounters data,the new is integrated into the researcher’s pre-understanding. In other words, researchfindings are really the researcher’s story, as much as the participants. The reasoning hereis that the researcher’s pre-understanding is influenced by philosophical assumptions,theoretical views, experience, education, discipline and so on. My own preunderstandings of the research problem and related questions, are especially shaped bymy particular concerns for giving high school students a voice in what content they learn,by my understanding of Gardner’s MI Theory developed over many years, and byapplication of constructivist ideas as illustrated in doctoral seminars with Dr. GaalenErickson and Dr. Billie Housego during the research period.1.4 The Research Problem and QuestionsThe primary research question guiding this work is:1. What is the nature of the curriculum development processwhen high school students and teachers in their classroompractices, apply ideas congruent with Multiple IntelligenceTheory, in order to address individual student differences,within the traditional constraints of a high school? How canthese processes be incorporated into a model?18This question generates two further questions specific to the context of the study:2. What was the role of the students in the development of the MultipleIntelligence Theory Application Model?3. What was the role of the teachers in the development of the MultipleIntelligence Theory Application Model?‘1.5 A Final NoteA number of issues specific to the development of students’ individual differencesemerged from the analysis of students’ and teachers’ interviews over a one-year term.The analysis was guided in part by questions to the students and teachers concerning fivemain curriculum dimensions: time; space; authority; subject matter; and, people. TheMITA Model served as a tool for implementing Multiple Intelligence ideas in the highschool classroom. Chapter 2 reviews some of the research literature that provides theconceptual lens through which the data in this study are examined and discussed.19CHAPTER 2: INTEGRATION, LEARNING THEORIES AND CURRICULAR CHANGE2.1 IntroductionChapter 2 presents a review and synthesis of the research literature judged to berelevant to the research problem. Three major aims of the review are identified: toelaborate a view of learning based on the notion of an integrated perspective on curricularcontent, as outlined by Jacobs (1989); to describe the development of student individualdifferences; and, to explore the relationships among integrated curriculum, constructivism,and Ml Theory as these are manifested in the British Columbia Ministry of Education Year2000 Documents. Constructivism and Multiple Intelligence (Ml) learning theories providea lens through which to explore student differences. In order to explore the relationshipsbetween integrated curriculum, constructivism and Ml Theory, it is useful to examine howeach of these is expressed within a practical context of change. In terms of currentchange taking place in secondary schools, the study examines the Ministry of Education(1990) Year 2000 Documents. For an overview of how these three contexts are usedto frame the study, see Figure 2.1. This figure provides an illustration of how the studyrelates the research literature to the problem of how to accommodate studentdifferences in the development of curriculum.Three issues, then are central to the aims of the study: the identification of arationale for curricular integration; the integration of constructivism and Ml Theory; andfinally, the examination of the Year 2000 Documents as a framework for change, whichappears to be consistent with both constructivism and Ml Theory.The essential assumption of constructivism, that knowledge is constructed ratherthan received (Benson, 1 989, & von Glasersfeld, 1 989), together with the Ml view thatFigure2.1DevelopmentofStudentIndividualDifferencesinHighSchoolFacilitatesdevelopmentofstudentdifferencesStudentdifferencesdevelopedinseveralways:CurriculumIrationContextCrossdisciplinary*1Transdisciplinar*_________________PracaontextYear2000ProjConstructivismTheoretiontextMlTheory*1Crossdisciplinary:Viewsonedisciplinefromtheperspectiveofanother:forexamplethephysicsofmusicandthehistoryofmath(Meeth1978,inJacobs1989).*2Transdisciplinary:Beyondthescopeofthedisciplines:thatis,tostartwithaproblemandbringtobearknowledgefromthedisciplines(Meeth1978,inJacobs1989).UsesstrengthstodevelopweakerskillsGraspstheconnectionsbetweenideasDiscoversnewdimensionstooldconceptsIdentifiesanindividualmethodoflearningISolvescommonproblemswithothersDrawsuponexpertswithingroupsDiscoversdifferentprocessesforaproblemAppliesknowledgetoexternalproblemsBuildsonpriorknowledgeBuildsonindividualexperiencesActivelyconstructsknowledgeArrivesatindividualunderstandingsRevisesoriginalthinkingExploresphenomenaorideasDevelopslogical-mathematicalabilitiesDevelopslinguisticabilitiesDevelopsmusicalabilitiesDevelopsspatialabilitiesDevelopsbodily-kinestheticabilitiesDevelopsinterpersonalabilitiesDevelopsintrapersonalabilities21knowledge can be manifested in at least seven autonomous intelligences (Gardner, 1 984),together provide a conceptual frame for the study. Prior to the discussion on integration,a backdrop discussion on high school change and resistance to change, shows acurriculum shift in some high schools, from a more subject-based curriculum toward amore integrated approach.2.1.1 Recommended Change for High School EducationFive societal forces -- economic, social, demographic, organizational, andeducational -- help to establish the context and general directions for restructuring highschool education (Hargreaves, 1988; Sternberg, 1991; and Cuban, 1990). This studyconcentrates on two of these forces, educational, and new demographic forces, as theyare expressed in an increasing emphasis on multiculturalism. On the topic of education:according to Sternberg (1990), Western curriculum has neither recognized the manynuances of individual students’ unique abilities, nor has it addressed the development ofthese abilities. Concerning the demographic force, there is a shift from curriculum thataddresses one or two cultures to a multicultural emphasis. Current high schoolcurriculum, however, has not woven the multicultural fibers necessary to include theunique experiences of its increasingly ethnic/racially diverse social structures (Dickinson,1992). Were these difficulties remedied, it is conjectured that a greater number ofstudents would use more of their intellectual abilities. Addressing the above educationalissue may result in greater opportunities for the development of students’ individualabilities. Addressing the change in demographic patterns may result in changes thataccommodate an increasingly multicultural society. According to McCune (1991),22researchers generally agree that, such “change must occur if schools are to achieve theircontract with society to prepare . . . youth for a future world.” (p. 182)One practical consideration emphasized in the literature concerning change, is theshift in Western high school curriculum from a mechanistic structure, which is rootedin the Greco-Roman liberal arts, to the individual student profile and interdisciplinarymodels emphasized over the past ten years (Schubert, 1986). A familiar pattern of“traditional” high school curriculum structures since the turn of the century includes:courses targeted to students whose futures after graduation vary; electives; subject-basedinstruction; diploma requirements; 20 to 30 students in a class; and, a teaching load offive to six classes daily. These “traditional organizations”, are moving toward a moreintegrated model, according to Dickinson (1991). The structural shift is toward anintegration of mind, body and spirit through integrating different subjects within a morethematic curriculum (Rowe, 1991; Fullan, 1989). The inadequacy of “traditional” highschool curriculum to address individual student differences has been addressed previously(Bruner, 1985, Cuban, 1982; Dickinson; Eisner, 1985, & FuIlan, 1990). Adequatealternative strategies, however, have yet to be implemented.2.1.1.1 Obstacles to ChancieOver the past century Western high schools have experienced remarkablyfew fundamental changes (Cuban, 1 990). In spite of the considerable research concerningstudent-centered curriculum, and in spite of efforts made to help students move beyondrote learning (Stumbo, 1 989) to what Gardner terms, “genuine understanding,” severalobstacles to change exist. Simply put, the need for change is obvious, but the willingnessnot so evident. McLaren (1989) describes the need:23Teachers face overcrowded classrooms, large immigrantpopulations, outmoded pedagogical theories, stifling bureaucratic demands, deskilling of teachers, insufficient funding andresources, and a hidden curriculum that favors certain groupsover others on the basis of race, class and gender; and the listgoes on and on (p. 180).Cuban (1982), however, argues that high schools have been immune to change,not because they are effective, but because they are resilient and invulnerable to reform.According to Cuban, the American high school is:• . . a resilient and remarkably invulnerable institution - [which]has been structured in much the same way since the turn ofthe century. . . . This durable structure, though largelyunexamined, has been implicitly endorsed by each newgeneration of studies of the high school. (p. 11 3)Presumably Canadian high schools are similar.How then, given the limitations within the high school’s present structure, caneducators expand the curriculum to educate students in a changing world? One recurringdifficulty in establishing the relationship between high school curriculum and studentindividual differences, has been the lack of research on high school students’ perceptionsof school. This exclusion of students’ contributions to their curriculum is identified byFullan (1982), who argues that teachers frequently do not talk to students about theirperceptions of the curriculum. Fullan’s assumption provides a justification for this study,24which seeks students’ perceptions’ of their own interests and abilities, and of theircurriculum’s accommodation of these.The notion of how to accommodate for individual student differences (Gardner,1991, Sternberg, 1991) continues to raise questions about the efficacy of the“traditional” high school’s segmented disciplined curriculum structures. In fact, while theimportance of teaching for individual student differences is recognized by manyinvestigators (Sternberg, 1991; Perkins, 1989; Gardner, 1991; Shekerijian, 1990;Walters, 1986), recent studies have suggested that this process is more difficult toachieve at the secondary level (Gardner, 1991).One reason that has been offered to explain why change in high schools often fails(Fullan, 1 991), in spite of the expressed desire for change by researchers and educators,is that school organizations have established rules and patterns of behaviour more forefficiency than for learning. Practices like standardized testing, lecturing and groupingapproximately 30 students together frequently mitigate against change (Cuban, 1 982;Kliebard, 1 986; Hargreaves & Earl, 1 990; Britzman, 1 989; Sarason, 1 990, & Brown,1991). Brown describes the problem of inherent resistance and argues that it is notenough to be limited to an attempted mastery of the three R’s. Emphasizing creativethinking, Brown recommends that we create a learning environment where studentsdevelop the ability to think critically and creatively, to solve problems, to exercisejudgement and to learn new skills. Creation of this type of interactive learningenvironment, according to Brown, would require researchers to foster more conversationswith teachers and students. How would researchers enter into this process ofcommunication? Is it possible that teacher education could lead the way in fosteringincreased communications among students, teachers, and researchers? Perhaps theory25could be applied to practice through the development of curricular materials, in acollaborative process by students, teachers and researchers. According to Lieberman(1992) we may need to employ a “translator” to achieve this task:someone who although excited about concepts, bigexplanatory ideas, and small mini-theories, also had the ‘head’of a teacher or principal and was comfortable with theambiguity and messiness of schools. (p. 6)Clearly, neither current schools nor universities are organized for collaborativecurriculum planning. Such a collaborative process may, in fact, require majorreorganization of teacher education programs and school programs to permit suchcollaboration.In order to step outside the structures that resist change, and to look objectivelyat creating an improved school environment, Brown (1991) suggests that we comparereform policies currently binding our schools with policies that really work, such as thoseused in successful business and current social endeavors. In so doing, he argues,changes made will lead to a “literacy of thoughtfulness” (p.232). Brown’s definition ofliteracy of thoughtfulness includes as essential, the capacity to think creatively and toexercise judgement. Following a visit to schools across North America, Brown illustratesa close relationship between portraits of rich classrooms and a vision of how public policycan encourage thoughtfulness in schools. He describes a high school’s main goal as the“literacy of thoughtfulness”, the struggle to develop more “thoughtful” students. As anillustration of a school that has initiated such change, and integrated several disciplines,Shorecrest High, is discussed in the following section.262.1.1.2 Change at Shorecrest High SchoolNotwithstanding the obstacles to change and the serious difficulties posed by anyattempts for high school educational renewal, an increasing number of schools aremodeling their curriculum after Gardner’s (1984) Ml Theory. Change at Shorecrest HighSchool in Seattle, Washington, for example was founded on the premise that theopportunity to learn together should be shared by learners of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as diverse academic abilities.In 1 988, Shorecrest launched a six-year project to redesign their school in orderto increase student and teacher empowerment, and to make continuing curriculumchanges to accommodate the diverse needs of students and a changing society. Thepurpose of the Shorecrest project was to restructure the curriculum so that studentswould be able to: develop individual differences; increase involvement in their ownlearning; increase involvement in curriculum matters with parents and community; and,make connections between traditionally segregated bodies of knowledge.Four years after the implementation of an integrated curricular model based uponMl theory. Shorecrest High School Progress Report (1992) identified the followingchanges:• Increased focus on leadership development involving a greater number andgreater diversity of students. These included student body officers,homeroom representatives, Big Brother/Sister roles, Leadership team, strandleaders• Greater exposure to the community through service and enrichmentopportunities27• Increased focus on career planning: student portfolios, integrated careercurriculum in a variety of courses, site visitations, and an open career centreat the school• Significant change in audience behaviour through theatre enrichmentopportunities• Increased number of National Merit Scholar Finalists• Improved performance by students on the entrance tests in mathematicsand foreign language at the University of Washington• Increased student connections with students around the world oftenthrough video and telecommunications use• Increased involvement of students in academic tutoring• Increased focus on building 9th grade school success through attention tolearning style, time management, cooperative learning and self-esteembuilding.Within the first four years, the drop out rate decreased by 50%. Shorecrestexperienced change from a high school that: specialized to one that integrates; waspassive in its learning to one that fosters active learning; searches for certainty to onethat tolerates ambiguity; was competitive to one that is collaborative; and, practiced rotelearning to one that promotes problem solving. The conventional, inflexible curriculum atShorecrest gave way to a more ethnocentric and flexible curriculum. Shorecrestincreasingly emphasized the global over a more local curriculum. In a somewhat similarmanner to the Shorecrest reorganization, this study has considered curriculum change inhigh school.282.1 .2 Integrative, Theoretical and Practical ContextsThree main tasks are central to this section: to describe how the term curricularintegration is used in this work; to explain what constructivism, and an Ml Theory viewof learning contribute to the study; and, to show how each of the latter theories isexpressed in the Year 2000 Documents. First, the identification of a rationale forcurricular integration. This section defines the term “integration” and distinguishesbetween the notions of, “personal” and “curricular” integration. Second is thedevelopment of a constructivist view of learning, which emphasizes the learner’s activeconstruction of knowledge. Constructivism is explored as an overarching view of learningwithin which an Ml Theory view of learning is nested. An Ml view of learning, whichadds that knowledge can be expressed in at least seven possible ways, is examined,particularly as it accommodates the active construction of knowledge. Such constructionof knowledge in an Ml view of learning, is manifested through the development ofstudents’ individual differences. Third, through an examination of the Year 2000Documents, constructivist and Ml Theory learning approaches are considered as theycombine to accommodate student individual differences within this practical policycontext. These tasks are addressed in three broad and inter-related contexts: thecurricular integration context; the theoretical context; and the practical context.2.1.2.1 An Integrated Curriculum PerspectiveAn essential assumption of an integrated curriculum is generally that throughintegration students experience the topics from several disciplines in a connected way(Jacobs, 1989). This assumption is initially explored in the study in terms of studentsseeing the connectedness of things in relation to their own particular interests and abilities29and through the notion of personal integration, or the belief that individuals constructexplanations through building on prior knowledge and experiences in this study. A secondform of integration curricular integration is also discussed. It refers to the connectionsmade in order to bring together various segments of the curriculum into a meaningfulwhole. This chapter illustrates a few of the many arguments in favour of personal andcurricular integration, as well as outlining some cautions against integration in the highschool. Furthermore, since the concept of integration holds multiple layers of meaning,various definitions will be provided in order to illustrate how curricular integration relatesto this study and how it does not.2.1.2.2 A Theoretical PerspectiveThe second, or theoretical context, (discussed further in section 2.3) outlinesconstructivism and Ml Theory as the research paradigms through which curriculumintegration is perceived. In addition to displaying the research paradigms that undergirdthe study, this section will also describe the assumptions and values which are broughtto the research enterprise. The central assumption here is that students might find moreopportunities to develop their individual differences through an Ml approach to learning.Simply put, if the present perimeters within traditional high schools were to move towarda philosophy based on Ml Theory, students’ abilities and interests would be more readilyaccommodated since Ml Theory postulates the existence of at least seven intelligences,logical-mathematical, linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, andintrapersonal.302.1.2.3 A Practical PerspectiveThe third, or practical context (further discussed in section 2.4), relates to theeducational reform movement and particularly to the curriculum changes proposed by theBritish Columbia’s Year 2000 Graduation Documents. This section will identify andillustrate a variety of integration models and illustrate the need for an expanded model.According to Jacobs, this expanded structure would show students not only the “strengthof each discipline perspective in a connected way” (1989), but also the rewards ofapproaching any subject in at least five ways: through narrative; through logical-quantitative approaches; through philosophical, foundational inquiries; through anaesthetic point of view; and through an approach that draws upon student experiences(Gardner, 1991).2.1.3 Positioning the Research QuestionsChapter 2 “refines and redefines the research questions by embedding thosequestions in larger empirical traditions,” through a strategy suggested by Marshall andRossman (1989, p. 35). The goal here is to show the “bigger picture”, and to relate thisstudy to previous research. In order to illustrate what has been done, as well as showhow the present study will contribute to existing knowledge, the literature review isdivided into curriculum integrative, theoretical and practical contexts. These threecontexts, together demonstrate or reveal the need for an in-depth descriptive study ofhow students’ individual differences are accommodated in high school curriculum. Thatis, there is a gap in the current literature generally concerning the development andaccommodation of individual differences at the high school level. This study argues thatMl Theory is a useful approach to developing student differences at the high school level.31The literature review reveals that many previous research studies have focused ononly the first of the three perspectives informing this thesis: integrated curriculum,constructivism, and Ml Theory. However, there is remaining a need to identify fromprevious research the potential relationships and interaction among these. This study willexamine the application of Ml Theory within an integrated curriculum approach in the highschool setting.2.2 Rationale for Integration: A Curriculum lnteciration ContextWhile exploring the significance of integrated curriculum approaches, someinvestigators (Jacobs, 1989, Erickson & Shultz, 1991, Fogarty, 1991, Miller, Cassie, andDrake, 1 990) have found that among high school students, there is a positive relationshipbetween an integrated curriculum approach and a more relevant, less fragmented, andstimulating experience for students. Curricular integration, according to Jacobs, andFogarty, includes: interdisciplinary (connections between subjects), weaving (infusion oftechnology or learning resources as a thread through subjects), thematic (common topicsused to connect interrelated wholes) or advance organizers (students develop their ownpersonally relevant projects related to common organizers across the disciplines).According to Ragan (1986), any discussion of curriculum integration also requiresa common agreement of what exactly is meant by the term “integration.” He argues, infact, that it is fl the curriculum that is integrated, and so he suggests the term“integrated curriculum” is a misuse of terms. The person, and not the school subjects,he argues, should be the focus of integration. That is, the integration of an individual inrelation to self and to the environment, is the subject of integration. In personalintegration, learning is related to concepts within the learner’s own existing knowledge32base. Learners construct their own ways of learning both on their own and in interactionswith others. It is the student who organizes learning methods at high school in relationto his or her own individual learning styles. Teachers, on the other hand, act as guidesand resources. Simply put, personal integration is a process of making meaning, bybuilding on prior knowledge or experiences, and as such, is the same as one of theprimary components of constructivism.2.2.1 Integration According to Good, Bruner, and JacobsThe literature generally relates integration to the bringing together of parts into awhole (Jacobs, 1991, Ackerman, & Perkins, 1989). But there are differences statedconcerning what parts are brought together and how the process of integration mighttake place. For example, Good (1973) supports the notion that integration involves a cutacross subject-matter lines to focus upon broad segments of study that combinecurriculum parts into meaningful association. Based on Bruner’s (1975) view thatdisciplines are necessary for knowledge acquisition, and that disciplines are fundamentalin order to learn how things are related, Jacobs (1989) stresses, not delineations, butlinkages. Jacobs made the following distinctions:CROSSDISCIPLINARY: Viewing one discipline from theperspective of another; for example the physics of music andthe history of math (Meeth, 1978).MULTIDISCIPLINARY: The juxtaposition of several disciplinesfocused on one problem with no direct attempt to integrate(Piaget, 1972; Meeth, 1978).PLURIDISCIPUNARY: The juxtaposition of disciplines assumedto be more or less related; e.g. math and physics, French andLatin (Piaget, 1972).33TRANSDISCIPLINARY: Beyond the scope of the disciplines;that is, to start with a problem and bring to bear knowledgefrom the disciplines (Meeth, 1978).(p. 8)Jacobs’ (1989) definitions represent important differences in the way the term“integration” is viewed. Figure 2.1 identifies the two integration views used in the studyas the crossdisciplinary and the transdisciplinary. While the multidisciplinary andpluridisciplinary are not germane to the study, their identification is useful in order toillustrate additional integration designs that exist. It is also useful to show the integrationapproaches not used in the study in order to clarify the approaches used. While, it mayappear that there are few differences between Jacobs’ definitions for multidisciplinary andtransdisciplinary, the two are distinct in approach. In a multidisciplinary approach, Jacobs’would identify the subject areas involved in each teaching activity, so that differentsubject area teachers could look at the common theme and identify where it fits in. AnEnglish teacher, for example, would look at a theme such as “Light” and first locate theplace for her subject area, in order to develop teaching strategies for English to teachon the topic of “Light”. In a transdisciplinary approach, however, there is no real divisioninto subject areas, nor is there a breaking down of ideas to their smallest parts. Thecontent and the theme, in this approach, are one and the same, with no automaticdivisions into subject areas. The teachers, however, will probably make such divisions,in cases where there is no connection between one discipline and another. According toJacobs’ the transdisciplinary approach shares common themes, strategies and skills, andthe important objective of this stage is making connections.If the term “integration” is not clearly defined one can expect to encounter twodifficulties in conceiving or developing an integrated curriculum. The first problem is what34Jacobs (1989) describes as the “Potpourri Problem”, where many units become asampling of knowledge from each discipline, and consequently all units lack focus. Thesecond, is referred to as the “Polarity Problem”, where “traditionally interdisciplinary anddiscipline fields have been seen as an ‘either! or polarity’, which has promoted a rangeof conflicts (p. 2).” According to Jacobs, two conflicts result when integration is notclearly defined. The first conflict i the lack of clarity, which resolts from the absence ofa clear scope and sequence and solid evaluation scheme. The second conflict, thatarises, is inevitable tensions among teachers, who feel threatened as new views of theirsubjects are promoted.While it can be argued, that the world does not completely organize itself accordingto the disciplines or the traditional school subjects (Case, 1 991), it can also be stated thatthere is a need to show students how different subject areas influence their lives (Jacobs,1989). The concept of integration, used in this study, supports the view that there is aneed for both interdisciplinary and discipline-based curriculum in secondary schools.Further, investigators such as Gardner (1991), Perkins (1989), Campbell, Campbell, &Dickinson (1992), argue that students be provided opportunities to experience thestrength of each discipline perspective in a connected way. Jacobs, (1 989) suggests notonly why, but how curriculum integration might be designed. She illustrates ten distinctviews for integrating the curricula. According to Jacobs’, how one views curricularintegration in operation, determines how connections are made. The above descriptionsare extrapolated by Fogarty (1991) from the book, “Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Designand Implementation” (Jacobs, 1 989), and illustrated in Figure 2.2. What would the modelin Figure 2.2 look like if one theme was chosen to represent a unit topic? Jacobs’ (1989)interdisciplinary concept model organizes each theme around a traditional high school35strand, such as mathematics, the arts, social studies, language arts, or humanities!philosophy.Themes within Jacobs’ model (see Figure 2.2) prompt students to examineproblems in collaborative ways, as well as to identify additional issues related to eachproblem. The model provides opportunities to examine each chosen theme through avariety of lenses. In other words, a curriculum that employs thematic approaches to lookat a topic such as, “Canada’s Fishing Industry”, might consider the fishing industry fromthe viewpoint of the Canadian government, a typical fish farmer, and a biologist, and thencontrast these perspectives with a Native Canadian’s opinions about fish farming inCanada.According to Miller, Cassie & Drake (1990), an interdisciplinary approach is oneuseful method of dissolving boundaries in many different areas using a multidisciplinary,interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary approach. Jacobs distinguishes among severalinterdisciplinary approaches. As previously discussed, the multidisciplinary approach, forexample, labels all disciplines around one common theme, which begins with subjectspecific teachers providing their particular perspectives, and subsequently moves intoconnecting contents in order to expand the thematic framework.2.2.2 Personal Integration and Curricular IntegrationThe descriptions of integration discussed above, identify a number of additionalways in which to view curricular integration, both personal integration, and subject ordiscipline integration. One further distinction, however, may be useful in order to separateand discuss the multiple layers of meaning concerning the concept of integration. It wouldbe helpful to distinguish between various types of integration - particularly personal36Figure 2.2: Toward an Integrated CurriculumFragmented Q QPeriscope—one direction; oni— sighting; narrow focus on singledisciplineD.scrlptlon ExampleThe traditional model of separate Tucher applies this view in Math,and distinct disciplines, which Science. Social Studies. languagefragm.nt(th. subject areas. Arts OR Sciences, Itumenities. Fineend Practical Arts.as-rnuhtplednensionaDescription ExampleWithin each subject ares, the Teacher designs the unit on photeacher targets multiple skills: a tosynthesis to simultaneously tar-social skill, a thinking skill, and a get consensus seeking liocisi skill),content-specific skill, sequencing (thinking skull, andplant life cycle (science content).3C Robin Fogarty, 1991’2Conn.cted c)Ic)IOpera glass—details of one discipline; focus on subtleties andinterconn.ctionsDescription ExampleWithin each subject ares, course Teacher rilates the concept of lrscContent is connected logic to topic, liens to decimals, which in turnconcept to concept, one year’s relates to money, grades, etc.work tothe next, end relates ideafelexplicitly.4_________S.qu.nc.dEyeglasses—varied imernsl content framed by broad, related conceptsDescription ExampleTopics or units of study are rear- English teacher presents an his.ranged and sequenced to Coin- torical novel depicting a particularcide whIt one anoth•r. Similar period while the History teacherideas are taught in concert while teechesthat earn historical period,remaining separate subjects.S SharedBinoculars—two disciplines thatshare overlapping concepts andskillsDescriptionShared planning and teaching takeplace in two disciplines In whichoverlapping concepts or ideasemerge as Drganizing elements.8 Webbed_ _Telescope—broad view of en en— 1 tire constellation as one theme,webbed to the various elementsExempt.Science and Math teachers use daisCollection, charting, and graphingis shared concepts that can betam-taught.DescriptionA fertile theme is webbed to curriculum contents and disciplines;subjects use the theme to sift outappropriate concepts, topics, endideasExempt.Teacher presents. simple topicaltheme, such as the circus, andwebs it to the subject areas. Aconceptual theme, such as conflict, can be webbed for moredepth in the theme approach.me/7Magnifying glass-big ideas thatmagnify all content through amet.curricular approachDescription ExampleThe metacurricular approach Teaching staff targets prediction inthreads thinking skill., social skills, Reading, Math, and Science lab cx-multiple intelligences, technology, periments while Social Studiesand study skillri through the Van- teacher targets forecasting currentous disciplines. vents, and thus threads the skilllprndictionl across disciplinesIntegratedalpidoscope-new patterns anddesigns that use the basic— &enwnts of each disciplineD.acrlptionThis interdisciplinary approachmatches subjects for overlaps intopics end concepts with someteam teaching in an authentic intagr.ted model.Exampleh’t Math Science, Social Studies.Fine Arts, Language Arts, andPractical Arts. taachers look forpatterning models and approachcontent through th.se patterns.‘ I isnm.rs.dMicroscope—intensely peraonslview that aflows microscopic expla- (nation as all Content ii filteredthrough lens of inlirest and exper__________tiseDescription ExampleThe disciplines becDm, part of the Student or doctoral candidate haslearner’s lens of expertise; the an area of expert interest and seeslearner filters all Content through all learning through that lens.this lens and becomes immersedin his or her own experience.10 N.twoalc.d4 [JDescription ExampleLearner filters all lesrning through Architect, whill adapting the CAD/the expert’s eye and makes inter- CAM technology for design, net-nil connections that lead locater- works with technical programmersnal networks of experts in related and expands her knowledge base,fields, just as she had traditionally donewith interior designers.Extrapolated from Oesign Options for sri Integrated Cutyiculum by Heidi Hayes Jacobs xi Mts sc dry rici,,4,n, Alazindrat, VA: ASCO. 1999.37integration and curricular integration. The Discussion Group on Integration for thePrimary, Intermediate, and Graduation Programs (1992), suggested in CurricularIntegration: An Outline for Discussion, one useful distinction between the two. Personalintegration, by the team, is defined as:a process of meaning making, or making learning relevant. Itis grounded in the belief that, as human beings seek to makesense of what they do not understand, they constructexplanations; they “build” upon prior knowledge andexperiences. Such meaning making is accomplishedindividually and with the help of others. (p.8)Personal integration, and its application to curriculum integration, is discussed laterin this chapter under the title, “Constructivism”. An important question raised is: whatopportunities does an integrated approach provide for each learner? That is, whatopportunities are there for learners to integrate this experience with their prior knowledgein their own way?2.3 Constructivist Learning ADnroaches: A Theoretical ContextIt is important to highlight the particular contributions of constructivism to thestudy. Simply put, what does a constructivist perspective contribute to this study?Furthermore, how does constructivism address student individual differences? Finally,how does constructivism differ from Ml Theory, as each is described in the literature,specifically in relation to traditional learning approaches? This section addresses each ofthe previous questions, in order to provide a theoretical context for the study.382.3.1 A Constructivist View of LearninciAccording to Doyle (1983), a constructivist view of learning is a process whichinvolves actively seeking meaning from (or even imposing meaning upon) events. In areview of literature concerning academic tasks, Doyle summarizes an emergingconstructivist theme in education with the following charaàteristics:1. Comprehension of texts is an active constructive process, not merely reception orrehearsal of information. Personal knowledge of the world is organized intoassociational networks or schemata;2. Prior knowledge always plays a significant role in this process of construction, inproblem solving, and in learning. One of the major findings of research in this areais that domain-specific knowledge plays a central role in problem-solving andlearning within a content area;3. Solution strategies are learned ‘naturally’ through experience; from these naturalstrategies, learners invent procedures for solving routine problems. Sometimesthese problem-solving strategies are systematic, but wrong;4. Academic work requires both domain-specific knowledge and complex solutionstrategies;5. Age and ability of the learner influence objective complexity of academic tasks.Mature learners are selective and efficient in extracting information relevant to atask, less mature learners attend to a broader range of stimuli and are less likelyto select and process information to fit the demands of a particular task. (pp. 1 66-172)39In summary, Doyle (1983) suggests that constructivist learning is based on asystem of personal constructs, associational networks or schemata, which is constructedand modified on the basis of experience and prior knowledge. The constant dialecticalinterplay between the learner and the curriculum, then, is at the heart of constructivism,and such communication is critical to learning, according to Doyle. Yet why have highschools not implemented a constructivist approach to learning on a broad scale? Moreimportantly, what are some of the barriers to constructivist practice within conventionalhigh school practice? In order to highlight some of these barriers, it is useful to illustrateseveral examples of a constructivist approach that is sometimes existent in high school.An illustration of constructivism that sometimes can be found in high schoolcurriculum, is Vygotsky’s (1 978) notion of the construction of knowledge that is possiblewhen one learner actively engages with another. This approach was expressed in thefamous statement that “every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice:first, between people (interDsycholopical), and then inside the child (intrapsychological)”(p. 57). To illustrate this, Vygotsky cited a notion proposed by Piaget (1970), that achild’s ability to construct differing viewpoints requires actual intellectual argumentsbetween children and/or adults. In a constructivist curriculum, a student might be givena set of equations, such as (x- 2) (x- 7) = 0 orx(x-11)=O, and be required to find thesolution sets for all possible values of x. The students might work with peers to identifythe “zero law”, which states that anything multiplied by zero must equal zero. Or theymight identify other mathematical rules that would explain their work. The goal is thatstudents would learn the rules by actively constructing knowledge, by weighing newinformation against their previous understanding, and by working through apparentdiscrepancies, in order to come to new understandings. It is important to note here, that40constructivist learning is not without objectives and goals. According to von Glasersfeld(1989), even discovery learning connotes an objective reality to be discovered. Candy(1991) argues that the tasks merely shift for the constructivist learner from providingdescriptions of the constructs learned, to constructing new knowledge based on existingunderstandings and the curriculum to be learned.Other illustrations of constructivist ideas that find expression in conventional highschool curriculum might be: construction of long chains of reasoning through the use ofvarious math skills learned; creation of poetic compositions that rely on prior knowledgeconcerning the functions of language; a sculptor’s ability to perceive the visual spatialworld of art and transfer that knowledge of one’s initial perceptions to clay or othermedia; or the creation of musical notes using prior knowledge of music history, or musictheory. Constructivist ideas, however, represent a marked departure from muchconventional curriculum, as frontal teaching in a constructivist approach is minimized, andstudents are expected to construct knowledge for themselves (Duckworth, 1 986, p.489).According to Duckworth (1983), one key barrier to constructivist practice, is thatconstructivism has become the new catchword. That is people using the term,Duckworth argues, hold different notions about what constructivism means and how toimplement its principles. Another barrier comes from the fact that to use constructivistideas in curriculum, requires a teacher to reconstruct what she knows about the waypeople learn, and to change her behaviour based on new paradigms about learning.412.3.2 Ml Theory View of LearningAccording to Ml theory, all humans are capable of developing to some degree atleast seven semi-autonomous ways of knowing the world. Gardner (1986) suggests thata number of intellectual strengths, or competencies, each with its own developmentalhistory, exist. He argues that there are areas of the brain that roughly correspond tocertain forms of cognition, each with its own memories. No one way, Gardner suggests,is preeminent over another.Gardner (1983) describes seven intelligences: (1) Linguistic intelligence, includespoetic or journalistic ability, with sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms, and meanings ofwords and the different functions of language; (2) Musical intelligence, includescomposition and production abilities as well as the ability to appreciate different forms ofmusical expressiveness; (3) Logical-mathematical intelligence, includes scientific ormathematical abilities - with sensitivity to, and capacity to discern logical or numericalpatterns; ability to handle long chains of reasoning; (4) Spatial intelligence, or visualintelligence, involves one’s ability to perceive objects as they relate to one another, andto create related mental pictures or images; (5) Bodily - Kinesthetic intelligence, consistsof any way the activity of the mind is expressed through the coordinated action of thebody. An athlete, a dancer, or a person who handles objects skillfully demonstratesbodily-kinesthetic intelligence; (6) Interpersonal intelligence, refers to a person’srelationships with others includes a therapist’s or salesperson’s capacities to discern andrespond appropriately to the moods, temperaments, motivations, and desires of otherpeople; (7) Intrapersonal intelligence, refers to the ability to know oneself, includes accessto one’s own feelings and the ability to discriminate among them and to draw upon them42to guide behaviour, along with knowledge of one’s own strengths, weaknesses, desiresand intelligences.2.3.2.1 An Ml View of IntelligenceThe work reported in this thesis has not drawn solely on Gardner’s Ml view ofintelligence, but also from theorists such as Bruner (1985) who argued that most peoplecan learn any concept that is expressed within a representation that they use, andSternberg (1991) who argued that in all forms of intelligent behaviour there existcommon basic mental processes at work: perception, memory, and an organization ofsegments of data. Bruner, Sternberg and Gardner would agree that intelligences arealways expressed in the context of specific tasks, domains and disciplines. There is, forexample, no pure spatial intelligence; instead there is spatial intelligence expressed innavigation, or in basketball passing. The assumption that is made is that one is not ableto assess intelligence in another person by observing that person in a specific taskwithout specific supports or scaffolding (Gardner, 1984).Intelligence, as defined by Gardner (1983), and which will be used throughout thisstudy is defined as: the ablilty to solve problems and to create a product that isacceptable in at least one or more cultures (p. X). This definition, supports an open-endedcriterion, since Gardner challenges the validity of the construct “general intelligence”, andhe argues that one should try to incorporate the full range of human intelligences.Concerning intelligence, both Gardner and Sternberg argue that teachers should makeexplicit information that has previously been kept implicit. Gardner argues that studentsdo not automatically transfer knowledge from one situation to the next, and must beprovided opportunities to apply knowledge in a variety of activities. In other words, when43teachers provide opportunities for students to develop strategies for solving problems andcreating products, students are more likely to transfer knowledge from one setting toanother.Sternberg (1991), while supporting in part Gardner’s view of intelligence, arguesthat Ml Theory relies too heavily on subjective judgement for its definition, and should relymore on tests, or scientific factor analysis, in order to define intelligence. Both Gardnerand Sternberg, however, agree that the point of departure on any theory of intelligenceis theory rather than tests. In other words, both agree that the tests used in establishingcorrelations between success patterns and intelligence are less useful than proventheories of intelligence which consist of constructions, connected in a complex fashion,with data and observations, on which they were formulated.While this study does not include a detailed debate on the meaning of intelligence,in general, the study supports the view that intelligence is composed of many differentabilities that operate more or less independently. This view holds that while people maybe good at one ability such as verbal fluency they may not perform well on another abilitysuch as visual - spatial ability, or the ability to accurately perform transformations of one’sinitial perceptions.2.3.3 Individual Development: Gardner, Piaciet, and BrunerIn order to explore Ml Theory as it relates to student individual differences it isuseful to contrast Ml Theory with more traditional approaches to learning, and identify MITheory roots, as they are grounded within a constructivist learning approach. Gardner’s(1991) conception of intelligence considers three critical education issues, individualdevelopment, persona/growth, and different learning styles. (p. 146) Concerning the first44issue, individual development, he suggests that any student would provide persuasiveevidence for the existence of several relatively autonomous human intelligences, ifindividual differences were recognized and encouraged. Secondly, a student’s personalgrowth is determined by the recognition and encouragement of individual abilities. Howcan teachers accommodate such diversity? This questions leads to the third educationalissue; Gardner suggests that the use of different learning styles is one way to facilitatethe development of more student abilities. This conception of intelligence differs from thenotion of Piaget’s structural approach, which states that children progress through fourstages of mental development, each one building on the previous stage. The four include:the sensorimotor stage (from birth to 1 8 months); the preoperational stage (18 monthsto 7 years); the stage of concrete operations (7 to 1 2 years), and the stage of formaloperations (from about age 12 onward) (pp. 44, 62 & 90). Gardner argues that Piaget’sis a restricted view, as explained in the following section.Initially Gardner (1983), like Piaget (1970), postulated child development wasgoverned by general structures of the mind. After much empirical research, however,Gardner, shifted from Piaget’s structural approach to explain individual development, andagrees with Bruner (1985), who argues that there exists a large and relativelyunconnected set of mental skills. While Gardner (1991) admits that Piaget furtherextended the tent pegs beyond earlier definitions of intelligence and cognitivedevelopment, he argues that Piaget’s model of development is only accurate within avery restricted domain. Perhaps the most significant difference between Gardner’s andPiaget’s perceptions of a child’s development lies within their respective views of a child’scognitive schema. Schema, as it is used here refers to an organized pattern of behaviour,in the child’s cognitive organization and structure, which gradually changes as a function45of his or her experience. Piaget argues that cognitive structures (or four stages ofcognitive development) are arrived at through the processes of assimilation andaccommodation. In assimilation the child fits the new knowledge into an existing schemaor mental structure, whereas in accommodation the structure is altered in some way toaccommodate the new knowledge. At times both assimilation and accommodation occursimultaneously. If, however, the new knowledge exceeds the child’s ability to assimilateit, the child often faces frustration. As a structuralist, Piaget looked more at how the partsare organized into the whole, whereas Gardner, like Bruner, argues that when a child seesthe whole he or she better understands the parts. That is, knowledge that is obtained ina holistic fashion is better understood by a student, than knowledge that is divided intosegregated parts, without acknowledging or understanding the whole.Furthermore, Gardner (1983) argues that Piaget (1970) has ignored thedevelopmental “steps entailed in achieving other forms of competence -- those of anartist, a lawyer, an athlete, or a political leader” (p. 20), for example. Simply put, Piagetemphasized only one limited form of thinking, and ignored other forms of thinking, suchas musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. In contrast toPiaget’s fixed stages of development, Gardner (1983) suggests that “individual stages areachieved in a far more continuous and gradual fashion than Piaget indicated” (p. 20).According to Gardner, one finds little of the discontinuity Piaget claimed, and in fact,“most tasks claimed to entail concrete operations can be solved by children in the preoperational years, once various adjustments have been introduced into the experimentalparadigm” (p. 21). Gardner questions the apparent conflict between Piaget’s skepticismabout l.Q. items couched in language, on the one hand, and his tasks usually beingconveyed verbally on the other.46Piaget (1970) described development in a fixed progression which proceeds at itsown rate. Once transition is made to the new stage the previous stage is subsumed intothe new one and no longer exists. Gardner’s (1983) multiple intelligence theory borrowsmore from Bruner’s (1985) concept attainment model, than from Piaget’s fixed stages.The use of Bruner’s model would enable students to formulate and acquire concepts byinductively investigating examples and counter-examples.Like Bruner’s (1985) model, Gardner’s (1983) Ml Theory, when applied to thecontext of an interdisciplinary studies design, provides a framework to address studentindividual differences. In order to further explore how Ml Theory might optimize educationof individual student differences, and how it contrasts with more traditional approaches,it is useful to consider Ml Theory roots, as these are grounded within a constructivistapproach to learning. Not surprisingly, the four teachers in the study, while they did notuse the term “constructivism”, did use the constructivist principles outlined in thefollowing section in order to develop an integrated curriculum based on one commontheme.2.3.4 Constructivism, Ml Theory, and Interdisciplinary TeachingA curriculum that incorporates a common thematic unit, and combines aconstructivist and Ml Theory view of learning is based on three principles. These threeinvolve: students’ prior knowledge; seven ways of knowing; and, a recognition ofrelationships that exist among the disciplines. First, it provides an opportunity wherebystudents can weigh new information against their previous understandings. Students areguided to use simultaneous disciplines in order to come to new understandings about eachdiscipline. Constructivism’s key tenet, that students learn by actively constructing47knowledge, weighing new information against their previous understanding, and comingto a new understanding through working out discrepancies both individually andcollaboratively, provides a framework, through which curriculum construction andimplementation can proceed. An illustration of one such framework that might result froma constructivist approach to curriculum would be the use of an individual profileapproach to document and report each student’s previous knowledge and priorexperiences, as a first step in developing new skills.A curriculum based on constructivism does not mean that students learn differentmaterial, but that they learn in different ways, and within different time spans. Accordingto Benson (1 989), while constructivism assumes that no two people possess the sameknowledge base and therefore assumes that students construct knowledge in differentways, constructivism does not imply: “that individuals do not have similar understandings;(but) what it does say is that knowledge creation is an individualised process andsituational factors influence knowledge creation” (p. 330). Constructivism does howeverimply that, while students may learn the same materials, they probably will not learn thatmaterial in exactly the same way.Second, it requires students to learn in at least seven ways, and to thereby becomethoughtful participants of their own work. Participation, according to Gardner’s (1 991)Ml Theory approach extends beyond individual student construction of meaning, toinclude the idea of community involvement in curriculum (p. 256). Learning, according toGardner is a lifelong process, for students, teachers and the community (p.193).Participants, for example, might be encouraged to pose questions, make judgements,integrate criticisms, and reconsider problems while investigating new possibilities for theirown learning (Gardner). Teachers using constructivist or Ml Theory, for example, would48most likely design classes in order to shift responsibilities to promote student-centeredlearning by allowing students to come center-stage thereby transforming the “currentteacher-centered learning that still exists in many schools” (Zessoules, 1 991).How, we might ask, do the application of both constructivism and Ml Theory implychange from the conventional high school curriculum? For each of the previouslydescribed principles, it can be concluded, mandated curriculum would shift from itstraditional role as an end product into the more flexible role of providing springboards intodeeper understandings. In other words, individual approaches to learning would becomecentral to the curriculum design. An illustration of how curricular and instructional designsare bridged would be the construction of curriculum around one common theme, such as“Light” for a grade 8 unit. In such a unit mandated curriculum topics would becomespringboards. The use of one theme in this manner, would illustrate how students’knowledge acquisition can be expanded through the use of variety of learning activitiesusing Ml Theory.While Ml Theory, for example, provides a means by which high school curriculummight accommodate the development of student individual differences, constructivismemphasizes the importance of the learner’s active construction of knowledge.Constructivism, which conjectures that there is an interplay between new knowledge andthe learner’s prior knowledge, contributes the natural foundational underpinnings forconsistent curriculum changes. The Ml notion of a carefully constructed understandingof the world through which people interpret their experiences is central to theconstructivist view of learning (Benson, 1989, p. 329). Constructivist teachingapproaches differ from traditional high school teaching approaches in several significantways including: (a) constructivism’s greater emphasis on learning as an active,49constructive process carried out by individual learners (Von Glasersfeld, 1989); (b)constructivism’s recognition and utilization of each student’s prior knowledge and pastexperiences in learning; (c) and constructivism’s concern for the bridges betweencurricular and instructional designs as well as each student’s learning experience(Tennyson and Rasch, 1988). With both Ml Theory implementation, and constructivistpractice, is recognized the considerable time needed to settle on central organizingconcepts and to plan strategies so that students will have more opportunities to“construct” their own meaning. Duckworth (1986) identifies some of the barriersinvolved, as teacher’s pressure to cover mandated curriculum, to juggle what is reallyimportant and to please the school administration.Third, a curriculum based on constructivism recognizes the relationships that existbetween bodies ofknowledge. When a high school enters the beginning stages of a majorshift from the traditional discipline structured organizations toward a more interdisciplinarymodel, where assessment of individual profiles is encouraged, teachers are pressed toconsider natural passageways from the learner’s individuality as it is expressed inmeaningful connections between disciplines and between individual abilities and thecurriculum content. Concerning the movement to link the disciplines and to help studentssee the connection increasingly in high schools, Drake (1991) suggests that more andmore high school teachers are working toward dissolving the boundaries that onceseparated subject areas. Based on the argument that high schools have traditionallystructured knowledge in a piecemeal fashion, and that high school disciplines cometogether naturally within a thematic approach to teaching, Jacobs (1 989), and Fogarty(1991) have developed several strategies for making the disciplines mutually reinforcing.The interdisciplinary designs are based on the fact that unlike the typical high school day,50the world is not divided into discrete disciplines. Clearly, as it has been previouslyargued, disciplines may be necessary in order to organize and present the vast bodies ofknowledge required at the high school level. This study does not contest that proposition.I am, however, concerned about the absence in some schools of an alternative, such asinterdisciplinary studies, which would break down barriers between some disciplines, andwhere possible, frame knowledge in a more holistic manner (Fogarty, 1991; Jacobs,1989).Through the use of integrated curriculum, teachers can explore ways to “transcendrigid discipline boundaries,” (Jacobs, 1991). While most of the interdisciplinary effortshave been made in the elementary and intermediate grades, where movements such aswhole language have opened the way toward application of interdisciplinary studies,fewer such efforts have been made at the high school level. Jacobs and Fogarty (1 991)attribute the success of integration in part to the students’ enthusiasm for learning.Integration, they say, increases student motivation.Concerning, student individual abilities, the interdisciplinary model, according toJacobs (1989) sets the stage for Ml Theory Learning, through a variety of differentintellectual proclivities, through a number of modalities and a wide design of instructionalexperiences such as lecture, group projects, discussion, research, or design”to encourageboth individual and cooperative learning.” (p. 63). The Ml theory analysis suggests thatwe are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatialrepresentation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things,an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves.It should be noted that not everyone agrees with the arguments in favor ofintegration. In fact, efficiency, instead of effectiveness, is at times cited as a just cause51for creating separate disciplines. “Efficiency,” according to Jacobs (1991) however, isdependent on effectiveness. That is, while a teacher may cover certain materials,students may have derived little from it. Grant Wiggins, director of programs and researchat the Centre on Learning, Assessment, and School Structure (CLASS), cautions thatsome barriers between disciplines may be useful (Jacobs, 1991, p.4). Wiggins alsoargues that interdisciplinary study is not in itself more motivating. Citing the case studymethod used at Harvard Law School, which is closely tied to the real world, yet subjectspecific, Wiggins argues that better attention to content and context “can makediscipline-based instruction as relevant and motivating as integrated curriculum is toutedas being.” (p. 4) Is it possible, that because of the resistance to change in high schoolpractice, (Cuban, 1 991, and Fullan, 1 990), that Wiggins’ suggestions for integration withinindividual disciplines might be a better way to begin the process of integration in the highschool. Such a consideration may be useful since change is often a slow process, (Fullan,1991) rather than a single event, a proposition supported by the study.2.3.4.1 Resistance to Ml Theory EncounteredIt is generally held that there are three significant obstacles to achievingrecognition of, and teaching for, individual student differences in high schools; firstly, themyth that education must return to the basic mastery of the Three R’s (Bibby & Posterski,1992; Brown, 1991; Gardner, 1983; Gardner & Hatch, 1986); secondly, the organizationof most high schools around particular and segregated disciplines - a disconnectedapproach to curriculum that has “so paralyzed our thinking to the point that a languagefor describing alternatives is barely visible” (George, Stevenson, Thomason, & Beabe,1 992, p.87); and thirdly, the emphasis on testing for students’ weaknesses, rather than52promoting strengths (Brown, 1991; Gardner, 1987; 1991; Hatch & Gardner, 1986). Aplausible response, according to Dickinson (1991) is that high school students be providedopportunities both for creative exploration of their interests and abilities, as well asopportunity for learning valued skills and concepts, through multimodal means.Simply stated, if teaching practice is to reflect what we now know about learning,an alternative approach may be useful, to temper our concerns with the three R’s withour “concern for how well today’s young people are combining these old skills with thenew means available to them. . . . “ (Bibby & Posterski, 1 992, p. 71). Projects that areinherently multi- or inter - disciplinary in character, rather than the high school’s“traditionally” more mechanistic approach are likely to characterize a curriculumconcerned more specifically with student individual differences. One example is a recenthigh school curriculum proposal that will: “stress the importance of thinking, solvingproblems, inquiring, working with others, using language in all its forms, working in amulticultural environment, and being active, independent learners” (Brown, 1991, p. 212).If the central aim of education is to help students to learn, rather than to assessand report on what they do not know, evaluation methods will have to change. BothGardner (1 991) and Eisner (1 993) argue for a more authentic assessment, one that relatesto the topic learned, for example. On this topic, Eisner (1993) suggests eight criteria forcreating authentic assessment. Assessment, according to Eisner, should include: arelationship to tasks in the world outside schools; the process used to solve a problem;the community values from which the tasks derived; group efforts at times, rather thansolely individual performance; more than one acceptable solution to a problem; boundariesbeyond the curriculum as taught; a sensitivity to wholeness rather than segregated parts;and, a variety of representations. Eisner’s assessment criteria can be considered a part53of the learning process, rather than a one-time evaluation, following a lesson taught. Thisprocess of authentic assessment would augment the conventional pattern of testing, withits “admiration for the virtues of quantification”, (Eisner, 1 993, p. 220) toward anassessment procedure “that has more educational validity than those we have beenusing” (p. 224).Regarding the matter of tests, Gardner (1991) argues that psychologists spend fartoo much time ranking and too little time helping kids. Rather than more and moresophisticated tests to show what students do not know, Ml Theory argues for a widervariety of teaching and evaluation methods that would give students an opportunity tohandle and manipulate materials. The assumption here is that learning should begin at aperson’s place of strength, (not of weakness) in order to help students learn things inways they can understand. Some teachers will undoubtedly question students’ abilityto be able to consistently choose what is most helpful for their development. Others mayprotest that if students’ are provided with too many choices they will make poor choices.Furthermore, what about the significance of diagnostic testing and pre-tests? Furtherresearch would be required in order to respond to these important issues in more depth.This study examines constructivism and Ml Theory, with a particular emphasis onMl Learning theory’s possibilities for providing one framework through which high schoolcurriculum might be reorganized in order to address individual student differences. Aplausible assumption, argued throughout the research, is that as long as high schoolsrecognize only a limited kind of intelligence, (for example verbal and logical, mathematical)as Sternberg (1985) suggests, students whose intelligences are concentrated inmodalities other than those championed, are disadvantaged. In other words, “When youlimit the games to basketball, the kids who are 3’2” are going to be handicapped” (1 990,54p. 26). The study explores Ml Theory as one force that, as Eisner argued will, “exploitthe power of the curriculum to optimize whatever potential intelligences individualspossess,” (Fowler, 1990, p. 27). The literature explores some of the barriers toimplementation that are met within the traditional high school curriculum organization, andthen posits several conditions which would necessarily attend such an effort.The fact that high schools resistant to change are in trouble is claimed by some(Brown, 1 991; Dickinson, 1991). But, in spite of the recognition of needed change, highschools in North America have tended to resist change (Sarason, 1990). Cuban (1982)charged that today the high school’s typical day often closely resembles that of decadesago, in spite of intermittent attempts at structural changes. According to Cuban, theeducational system self-perpetuates, in spite of the many proposals for change especiallyduring the past decade. The focus of the following section, is on one proposal for changein British Columbia’s high schools, as outlined by the Year 2000 Documents. This changeprocess is examined as it focuses on the individual student in relationship to the manypartners in education.2.4 Year 2000 Proposals: A Practical ContextThis final section will examine the Year 2000 Documents, as a useful plan forchange in British Columbia’s secondary schools, and as consistent with both aconstructivist and an Ml view of learning. This section will explore the background tochange in British Columbia, examine the change process associated with the Year 2000,and illustrate the ongoing Year 2000 educational improvement commitment processesin the graduation program. The Year 2000 Documents will be summarized and analyzedin order to demonstrate how the present study is related to one document which55represents wider research on British Columbia’s secondary schools. This final section willconcentrate on the way this study will contribute to existing knowledge by showing thereader a link between what has been done and what will be done.2.4.1 The Background to Change in British ColumbiaIn 1988 a report titled A Legacy for Learners: The Report of the Royal Commissionon Education, expressed eighty-three recommendations for change within BritishColumbia’s schools. Among the recommendations expressed, was the need to focus onthe learner’s individual differences, to build on their prior knowledge in order to assist inconstructing new knowledge, as well as the need to involve the community more incurriculum - development related issues.The British Columbia Ministry initiatives, as outlined in the Year 2000 Documentswere an attempt to design curriculum that would direct teachers energies into those areasin which change is already occurring. The Year 2000 Documents were not a debate foror against change as much as they were an attempt to provide structure and direction forthe change already taking place, particulary at the grade 1 0 level.2.4.2 The Change ProcessAs a response to the recommendations made in A Legacy for Learners, theGraduation Team, after consultations with several interest groups, produced TheGraduation Program: Response Draft.. A five year strategic plan (1990 - 1995) wasoutlined to improve educational opportunities for British Columbia’s schools. As aframework for the proposed curriculum changes, nine underlying beliefs were listed by theGraduation Planning Team from the Greater Victoria School District. The following beliefs56represent the districts’ fundamental values: its ethical code, and, its overridingconvictions, namely:• We believe that all individuals have the capacity to learn.• We believe in the dignity and worth of all individuals.• We believe that a positive self image is essential for personal development.• We believe that all individuals can experience joy and satisfaction by strivingto reach their potential.• We believe that parents and the community are partners in education.• We believe that equitable access to educational opportunity is afundamental right.• We believe that safe, healthy, attractive buildings enhance the learningprocess.• We believe that learning is a personal lifelong experience.• We believe that all individuals have power to positively influence the future.The British Columbia commitment to educational change focused on the individualstudent in relationship to the many partners in education. The idea in this change planwas to enable students to develop their maximum intellectual potential within a flexibleand responsive environment.2.4.3 An Ongoing Commitment to ChangeThe British Columbia Ministry of Education began the development of a plan toimplement change at the high school levels, after first reviewing the original submissionsto the Royal Commission, previously discussed. Responses to that original draft were57sought from teachers, administrators, parents, students and many community members.These responses were used to develop a subsequent plan for the revision of theGraduation Program. In the Graduation Response Draft 2, the ministry states its ongoingcommitment as a commitment to build educational programs that focus on individuallearners, with emphasis given to:• knowledge that comes from research and development activities• wisdom that comes from the experiences of practising professionals• a range of perspectives that is brought by partners in education, indidngstudents, parents/guardians, and members of the community at large.The final Graduation Program, Foundations: Partnerships for Learners, will bereleased in 1 994 by the Ministry.2.4.4 The Year 2000 Graduation DocumentsThe goals of education stated in the Year 2000 graduation program are classifiedas intellectual, human and social development, and career development. Intellectualdeveloøment goals seek to develop the ability of students to analyze critically, reason andthink independently, and acquire basic learning skills and bodies of knowledge; to developin students a lifelong appreciation of learning, a curiosity about the world around them,and a capacity for creative thought and expression. The human and social develoomentgoals seek to develop in students a sense of self-worth and personal initiative; to developan appreciation of the fine arts and an understanding of cultural heritage; to develop anunderstanding of the importance of physical health and well-being; to develop a sense ofsocial responsibility and a tolerance and respect for the ideas and beliefs of others. The58career develoDment seeks to prepare students to attain their career and occupationalobjectives; to assist in the development of effective work habits and the flexibility to dealwith change in the work place (p. 30).The Year 2000 goals outlined here, are to be utilized in all facets of the programdesign implementation, by both teachers and learners. Many of following suggestionsfor changes are reflected in both constructivist and Ml Theory views of learning as wellas in the integrated design outlined in the study. For this reason the practical context, TheYear 2000 Documents’ graduation program is examined for its capacity to accommodatestudents’ individual differences.2.5 Summary and ConclusionLiterature reviewed in this chapter provides two central perspectives used inconstruction of this research: a curriculum integration view, and two learning theoriesconsistent with that view. Both of these have been significantly restructured followingthe completion of the field work, the publishing of more current literature, andcontributions from committee members, and fellow colleagues. Both of theseperspectives were explored in terms of their role in the Year 2000 Documents, a currentplan for change in secondary schools in British Columbia.The integration perspective was expressed through Jacobs (1989) model forcurriculum integration. Given the context of this study, it was argued that integratedcurriculum is:crossdisciplinary, or the viewing one discipline from the perspective ofanother.59• transdisciplinary, or beyond the scope of disciplines, where one starts witha problem and brings to bear knowledge from disciplines.Two curriculum designs in Jacobs’ model not used in the study include:• multidisciplinary, or the juxtaposition of several disciplines focused on oneproblem with no direct attempt to integrate.• pluridisciplinary, or the juxtaposition of related disciplines, such as mathand physics.Following the discussion on integration, two views of learning, the constructivistand Ml views were identified as those through which integrated curriculum could beexamined. Each of these theories was examined in terms of its ability to accommodatethe development of student individual differences at the secondary level (See Figure 2.1).The Year 2000 (1991) Documents were examined, as one illustration of a planfor change in British Columbia, consistent with a constructivist and an Ml view oflearning. A formula for change as described in the Year 2000 Documents was exploredin terms of the development of student individual differences. Research in this areafocuses on teacher beliefs that:• all individuals have the capacity to learn• parents and the community are partners in education• learning is a personal, lifelong experience• a positive self image is essential for personal developmentFinally, a view of change consistent with this set of teacher beliefs was developed.That development began by placing the notion of student individual differences in context,60and identifying a range of factors which promote or obstruct change. Those factors whichserve to promote change that would accommodate individual student differences, wereidentified as:• a curriculum that builds on students’ prior knowledge and experience• An approach that allows students to approach any subject in at least sevenways• a curriculum model that shows students connectionsFinally, this view of change was explored in terms the development of students’individual differences at the secondary level. Research in this area focuses on thesignificance of learner’s construction of knowledge that is consistent with theirexperiences. Figure 2.1, discussed at the beginning of the chapter, presents ways inwhich individual student differences are accommodated through integrated curriculum,constructivism and Ml Theory.In developing this perspective, the study presents a synthesis of three separate butrelated strands of literature, within three contexts: the curriculum integration context; thetheoretical context; and, the practical context. The significance of this work is centeredon the development and application of a view of learning based on all three contexts. Thisperspective responds to the problem identified in Chapter 1, concerning the lack ofliterature specifically addressing individual differences in high school curriculum. In orderto address the research gap, this study presents the combination of an Ml theory viewof learning, based in constructivism, and implemented within the context of integration.This context which includes constructivism, MI Theory, and integration frameworks, is61developed in order to provide a curriculum approach that addresses the development ofstudent individual differences.In Chapter Four a model is outlined, in order to implement the learning theorydiscussed in this chapter, in a practical setting. In this chapter I argue that there is a lackof research in the area of individual student differences at the secondary level, and thatthe present study seeks to provide a contribution to this area. In the following ChapterI outline the methods used in the present study.62CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY3.1 Overview and Rationale of MethodsChapter 3 describes the design of the study, outlining the rationale for a qualitativeapproach, and describes the interview strategies, methods of reporting data, and theresearch process used. Finally, the chapter addresses questions of validity and reliability.While the study emphasizes students’ notions of their abilities, interests, and their highschool program, it also considers teachers’ perceptions. The emphasis given to students’perceptions resulted from the argument by FulIan (1 989), that student perceptions are themissing data in much of the high school change literature.First, it is useful to examine the rationale for the particular qualitative approachselected in order to address the research problem. A qualitative approach was chosenbecause the design and analysis of the data progressed as the study went on without adefinite plan. According to McMillan and Schumacher (1989) qualitative research, unlikea quantitative approach, is more tentative and open-ended as it often employs anemergent design (p. 519). Therefore, since the study was expected to change andreformulate continually throughout the duration of the data collection, and even beyond,a qualitative approach seemed appropriate. This section will discuss the emergent design,and outline the data collection procedures and analyses techniques. Following, inChapters 5 and 6, data are reported, interpreted and conclusions drawn concerning thestudy’s problem.In the past, research concerning change processes within schools has been, forthe most part, restricted to the observations and recommendations of researchers. Therehas, however, been a significant shift in the past decade, to include more teachers in63action-based research (Dickinson, 1991; Schubert, 1986). Few studies, however,included high school students (FuIlan, 1990). I conversed directly with students to gaintheir perceptions of their individual differences in the high school setting, and thecurriculum’s capacity to accommodate them. The qualitative design provided for theideas of students and teachers to shape the construction of the MITA model is describedin Chapter 4.A qualitative design was chosen for three reasons. First, it was judged to be themost appropriate way of addressing the research questions of this study. Secondly, aqualitative approach would permit the recording and analysis of the stories of studentsand teachers. Ravitch and Finn (1985) challenge teachers to allow stories naturally tolink specific events to their larger environment, by examining facts on one hand, butconsidering important connections on the other (p.206). In this study, the students’ andteachers’ stories were used as the primary data base from which themes and issues wereidentified.The third reason for the qualitative design used in the study is that the guidingconceptual world views of constructivism and Ml Theory, in which the research in thisstudy is embedded, are both concerned with the construction of meaning by individuals(Candy, 1991, von Glasersfeld, 1989, and Doyle, 1983). It was considered to beessential that the design be sensitive to identifying the meanings conveyed by thestudents and the teachers in the study. The constructivist world view, according toCandy, suggests a shift in perspective “from viewing knowledge as something externalto be mastered, to an internal construction or an attempt to impose meaning andsignificance on events and ideas” (p. 251). Such a view supports three knowledgeclaims: 1) learners actively participate in the construction of knowledge; 2) construction64of knowledge varies according to each individual’s prior knowledge and experiences; and,3) students learn by creating for themselves representational models of reality thatbecome guides to their actions (von Glasersfeld, 1 989).According to von Glasersfeld, the constructivist world view has implications for thedevelopment of individual student differences. A similar principle for the accommodationof individual differences, is embedded within an Ml perspective. As discussed in thetheoretic framework of this study, Ml Theory addresses individual student differencesthrough the principle that students learn, represent, and utilize knowledge in at leastseven ways.3.2 Context of the StudyThe public high school site, for gifted students in grades 8 through 1 2 wasselected partly for its philosophy, and partly for its commitment to the seven obligationslisted below. This school was particularly appropriate, because of its concern for theintegration of subject specific courses. Students who apply to the school are assessedon a number of measures suggested by the Vancouver School Board IdentificationGuidelines for Gifted Education. Before acceptance, all students are personallyinterviewed. The students, however, are not chosen on the basis of academic excellenceonly. The school’s philosophy states that eligible students will be capable of highperformance and include those who have demonstrated any of the following abilities,singly or in combination: 1) general intellectual ability; 2) specific academic aptitude; 3)creative or productive thinking; 4) leadership ability; and, 5) visual and performing artsaptitude.65The school, on the other hand, has stated in their philosophy that they arecommitted to:• Allow students to be grouped with their intellectual peers.• Provide challenging educational activities and preparation for post-secondaryeducation.• Develop higher order thinking and creativity.• Develop group and leadership skills.• Assist students to clarify values.• Encourage the pursuit of individual educational interests in depth.• Provide opportunities for positive community involvement.The school’s commitment to the Autonomous Learner Model, (Betts, 1985)provides another reason for the suitability of the site. Students who attend this giftedprogram were already well acquainted with the notion of individual development, andwould therefore be able to identify the components that enhance, or obstruct individualdevelopment. Figure 3.1 is an illustration of the Betts’ Autonomous Learner model. It hasbeen the primary model of the development of student autonomy used in the school foraddressing gifted students’ potential.After the first few months of working with the teachers on the development of theintegrated units, of informally visiting some classrooms and chatting informally with manystudents, the head teacher assigned me eight student volunteers from grade ten. I hadrequested four boys and four girls, and asked that they represent a variety of abilities,rather than the traditionally emphasized verbal and logical-mathematic abilities. These66Figure 3.1 Autonomous Learner ModelORIENTAYSONstudents were introduced in Chapter 1, and their perceived interests and abilities werelisted in Figure 1 .1.3.2.1 Gaining AccessA letter explaining the intents and purposes of the study was sent to theVancouver School Board. After approval was received from the School Board, letterswere sent to the principals of 3 high schools. Within one week, one principal responded,and invited me to the school site. Following a meeting with 4 teachers at the high school,I proposed to work with teachers in assisting them to implement Ml Theory in theirclassroom practice.See Appendix E, for a copy of the letter of permission granting access to the site,received from the Board of School Trustees of School District No. 39 (Vancouver), onNovember 4. Verbal consent previously granted by the student assessment and research67branch of the Vancouver School Board enabled the study to begin in mid September, afteran initial request from the high school’s head teacher.While my specific role was unclear initially, we agreed that I would participate ina collaborative effort with four teachers and eight students at the high school’ssubsequent staff meeting. At that meeting, in mid-September, I introduced Ml Theory andinvited the teachers to submit questions concerning the theory as it might be applied totheir curricular and instructional concerns. These questions were later classified (seeappendix A) and they served as a guide for me to assess the effectiveness of ourendeavours to use Ml theory to enhance the integrated curriculum approach, currentlyused at the high school.3.2.2 Subject Areas RepresentedFour teachers worked together on the project. For one month, students workedon a project that was graded for 1 0% of each of four subject areas, mathematics,science, social studies, and English. Simply put, students completed the projects andreceived a grade of up to 1 0% in each core subject for their work. In Chapter 5 studentprojects are discussed, with illustrations provided to demonstrate how each studentdescribed the project work. Finally, the projects were examined to determine if thestudents’ perceived abilities were expressed in their projects.3.2.3 Sources of DataThere were two primary sources of data in this study: individual and groupinterviews from the eight participating students and the four teachers held over a periodof approximately eight months; and a narrative journal that I kept throughout the course68of the study. This journal documented the numerous meetings (both organized andinformal), classroom visits, and the many informal discussions held with both the studentsand the teachers over the course of the study. A visual timeline for this process is locatedin Appendix I.3.3 Data AnalysisThis section discusses the data analysis, and outlines the various organizingschemes used. As illustrated in the previous section, interactive interviews generated thenarrative data used in the study. That is, a collection of ideas and stories were related bystudents and teachers concerning student differences and curriculum’s capacityto addressthese differences.As discussed earlier, there was a strong interaction between the focus questionsguiding the study and the methods of data collection and analysis. The nature of thisprocess of question framing and data analysis will be presented below. This will befollowed by a section on the procedures used for data reduction in the study in an effortto “extract the most important features of the phenomenon under study and explicate thepatterns that are discovered” (Tesch, 1987, p. 6).3.3.1 Question Framing and Data AnalysisIn Figure 3.2 I have attempted to represent the way in which the data obtained fromthe students and the teachers were central to the selection of the methods of datacollection and analysis used in the study. The primary intent of this Figure is to representthe interactive nature of the data collection methods and how they influenced thedevelopment of the MITA model and the final framing of the focus questions for the study.69Figure 3.2 MITA Model Development and ImplementationStudent ReflectionsOn Their IntegratedProjects, On TheirIndividual Differences, and On TheirCurriculumTeachers’ Perceptions onMI Theory’s Use As AGenerative Model ForDeveloping StudentIndividual Differences70As illustrated in Figure 3.2, the MITA Model development and implementation wasdirectly influenced by several players: the researcher provided the initial focus questions,the students provided ideas and generated new questions, and the teachers providedideas and generated questions. Indirectly, parents ideas were also included through thestudents contributions concerning parents’ ideas.My focus question initially evolved from: How does Howard Gardner’s Ml Theoryimpact on the notion of using interdisciplinary methods in high school teaching? to ask:How do high school students and teachers in their classroom practices, use multipleintelligence ideas in order to address individual student differences, within the traditionalconstraints of a high school? The original question was based on my work with theteachers in order to implement Ml Theory. The reframed question, however, focussedmore upon the perceived impact of the program upon the students and the extent towhich their interests and abilities were being met. This question was addressed throughin-depth conversations with students, and through documenting students’ and teachers’perceptions of the development of the students’ individual differences during thisprogram. Rather than concentrate on the role of Ml Theory as a generative model for highschool curricular organization, I decided to emphasize the role of students’ perceptionsof themselves and their curriculum.3.3.2 Data Reduction IssuesThe method of analysis that I used was designed to extract “essential features”from large amounts of text through an organizing scheme which consists of a process of“classification” (Tesch, 1987). This process consists of three broad phases: a holisticreading, a discerning of patterns, and an interpretation of themes. This classification71process allows a distinction to be made between various “segments” of text. “Segment”here refers to that portion of text that relates to a significant issue. With each textsegment, Tesch (1987) suggests, the researcher should decide where the person startedtalking about the particular issue in focus. Where does she stop talking about the issue?So the researcher must determine where to begin and where to end each segment. Thetext’s segments in the study are classified according to their ability to meet a set criteria,such as a particular focus question. That is, a given segment is sorted into a particularslot, through a classification scheme that uses set criteria for each text segment.Audio tapes of each interview were transcribed, and then marked into textsegments, for a detailed analysis of text. These segments were examined for words orkey phrases that described the students’ perceptions. Each example of interview text isreferenced according to its exact context within the interviews. This type of text inquiryfollowed the constant comparative method outlined in Glaser and Strauss (1967) andused the procedures presented in Miles and Huberman (1984).Using classification procedures in this way resulted in an analysis where thecategories are generated during the analysis rather than using a pre-determinedclassification scheme to sort the data as is common in a natural science approach. Toillustrate this distinction Tesch (1987) notes that:One major difference between natural scientists andresearchers who do text analysis is that the natural scientistusually considers the classification scheme the result of herresearch; some classification schemes, such as the table ofchemical elements or the botanical taxonomies, count amongnatural science’s most brilliant achievements. In contrast,72when analyzing her data, the qualitative researcher usesclassification predominantly as a tool (p. 5).However, the methods of analysis cannot merely consist of a random division oftext or transcript data into smaller units. Instead there must be a method to the processthat is systematic and goal-oriented (Tesch, 1989). This process is designedsystematically in order to lead others to a logical set of results that clearly represents thedata. She describes the process in this way:the process of analysis is, in fact, a representation in thesame sense that an artist can, with a few strokes of the pen,create an image of a face that we would recognize if we sawthe original in a crowd. The details are lacking, but a good“reduction” not only selects and emphasizes the essentialfeatures, it retains the vividness of the personality in therendition of the face. In the same way a successful qualitativedata reduction, while removing us from the freshness of theoriginal, presents us instead with an image that we can graspas the “essence”, where we otherwise would have beenflooded with detail and left with hardly a perception of thephenomenon at all (Tesch, 1987, p. 3).While it is true that no two researchers would produce exactly the same renditionof one face in a crowd, it is also true that if the process is skillfully designed, we will,nevertheless, recognize the same person in various renditions. Qualitative research doesnot demand that researchers produce the same results (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1 983).73Researchers will differ in philosophical stances and individual styles of interviewing,observing, interpreting, and recording. In qualitative research, these differences areexpected to lead to different ways of representing the results (McMiIlan & Schumacher,1989).My endeavours to construct “the essence” from the interview data involved thefollowing procedures. First, I transcribed all the interviews (and provided copies of thesetranscripts to each participant to check for accuracy), then I read through the entire dataseveral times and extracted the most important features of the questions asked, andfinally, I made notes on issues or themes that appeared to be reoccurring in the data.According to Hammersley & Atkinson (1983), one common difficulty faced byresearchers in qualitative designs, is “how to translate the knowledge and descriptionsof a given culture into a serial order while simultaneously imposing some sort of analyticand thematic order upon material” (p. 221). Put simply, one separates the data collectedand the cultural description from the analysis. In such a separated text one can presentan “engaging and accessible account of the data, relatively unencumbered” (Hammersley& Atkinson, 1983). Once the data have been reported, the researcher may discussthemes and problems without further entanglements of the data themselves. To do this,the ideas of each student are examined in this manner; first their comments are reported,and then the analysis of these comments, for the purpose of locating themes or patterns.The themes or patterns are gradually framed through comparisons made from eachstudent’s response. Finally, students’ responses were compared to teachers’ expressedideas on each common topic. This method of separating student comments from dataanalysis can lead to problematic links between the data and thematic frameworks.According to Hammersley & Atkinson (1983) such a separation may even appear to74imply that the student comments are somewhat innocent or pre-analytic. Nevertheless,by illustrating the student responses and comparing the relationships in this manner thedesired distinctions between students and teachers should be more apparent.3.3.3 Researcher’s Intentions and RolesAs discussed previously, my intention was to remain an active participant in theresearch process. My goal was to understand how both the teachers and students wereperceiving the curricular changes that were occurring, to summarize or highlight theircontributions, and at times provide new ideas to the curriculum development process.I redefined my role as the work progressed, taking into account the current focus of theproject, what each of us would provide, and what goals I hoped to achieve for the study.At times my role became blurred, as did the teachers’ and even the students’participation. Clearly, one well-defined role I maintained was to provide ideas andmaterials that related the MITA Model to the school’s expressed objectives. For example,I mapped ideas for the grade 9 lesson on Power onto the Ml Theory of learning, as wellas provided sample bulletin board illustrations for Ml Theory introduction to the classes(see Appendix G). In addition, I provided a comprehensive list of alternative instructionaltechniques and evaluation techniques (Appendix H) that could be used with the Ml ideaspreviously agreed upon. In these instances my role was to provide busy teachers with asmany practical applications of our discussions as possible, in order to facilitate theirimplementation of the MITA Model.In order to avoid any possible conflicts in our respective interests, I continuallyattempted to define the broad aims of the research, as I understood them at the time.For example, I circulated a suggested focus for each meeting for the teacher’s perusal75before the next meeting, and I listed my research agenda clearly in a memo provided forthe teachers at the November 22nd meeting. This material is included in Appendix F. Iasked teachers to share their instructional goals in the earlier meetings. These goals wererefocused and discussed in subsequent meetings. It was not surprising that my owngoals were more clearly defined, since I was working within the tight framework of adoctoral dissertation. The teachers’ goals appeared to be less clearly defined. I attributethis observation to three reasons:1. Teachers were unsure of what the project would contribute to the schoolin general. Furthermore, they had been exposed previously to other modelsof learning, which had a somewhat different focus on the teaching-learningrelationship.2. The very task of high school teaching is demanding of time, energy, andcommitment, and the teachers were unsure they would experiencesufficient benefits for the time expended3. Teachers were not unified in the changes they wished to make in theschool, and so at times our discussions were long and occasionally heated.The negotiation to reach common understandings and purposes was a longand sometimes difficult process.It appeared at times, as though we occasionally remained suspended between thedesires to integrate and change, hence we sometimes experienced an impasse concerningthe manifestations of that change. Part of that frustration, as has been earlier discussed,may be.the result of frustrations one encounters whenever change takes place. Fullan(1 990), for instance, argues that change is a difficult process, and not merely an event.76We did, however, agree on a number of important issues. For example, we agreedthat each student is unique, and vastly different from one another. We also agreed thattoo many teens feel defeated or drop out of high school because they are not treated asindividuals. But when we addressed the question of how to cover mandated curriculumand still encourage the students’ differences, we discovered the solutions were less clear.The directives came from the group, at different phases of the collaborative process. Oneteacher on our collaborative team, for example, refocused our ideas away from the wayhigh schools traditionally operate, when he suggested that we relocate the role ofmandated curriculum from its current place as end product to the new position ofspringboaid. That led to a discussion about possible springboard ideas into deeperunderstandings, and we agreed to try to create an integrated curriculum, using one themefor each grade, with mandated curriculum as springboards.Figure 3.4 illustrates our collaborated outline for a grade 8 unit on the commontheme of “LIGHT”. The mandated curriculum, in this diagram is relocated to the positionof “springboard” and the learning activities are intended to activate the students’individual ways of knowing.As critical questions emerged and we attempted to create shared solutions, myposition as researcher on this vibrant team, profoundly changed my understanding of boththe role of researcher and the role of teacher, in making positive change. In fact,questions and answers exchanged between school and university members with equalintensity as we began to speak a language that both understood. Each of us broughtdifferent notions of how to proceed. At first we seemed to make very little progress, butafter about 30 hours of meetings I constructed an integrated mode!, in order to illustratethe approach that we agreed upon. After much debate on how we might best dissolveFigure 3.4 77I LighJPlates Cave: As Introduction for Integrating Four DiscipliflIs IMandated CurriculiiI2As Springboards____SI,_____MathematicsLearning Activities4Unquistic,LogicalMathematicciMusicalIntrapersonal_ _____cation II__ __Murflon •ya —Science____ogIcaiMathematicalLinguisticusical—P——.. y..I.I.IiIwIIntlrpersonaintrapersenalMathematicalAn Interdisciplinary approach to MI Theory in grade e,using inc common theme, LIGH’r78our barriers in order to integrate mathematics, science, English, and social studies, wecame up with the basic integration design illustrated in Figure 3.4. Our common themes,light for grade 8, power for grade 9 and change for 10, would give each of us a startingpoint to go back to our core curriculum and select three relevant topic areas. Each ofthese topic areas for Light are listed in Figure 3.4 under the title springboards.In order to create a design that would work, we first had to identify howsecondary teachers make sense of Multiple Intelligence ideas in their classroom planning,given the traditional constraints of a high school. Five basic new commitments wereagreed upon. These five include: (1) people use at least seven relatively autonomousintellectual capacities, which shifted our focus from asking: How smart are you? to askhow are you smart?; (2) since intelligences are unique and individual to each student, ourhigh school curriculum would shift from memorizing facts to using content as aspringboard in order to address these student ability differences; (3) assessment wouldbecome more performance-based to accompany more conventional paper-and-pencil test;(4) instructional units would shift from teacher-centered and disconnected curriculumtoward an integrated or thematic approach, which builds on individual students’ priorknowledge in each subject taught; (5) since we all belong to a community of life-longlearners we would look for ways to collaborate with one another, and so benefit together• in the learning process.3.3.4 An Organizing SchemeThe organizing scheme described in this section, was used to identify themes andsignificant issues in the data. Words, by themselves, or taken out of context, accordingto Tesch (1987), are useless. Tesch suggests instead, that one must look for a linear79arrangement of meanings, through a classification and reporting process. It goes withoutsaying that this presents certain difficulties, particularly in the development of anorganizing scheme. According to Hammersley & Atkinson (1990), difficulty arisesbecause: “The everyday life under investigation is not itself organized in such a neat lineararray”. They further suggest that: “Presentation of aspects of it in this way is somethingthat many people find particularly difficult” (p. 212).One difficulty, for me, arose from the fact that frequently as I read through theinterviews, I had to fight the impulse to record essential gems of each story told.Hammersley & Atkinson (1990) describe this difficulty as wanting to “write everythingfirst”. The likely cause of the “everything first” dilemma, is the desire to acquaint thereader with every possible aspect of the relevant setting. I developed several heuristicsto assist me in addressing these sorts of difficulties.One heuristic developed to counteract the “everything first” dilemma included thedevelopment of a carefully constructed data organization scheme whereby I read an entiresection of transcript data several times, and then used the five key questions aboutcurriculum as a basis for sorting the data. Each of these questions was derived from theliterature. For example, the first question related to time and the development of individualdifferences. Brown, (1991) also identified time as the most significant barrier todevelopment of student individual differences.The second heuristic used, was one of attempting to create some distancebetween one’s immediate impressions of the data and a longer term, more holisticanalysis. Following the interviews and meetings with students and teachers, many of thedetails seemed to demand expression on every page I wrote. Only as I pulled back from80the specific ideas and concepts, and tried to see them as a whole, could I begin to seesome recurrent themes and patterns.More specifically, I developed a type of organizing analytical scheme that consistedof four functions. These I describe as: housekeeping functions; identification functions;coding functions; and, reporting functions. In the following sections, I describe each ofthe four functions as they guided my analysis procedure.3.3.4.1 Housekeeping FunctionsThe first function was to create files on every student, make sure each participanthad seen copies of their interview transcripts to check them for accuracy, and ensure thatcopies of all data files were maintained. Once I decided on a suitable system for coding,colored cards were purchased, so that each of the five questions addressed by thestudents could be tagged within the interview files. These files were then printed, andhard copies were prepared and numbered as protocols.3.3.4.2 Identification FunctionsAs discussed previously, the students responded to the five questions focussed ontime, space, authority, subject matter, and people, as these issues are related to bothstudents’ individual differences and to their high school curriculum. Each of these fivequestions served to create one distinct classification, and so each one served to tagstudent responses. For example, responses to the first question, “How can we divideschool time in order to include the students’ passions for knowledge?”, were tagged inyellow. The second question: “How can we cultivate an environment where friends arefree to nurture and support one another?”, was coded in pink. Question three, “How can81we increase student authority in order to promote independent learners?” was coded ingrey. Question four, “How can schools be more connected to the students’ passions andthe real world of today?” was coded in green. Finally, question five, “How can weencourage parental involvement in more curricular issues?” was color coded in blue.3.3.4.3 Coding FunctionsRather than concentrate on single words or phrases in the data, I began theanalysis with several overall readings of the entire data, in order to determine theirholistic meaning. There was a certain automatic coding system which emerged, given thefact that interviews were organized around these five topics of curriculum organization.Following the color coding to distinguish the students’ and teachers’ responses, searcheswere made for what Tesch refers to as “co-occurring codes” (segments to which morethan one code was attached) and noted each with a separate marker. In this way,“other” important data emerged.3.3.4.4 Renorting FunctionsIn order to select the most representative data to report, one must consider theprocess of this type of qualitative analysis, where the researcher begins with the relevanttext segments and organizes them according to their content. The organizing schemeused here developed gradually, as the analysis proceeded. After sorting, and extractingsegments, or “categories” I tried to discover what Tesch terms, “the regularities anduniqueness within this category”, including all the nuances. Each of the regularities, Itermed “a theme”, which I then used to provide a narrative account. The purpose of this82account or “report” is to illuminate the phenomenon and develop deeper insights from theanalyzed data.Following each session with the teachers, I documented a summation of theircomments on each topic discussed. Furthermore, I formulated critical questions that werediscussed directly, or that emerged from the discussions. The data summaries wereroutinely faxed back to the school within days of each session, for further ideas andmember checking. In addition, I frequently translated theoretic ideas that we explored atmeetings, into practical charts that we could use for classroom implementation. Theideas, for example, were represented on flow charts or diagrams, and provided forteachers’ personal classroom use. Several samples of such feedback papers faxed toteachers are included in Appendix F. For the purpose of anonymity, all names and titleshave been deleted.3.4 Questions of Validity and ReliabilityWhile qualitative research is being increasingly used in studies of educationalexperience (Connelly & Clandinin, 1 990), there are also increasing questions regarding thevalidity of qualitative methods and the justification of knowledge claims. For the verycomponents of the qualitative design that render this research attractive for describingand “getting at” motivations, values, experiences, and activities, also make validity andreliability difficult to describe at times.As previously discussed, a coding procedure recommended by Glaser (1965) andStrauss (1967) was used to assist in the initial identification and highlighting of themes.Once coded a protocol is “brainstormed” in order to identify dominant categories of83questions to pursue. The following questions, for example, were used to organize/analyzethe student data:1. Which high school disciplines were most commonly mentioned by studentsas those enjoyed?2. What exactly did students suggest were the benefits of high school, in theirview?3. Were there connections between student passions and high school learningopportunities?4. Were students opposed at times to assignments they were told tocomplete? Why or why not?5. What characteristics raised students enthusiasm for high school?6. How did students express negative reactions regarding their curriculum?In addition to the individual “conversations,” further validation of the studentperspectives were sought through group interviews involving several subjects. Groupdiscussions were held between different participants, along with the in-depth interviewsconducted between the researcher and each participant. These “discussions” are noteasily designed, and are perhaps selected and reshaped according to significant choicesmade throughout the entire collaborative process.One form of research validation developed by Eisner (1977), educational criticismand connoisseurship, draws its image more from the arts than from science. Educationalconnoisseurship, according to Eisner, is the art of appreciating the educationallysignificant, while criticism in such research makes public the perceived issues throughdescription, interpretation, and assessment (Eisner, 1985). In place of a more traditional84account of validity, Eisner refers to referential adequacy and structural corroboration(Eisner, 1985, p. 241 - 245). Referential adequacy involves checking to see if criticalobservations and interpretations are empirically grounded, allowing readers to experiencethe evaluated phenomenon in a new and better way. Structural corroboration refers to acontinuous inquiry about whether the various parts of the criticism fit together as aconsistent whole. Just as one might understand more of the significance of the lives ofthe poor Londoners from reading a Dickens’ novel than reading a statistical account of thesame period, educators who read educational criticism will be moved to different insightsthan those who read quantitative educational research papers.3.4.1 Issues of MethodsMy main goal in the development of the interview questions was to ensure thatthey were highly interactive and that they provided an opportunity to highlight thestudents’ and teachers’ stories. A second goal of the interviews was to discover eachparticipants’ notion of the curriculum as it was experienced in the classroom. To structurethe discussions about this latter issue, I divided the questions about curriculum into fivemain components that appeared to be addressed most frequently in the literature: time,space, authority, subject matter, and people. A complete list of the questions that guidedthe first set of interviews is listed in Appendix B.Times and places for interviews varied, in order to enable participants to fit thesesessions into their busy schedules. For this reason, most of the teacher interviews tookplace at the school, some at the university, and a few were taped over the phone, inorder to accommodate the schedules of all participants. I interviewed and taped allconversations, but they were initially transcribed by an independent party. Each interview85protocol was then typed from the rough transcription notes, by myself, a process whichassisted me to actively engage in the recorded communications from the earliest stagesof the project.Narrative forms in research have often drawn upon McMillan and Schumacher’s(1989) method of using a field journal to record and analyze relationships, and in sodoing, connect theory and practice such that we learn more about the nature of thetheory as well as about the practice. The narrative in such a journal attempts to createa common language between the participants, and thereby endeavours to create a sharedcommunity for those in the university and those in the schools. Within this community,our relationships with one another and our knowledge of the practice setting are expanded(Lieberman, 1 992). The field journal provided both substantive and analytic field notes,a record of teachers’ stories, students’ stories, and stories from the researcher. Accordingto McMillan and Schumacher, all methods (or “instruments” as they call them) used in aqualitative study should be subjected to a series of 4 questions:1. Are the instruments valid and reliable for the particular research?2. Are the characteristics of the subjects used to establish validity andreliability similar to the characteristics of the subjects in the study? If not,is it reasonable to use the instruments?3. Why did the researcher choose these instruments?4. Are the instruments described well enough or referenced to allow anotherresearcher to replicate the research? (p. 1 69)In response to the first question, one method of establishing the validity ofqualitative methods is to argue that the questions and situations used are clearly86understood by the participants and that they generate reliable data relevant to theresearch questions of the study. In the present study I have attempted to ensure clarityand understanding in the interview process through the use of open-ended questions thatallowed the participants to explore the issues that I raised as well as to identify concernsand problems of their own.While these types of open-ended interviews are structured, in part, by both theresearcher and the participant (Wolcott, 1 990) the researcher must continue to focus thediscussion in order to respond to the research question. While an interview for qualitativeresearch reporting is less structured, in that both researcher and informant are activeparticipants, nevertheless, questions which guide the “conversation” must be tightlyfocused in order to avoid vague or omitted details from the participant. That is not tosuggest that rigid or even directive questions must guide the discussion. In fact non-directive questions are often an effective measure of inviting a participant to discussissues and contexts related to the question, that were hitherto unknown and unexpectedby the researcher. Several examples of such non-directive questions used with thestudents regarding their individual differences are given below:Researcher: . . . I am trying to discover what makes your highschool program fit your own individual uniqueness. Would itbe best for you to begin telling me about your particularinterests and abilities, and how these are addressed in highschool math or social studies . . . ?Researcher: That is interesting. Do you mean that you arepresented opportunities to act out your own ideas in thisEnglish class?Researcher: I would like to have seen that. Can you think ofother classes where you felt that an activity was designed tofit your own abilities?87Such non-directive questioning induces the participant to describe and discuss keyissues with more clarity and detail (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1 990). When the researchquestion and focus are clear in the interviewer’s mind, the study is more certain toproduce accurate information.In response to the second question, pilot studies were conducted with 2 studentswho had just entered university and who had graduated in gifted programs from schoolssimilar to the research site in this study. The interview questions were modifiedconsiderably following the pilot studies. Initially the questions were related to grade 11social studies, exclusively. Following the pilot study, the questions were altered toinclude four disciplines (mathematics, English, social studies, and science) in grade 10.The change was partly due to the research setting where I carried out the actual studyand partly due to the limitations of focussing exclusively on social studies in the pilotstudy. Students in the pilot study, for example, often referred to topics not related tosocial studies, and at times appeared restricted in their responses when only one disciplinewas involved. The modified questions allowed the participants to discuss a broader rangeof curriculum issues that relate to students’ abilities and interests as they are developedin a wider variety of disciplines. I also piloted many of the questions used in the teacherinterviews with other experienced teachers who were interested in similar issues ofcurriculum development.In response to the third question, the particular methods were selected becausethey appeared to reflect the purpose of the research questions, to accommodate theparticipants involved, and to allow the flexibility required in order to generate theoutcomes that would include students’ and teachers’ expressed ideas and experiences.The interview was chosen mainly with the student participants in mind. As previously88discussed students are frequently excluded from interactions concerning their curriculum(FulIan, 1 982). One reason for such exclusion may be the traditional use of “jargon” ornon-inclusive language, not familiar to students. Interactive interviews provide a naturalstarting point for students to express their perceptions. Students generally relate well toand enjoy telling stories (Coste, 1989). For this reason, interviews which encouragestudents to tell stories also provide opportunities for constructing student ideas, andfacilitating records of student educational experience (Miles & Huberman, 1 984).In response to the fourth question, while the data collection and analysis methodshave been described and details illustrated, it would not be possible for another researcherto replicate the results. While the process is systematic and goal-oriented, the nature ofthis study is such that we need to grasp the essence of students and teachers’ notionsin this particular context. There are no one set of canons and methods of qualitativeanalysis (Miles, & Huberman, 1 984), and while no two qualitative researchers will arriveat exactly the same conclusions, we now have acquired a 20 year old history of designand conduct (Howe & Eisenhart, 1990).In summary, the in-depth interviews in the study took place before and after MlTheory implementation, in order to identify differences in perceptions before and after theintroduction of Ml Theory. Participants were told the purpose for the interviews. Forexample, each student was informed that this discussion was designed to find out moreabout what they think about the merits or disadvantages of the grade ten curriculum, andabout the development of their individual differences. The audio-taped transcriptionswere coded, and filed into separate categories by the researcher. The students andteachers were assured that names would be changed in the report, as would the name89of their school. In addition, they were told the completed report would be made availableto them.3.4.2 Issues of AnalysisFollowing data collection, the data were interpreted for meaning, and themes orpatterns identified. The authenticity of all data and the interpretations derived from thedata was brought about by triangulation. Triangulation was accomplished through ananalysis of school rationale statements, through student interviews, and through teacherinterviews. It should be noted, that the purpose of triangulation was not simply to arriveat one objective reality. Triangulation facilitates, rather, a wider consideration of possibleinterpretations that could be made of the same phenomena (Denzin, 1 989); Lincoln andGuba, (1985). Denzin (1989) points out that observer does not necessarily mean observerof the object, but can refer to observer of the data. In this case observation refers to morethan one data collection method, as a guard against the possibility of excess bias. Theintent was to compare the data gathered with developed conceptualizations, rather thanto confirm or disconfirm the developing conceptualization.According to Schumacher (1979), a multiple data approach, which includes:multiple methods, multiple participants and multiple situations, provides greaterobjectivity. This study adapted several components from each of Schumacher’scategories. In the manner Schumacher describes, the multiple methods include: policyanalysis; casual conversations; focused interviews; rationale documents; school’sphilosophy statements; and, extensive field notes. The multiple participants include: theschool’s head teacher, teachers of English, social studies, science and mathematics;students from the four core subjects; board program director; curriculum specialists, and90former students. The muftiple situations include: planning meetings with thesissupervisor and each member of the thesis committee; participation in weekendconferences on Multiple Intelligence ideas, incIudng one with Howard Gardner; and,Vancouver School Board conferences.3.5 Issues of GeneralizabilityAccording to Firestone (1993) there are three broad arguments to make a case forgeneralizability of findings within qualitative research. The three arguments are: (a)extrapolation from sample to population, (b) analytic generalization or extrapolation usinga theory, and (c) case-to-case translation. Of these three, this study can claim twoarguments for generalizing, analytic generalization and case-to-case translation. Thestudy claims analytic generalization as there are multiple links made between theparticipants and Multiple Intelligence Theory. Similarly, the study claims broaderrelevance through its case-to-case transfer, particularly for what Firestone terms, “rich,thick description” (p. 22). So while Firestone admits that “the argument for qualitativeresearch has never been that its claims for generalizability are exceptionally strong” (p.22), the study attempts to increase its broad applicability through describing theprocesses in one high school setting as well as the beliefs and perceptions of those withinit. This issue is discussed at more length in Chapter 7.3.6 Limitations of the StudyThe delimitations of the study are (a) specificity of setting and (b) inability toevaluate formally the MITA Model. The limitation of the study is (c) interruption by alengthy teacher strike. These limitations are manifested in problems of generalizability of91findings, and in a lack of opportunities to assess the MITA Model findings within regularclassroom practice.In order to increase confidence in the MITA Model findings, the model requiresgreater use and evaluation from within regular classroom settings. According to Miles andHuberman (1984), any single study generally provides only weak support for a knowledgeclaim and requires further replication studies to strengthen that claim. In this case, it isdifficult to show that the MITA model findings hold broadly across a wide variety of highschool classrooms. To do so would require further evaluation of the model in a varietyof settings.Accordingly, the same limitations to replicability also pose threats to the externalvalidity. If a curriculum coordinator is using the MITA model, for example, to provide acriterion for program evaluation in a large high school district, the teachers may concludethe MITA model program failed because it works only with certain groups of students, orin specific circumstances. Lastly, because of a strike, near the conclusion of the study,I was unable to discuss the model’s use in further detail after its application. Since thetwo week strike came near the end of the school year, both teachers and students werefaced with extra pressures to meet deadlines before the summer break. Both the timingand length of the strike, prevented further discussions with students and teachers, as wellas a more detailed evaluation of the MITA model.92CHAPTER 4: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MITA MODEL4.1 IntroductionChapter 4 describes the Ml Theory Application (MITA) Model, one of the majorcontributions of the study, and discusses the model’s development. The MITA Model isused throughout the study as a framework through which to examine MultipleIntelligence Theory as a tool to address student individual differences. First, the originsof the model are discussed; second, the processes involved in developing the model areexamined; and third, the ten implementation stages of the model are listed anddiscussed.4.2 Origins of the MI Theory Application (MITA) ModelOver a period of one year, with suggestions from participating students andteachers, I developed the MITA Model, as a tool to introduce MI theory to students andteachers for their consideration in high school learning. Similar to Eisner’s (1993) criteria,the MITA model combines as inseparable, notions of learning and assessment. The modelconsists of a ten-phase heuristic for using Ml Theory in classrooms to address individualdifferences. Students’ descriptions of their individual differences, and of their curriculum,were considered during each stage of development. Although I did not discuss specificallythe MITA Model with the students, I did discuss with them some of the basic ideasconcerning multiple intelligences.While the MITA Model reflects my discussions with students and teachers, itshould be noted here that the actual construction of this model comes from my owninterpretations and summaries of those discussions. The model was, shared with the four93teacher participants at several stages of its development. In the sense that Tesch (1 991)notes that research findings are really the researcher’s story, not the participants’, thismodel is based on my own understandings of MI theory as a useful tool in planningexperiences for high school learning. This understanding is influenced by my ownphilosophical assumptions, theoretical views, experience, education, and discipline, whichare not necessarily shared by all eight students or four teachers. Unfortunately, ateachers’ strike, during the study’s final stages, prevented further discussions about theirperceptions of the model’s overall usefulness4.3 Multiple Intelligence Theory Application Model: An OverviewThe MITA model, shown in Figure 4.1, is presented in ten phases which wereinvolved in introducing MI Theory into the high school setting used in this study. Themodel was generated in response to the question: “What is the nature of the curriculumdevelopment process when high school students and teachers in their classroompractices, apply ideas congruent with Multiple Intelligence Theory, in order to addressindividual student differences, within the traditional constraints of a high school? Howcan these processes be incorporated into a model?” It includes:1) Collaborating among teachers2) Brainstorming with students3) Introducing MI Theory to students4) Completing interest inventories5) Linking mandated curriculum6) Inviting parents’ ideas7) Consulting with each student948) Negotiating assessment crfteria9) Displaying and presenting projects10) Videotaping and filing projectsA description of each stage, with illustrations provided where possible, is describedin the remainder of the chapter. Figure 4.1 represents the most important componentsinvolved in the development of this model, and illustrates the interaction between theparticipating students, the teachers and myself. The representation is NOT, however,meant to convey a formula for applying Ml Theory in all situations.4.3.1 Collaborating Among TeachersThe first phase involved a collaboration among teachers, myself and, occasionally,my thesis supervisor, who met at the high school to plan the integrated curriculum design.Eisner (1993) argues: “. . . tasks should require students to display sensitivity toconfigurations or wholes, not simply to discrete elements.” From the initial stages of eachnew unit, our team discovered that we could learn a great deal from one another. Ouroriginal mandate was to brainstorm for ideas in order to construct the units around acommon theme. We attempted to include learning activities which invited students tolearn the materials in a multitude of ways. The themes chosen were the following: Grade8- LiQht; Grade 9- Power; and, Grade 10- Chancie. These collaborative meetings werenot aimed at initiating changes in this setting, but rather to introduce Ml Theory as auseful response to the change already in progress at the high school. For over two years,prior to this study, the school’s four main teachers collaborated regularly in an effort todesign an integrated curriculum that would both encourage more students to activelyFigure 41 MITA Model Development and Implementation (Expanded version) 951. Collaborating among teachers2. Brainstorming with students3. Introducing Ml Theory to students4. Completing interest inventories5. Linking mandated curriculum6. Inviting parents ideas7. Consulting with each student8. Negotiating assessment criteria9. Displaying and presenting projects10. Videotaping and filing projectsMI Theory Application Process GeneratedVStudent ReflectionsOn Their IntegratedProjects, On TheirIndividual Differ-VTeacher& Perceptionson MI Theorys Use AsA Generative ModelFor DevelopingStudent IndividualDifferencesences, and On TheirCurriculum96participate in the curriculum, and increase student motivation to learn, through makingconnections across the four disciplines, english, social studies, science and mathematics.As this team of teachers worked together to try and dissolve some aspects of theirsubject disciplinary boundaries, some teachers recognized the need to change theirexisting curricular models. One member of the team explained that in order to introducenew curriculum designs that worked, they had to let go of old models, such as rigidbarriers between disciplines, and think more in terms of interconnections.4.3.2 Brainstorming With StudentsIn the second phase teachers drew upon their initial ideas and made connectionswith students. Fullan (1982) in, The Meaning of Change, claims that we almost neverinvite high school students to provide their own ideas in developing the curriculum theyare expected to study. In fact, Fullan argues that teachers know almost nothing aboutwhat their students think. This study addressed this lack of student participation byactively involving students in the curriculum development process. We provided keyopportunities for them to construct new knowledge, through building bridges from whatthey already knew to what they would learn. We provided opportunity for deeperunderstanding, and stimulated curiosity, through a process Jacobs (1991) describes as -- moving from what they already know to learn new knowledge (Jacobs, 1991). Thiscollaboration also increased communications between the students and teachers, so thatboth became partners in the planning stages. According to Fowler (1990), studentsshould brainstorm more with teachers about the themes of each new unit in order toshare their understandings and make recommendations. Through such an exchange, it97was felt that the students became an integral part of the lessons from their inception -an activity which increased their motivation to learn more about the topics discussed.Finally, through a lively discussion where questions were raised, students were ableto explore different ideas as to how they might activate their learning abilities to respondto their own inquiries. What unique abilities could each student use, for example, in orderto express a deep understanding of each topic introduced in class? Which of their abilitiesmight combine to solve problems or create a new product in each discipline? Thesequestions led into the next development phase, the introduction of MI Theory tostudents.4.3.3 Introducing Ml Theory to StudentsIn order to assist students to examine their different intelligences, an interestinventory, shown in Figure 4.2, was designed to enable students to reflect on their ownindividual abilities and interests. Students were asked to identify their own abilities, andto outline any perceived weaknesses. In the discussion which followed, studentsexpressed an awareness of their different interests and abilities; they considered how theymight use their abilities and further develop their weaker ones. According to Gardner(1991), intelligences are always expressed in the context of specific tasks, domains anddisciplines. Thus one strategy that teachers could use is to ask students to suggestactivities which would be associated with each of the seven intelligences. For example,they may suggest experts who are proficient in one or more of the seven ways ofknowing be invited to address the class. Experts who represent different ways ofknowing, can suggest ways that a student can, as Eisner (1 993) argues, “select a formof representation he or she chooses to use to display what has been learned” (p. 231).Figure 4.2: Interest Inventory for Student UseName:Interdisciplinary Unit:1. Three words that describe me are____________2. Things I like to do when I am not in school are3. The subject I do best in school is4. I would like to learn more about5.6.7.8.98Someday I would like toLearning is fun whenIf I could do anything I want to at school, it would beI like to get praise for99Figure 4.2 Continued9. At school, when I’ve done something well, I like to be acknowledged by10. I wonder a lot about____________________________________________11. I like people who___1 2. Sometimes I worry about____________13. I learn best when__ __ __ ___14. One thing that really bothers me is_1 5. Something that really challenges me is1 6. One thing I know about myself is_____ _____(p. 143)The following section explores the use of an interest inventory, developed by Campbelland Dickinson (1992, p. 143) to identify representations the students may select.1004.3.4 Completing Interest InventoriesBased upon the class discussions and questions raised about the unit topic,students responded to an interest inventory. According to Campbell and Dickinson(1990) the interest inventory (see Figure 4.2) provides students with an opportunity toexpress their understandings of their abilities and interests. Students discussed eachinventory item in small groups in order to verbalize their notions of their individualdifferences and to get further insights from their peers about how these differencesrelated to the unit being taught.This interest inventory is also one tool for teachers to record progress from unit tounit, and can be adapted to relate to each unit taught. The interest inventories, if datedand filed, can be used to provide information concerning some aspects of the students’progress. Clearly, the inventory provides one method of getting to know students better,by providing an opportunity for them to express their ideas. In this way, students canbe guided toward project topics that reflect their personal proclivities, and can be assistedin expressing their understanding of each unit learned. Students who respondthoughtfully to interest inventories will also gain greater intrapersonal awareness of theirown abilities and goals (Dickinson, Campbell, 1991).4.3.5 Linking Mandated CurriculumTeachers on our team expressed concern that the mandated high school curriculumbe covered without extra work for students, and that students not be disadvantaged bya thematic or integrated approach. How can students cover the required curriculum, andyet not be bound by it? Eisner (1 993) argues: “tasks should have curricular relevance, butnot be limited to the curriculum as taught” (p. 230).One teacher suggested that mandated101curriculum be considered as springboards to deeper understanding of the topic, ratherthan as an end in itself. That concept (of curriculum springboards) became central to thesubsequent curriculum units designed and to the notion of curriculum used in the MITAmodel. At least three mandated topics from each discipline in the grade 8 coursecurriculum were chosen, for example, as we related curriculum to one theme in each unitdesigned. Figure 4.3 illustrates the format used in order to list core curriculum topics andidentify learning activities from each of the seven intelligences. Our collaborative meetingsin which this format was developed, not only assisted the team to clarity our owncurriculum directions, but enabled us to gain an appreciation and interest in one another’sdisciplines.4.3.6 Inviting Parents’ IdeasThe teachers wanted to increase communication, not just with other teachers, andwith students, but with the wider community. According to Eisner (1993), curriculumneeds to reflect, “tasks they (students) will encounter in the world outside schools, notmerely those limited to the schools themselves” (p. 226). While we recognized the valueof exchanging ideas with parents, our team was initially at a loss how to initiate suchcommunication. One teacher suggested we use the interest inventories as a starting point.His idea was to have parents complete an interest inventory, like the one shown in figure4.2, and then to file and compare both student and parent responses. This idea wasenthusiastically received by the team, since we had hoped to involve parents and otheradults from the community in our work.Thus home interest inventories were distributed so that parents could express theirperceptions about their teenagers’ interests. This exercise served three significantFigure 3.44ogical MathematicalLinguisticusicalSpatialodily-kinestheticnterpersonaiIntrapersonal102Ligh][Puma Cave: As introrn.iction for Integrating Four DIscIplInes ILearning Activities4‘Logical UsthematlessLinguistic$pi!iai/ Ogicil MathematicalLinguisticusacal!nglish[_Lie?U hAg.. çgegical MathematicalLinguisticusical051111ediiy-kinesthetlcrlterpersenaintrapersenai- ;m...ftJ... .eedm.*,pAotIocil StudieJII_Ti.a..IIItiJIIAn •nterdlsclpfinary aøprOachus.ng ne common theme. LIGHTto MI Theory in grade S.103functions. First, since parents know more about their kids than teachers ever will, itsupplemented the students’ inventories of their different proclivities and weaknesses.Secondly, since parents will often provide resources for the thematic units such asexperts to visit the class, or materials for a play, it involved them in the planning process.Thirdly, once parents understood the planning process and shared in the curriculumdevelopment, they would undoubtedly be more interested in their teen’s progress, andin providing more support at home.4.3.7 Consulting with Each StudentUntil this stage students had, for the most part, been involved in both large andsmall group discussions. Informal, individual meetings with the teacher were imperative.Research shows that students who discuss issues one-on-one with teachers do better inschool than those who do not (Hargreaves, 1 988). Such discussion provides opportunitiesfor students and teachers to negotiate a variety of ways for students to approachproblems. Eisner (1993) argues that, “. . . tasks should make possible more than oneacceptable solution to a problem and more than one acceptable answer to a question” (p.229).Use of the interest inventory generated discussions concerning both the student’sabilities and interests. Such dialogue also provided opportunities for the student andteacher to communicate concerning the directions for the individual project, orperformance-based assessments. These student-teacher conferences required theteachers to take on more the role of “guide to the side” as opposed to “sage on thestage” (Taylor, 1991). (See Appendix C for such a sample activity sheet which may befilled out with the student at this conference.)104In the next section, the assessment criteria for these activities are discussed.Assessment may also be negotiated with students at the individual conference or withthe class as a whole. While it is true that the assessment criteria negotiated for many ofthe students’ projects may be similar, it is also true that teachers and students who spendtime communicating and sharing ideas for these criteria, both benefit from the learningprocess.4.3.8 Negotiating Assessment CriteriaAssessment, according to Eisner, “ should reveal how students go about solvinga problem, not only the solutions they formulate” (p.226). As our team discussedmethods of assessing the process as well as products, and as we discussed the studentprojects, we began to develop vocabulary for describing the dimensions of studentprogress. The MITA Model suggests several different dimensions for assessing projects.Our discussions often centered around the notion of assessment criteria. While we did notwish to limit assessment to the rigid numerically expressed outcomes of short answertests, there existed a concern that projects not be diminished to the 1 920’s project ideasof “anything goes” (Kliebard, 1 986). The team expressed frequently a concern for genuineassessment, and we identified criteria for performance-based assessment activities. Thefollowing criteria list is based in part on recommendations for performance-basedassessment by Zessoules & Gardner, (1991) and in part on student and teacherrecommendations for negotiated assessment. Each project, it was concluded, should:- provide rich contexts as background to the study- relate to life beyond school105- display knowledge/skills and understanding- exhibit strengths of the student’s abilities- encourage cooperation among students and teachers- encourage a reflective stance on learning- culminate in meaningful end-states or products- demonstrate suitability for interdisciplinary work- provide possibilities for original work- lead to further interactions between students and teachersIn addition, teachers outlined six dimensions for assessing all projects. Each wasdiscussed with students through classroom teaching and individual assessments werenegotiated with students through discussion and conferencing. The dimensions used forassessing the projects included: 1). conceptualization; 2). presentation; 3). quality(technique, originality, accuracy); 4). individuality; 5). evidence of cooperativeness (thisincludes working with others, use of different sources etc.; and, 6). coherence withcurriculum topics.4.3.9 Displaying and Presenting ProjectsAt the end of the thematic unit the students discussed and debated their projectswith others, including the out-of-class community. According to Eisner (1993) . . . “tasksshould reflect the values of the intellectual community from which the tasks are derived”(p.227). This stage provided an excellent opportunity to invite the community membersto the school for the presentations and displays. The work would be more appreciated byall who helped formulate the original ideas and the community would be provided an106opportunity to show their appreciation to students. Students, on the other hand, wouldbe prepared to interact with community members, and to explain their work, respondingto questions and concerns.4.3.10 Videotaping and Filing ProjectsAs a means of documenting students’ work and progress, the MITA Model includesa component which recommends that a library of each student’s projects should becollected throughout the school years. Students and teachers would decide collaborativelyhow these files are to be gathered and stored. The format depends, for the most part,on the particular resources available, as well as the creative ability of the organizers togather and disseminate the information. Students may enjoy taping and filing videotapeson their projects and presentations.4.4 SummaryIn summary, the MITA Model, as it is described in this chapter, was the outcomeof the collaborative efforts of 8 students and 4 teachers and myself. The constructionof the model was influenced by students’ and teachers’ perceptions of the developmentof individual differences in high school. It provides a heuristic which may be useful in theintroduction and application of Ml Theory in similar settings at the high school level.107CHAPTER 5: STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOLING AND THEIR OWN ABILITIES5.1 IntroductionThe results of this study are presented in three chapters. In the previous chapter,the Multiple Intelligence Theory Application (MITA) Model was described, in response tothe first and main question guiding the research. Chapter 5 presents the results andanalysis of the study, in response to the second research question, “What was the roleof the students in the development of the Multiple Intelligence Theory ApplicationModel?” In other words, how did the students respond to this curricular initiative whichwas based upon an application of Ml Theory? Chapter 6 concludes the results section,and responds to the third research question, “What was the role of the teachers in thedevelopment of the Multiple Intelligence Theory Application Model?”5.2 Student Responses to Research Question TwoChapter 5 is organized in five sub-sections: time, space, authority, subject matter,and people. That is, how did the students respond to the questions I asked concerning:the use of time in high school; the role of space at school; the existence of studentauthority in the classroom (i.e. who exerts authority in school?); the role of subjectmatter; and, the involvement of other people in their class activities? Since these fociisolated significant aspects of the curriculum initiative, they were used to organize theinterview questions. In particular, I was interested in exploring how these curricularaspects or components influenced the extent to which the students’ own individualdifferences or perceived intelligences were acknowledged. I was also interested in howtheir interests and abilities were used in their school experiences both before and after the108integrated curricular unit. Furthermore, since students responded to each of these fivequestions in most discussions concerning curriculum and Ml Theory, the five foci alsoprovided natural categories for analyzing the data. The data are organized in such a waythat the students’ responses to their regular school activities are discussed first, and thisis followed by a discussion of how these issues were addressed in the study through theuse of the MITA Model.Data were extracted from two in-depth interviews held with each student, fromseveral informal group discussions, from students’ written responses to Ml Theoryconcepts (see Appendix J and K) and from my observations and discussions of thestudents’ projects (see Appendix L for a timeline and list of suggested project topics). Foreach of the five categories the research outcomes are stated and discussed. Whilestudents had less to say about time and authority, their detailed discussions in sections5.4, 5.6. and 5.7. reflect greater input during our discussions on the topics of space,subject-matter and people. Finally, Figure 5.1. shows the students’ descriptions of theirfinal projects as these related to their previously identified intelligences illustrated in Figure1.1 Sample quotes from student interviews described in Section 1.3.2. in Chapter 1illustrate the way in which the students’ interview questions were structured to elicit thestudent responses outlined below.5.3 Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Time in SchoolConcerning time, students typically expressed the fact that because teachers “ito cover “ certain curriculum in the textbook, there was often too little time in school toconsider their own unique abilities. Some students also recognized and showedcompassion for their teachers’ similar frustrations. For example, in the first interview Keith109expressed the idea that there were “no solutions” to these perceived time problems, andthat “teachers have no choice” but to cover all the mandated curriculum. The factor of“not enough time to cover ji the work” appeared to most students to be one mainreason their high school curriculum was often not extended to accommodate theirindividual abilities.Seven, out of eight students suggested that a major reorganization of time wouldbe required, in order to develop their individual interests and abilities at school. Studentsfrequently suggested that while inadequate time was devoted in high school todeveloping student individual differences, nothing could be done to remedy this problemunder the existing high school structure, because, as Kara said in the second interview:• .there is so much curriculum they have to cover . . .Several students and teachers cited the problem of an inflexible prescribed “core”curriculum in high school. Interestingly, lack of time was also cited as the greatestbarrier to the cultivation of more “potential learning opportunities”, in Brown’s (1991)findings (p. 237). While Brown talked to teachers and administrators, he unfortunatelyfailed to talk to students. He concluded: “We were told that there simply is not enoughtime in the day to challenge every student or provide personalized opportunities forlearning” (p. 235).What can be done to address the time problem identified here? The studentssuggested the following solutions. While several students mentioned that typically only3 blocks per week were allocated to subject areas of their strengths and interests, Samsuggested that classes be divided, not into blocks for each discipline, but merged “intoone class where you learn about specific themes.” Keith and Les both wanted to seemore time for individual projects, and Les, added that more time was required for110individual development, particularly with more time to relate “with the girls in his classconcerning important issues”.Some written references to the use of time in high school were also made. Elaine’swritten response in a Social Studies’ assignment, for example, illustrated her teachers’use of time, by showing how time is typically apportioned in her classes:They (teachers) need to stand in front of the classroom all dayteaching students. They have to talk all the time, answer questions, makesure their information gets through to the students, mark your work, put upwith students that talk when they talk, and put up with the daily stressesof the teacher. They have to sometimes talk over 30 other voices.Brown (1991) would argue that Elaine and the other students identified significanthigh school organizational problems here. According to Brown, the problems concerninglack of time may in fact be embedded in a larger systemic problem, concerning the waywe organize an average day in the high school. To illustrate this, Brown argues thattime, unfortunately, has become the fundamental unit of education, rather than thesubstance of what we teach. Brown goes on to illustrate what this error has come tomean in terms of development of individual differences among students:We do not ask what a high school graduate knows aboutmathematics; we ask how many years of mathematics she has had, a yearbeing the total number of forty-five minute periods during which she wasseated in class. This turns out to be about 132 hours, or sixteen and onehalf work days. Some year. We award credits and degrees for time spentin a seat. Curricula are laid out in terms of scope-and- sequences pegged to111time in class. Reading skill is expressed in terms of time; tests are timed.Nowhere more than here are the contemporary institutions of education’sroots - planted in early-twentieth century time study notions of industrialefficiency - so exposed. (pp. 235 - 236)Has Brown not clearly outlined here, basically the same time problems that studentsidentified, and does he not illustrate how the current divisions of time in high school toooften work against students’ individual development?5.3.1 Time Concerns As they were Addressed in the StudyThe MITA Model, (described in Chapter 4) addressed students’ concerns abouttime in two specific instances. Phase one of the Model, collaboration among teachers,illustrates the teachers attempt to construct several units of curriculum around onecommon theme. Their main intention was to dissolve some aspects of the rigid barriersbetween disciplines, and to think more in terms of interconnections. Through theintroduction of a thematic curriculum, the teachers and I felt we could resolve the problemof “too much mandated curriculum to cover in too little time.” Through a combination ofapproaches to each theme, with the four teachers and four disciplines sharing the themes,the coverage of curriculum would also be shared. The result of such a shared approachwas that different parts of the curriculum were simultaneously introduced and emphasizedin all four classes. In addition to addressing the problem of too much curriculum to cover,the teachers also responded here to the students’ concern that more time and emphasisbe placed on the development of students’ interests and abilities.The students concern about “too little time” was also addressed in the MITAModel’s fifth phase, linking mandated curriculum. The question we asked here was:112“How can students cover the required curriculum without becoming bound by it?” Figure4.3. illustrates the format we developed in order to link the curriculum and also to providean opportunity for students to express their knowledge of the curriculum in at least sevendifferent ways.The students were given one month to complete their final projects for theinterdisciplinary studies unit, for which they were awarded 10 per cent toward their finalgrades in each of the four disciplines, English, mathematics, social studies and science.For the most part the projects were researched and completed outside of the regularinstruction time. Teachers each allocated several class periods to be used for libraryresearch, however, and designed several sessions for small group discussions on theproject topics. Since no students, when describing their final projects, directly expressedany concern about a lack of time, and since all their projects were successfully completedbefore I viewed them with students shortly after the completion date, we can assumethat the one month allocated for these thematic projects was sufficient.When Keith described his project, he indicated that he had adequate time to bothreflect on different project ideas and enough time to change directions in order tosuccessfully complete a 22 page short story. In Keith’s words:Ellen: Could you tell me about your project?Keith: Well, urn, see originally I was going to do a newspaper .Ellen: Yes.Keith: . . . on, ah, personal change .Ellen: On personal change?Keith: . . . yeah, but urn I changed it because it was so boring.Ellen: You found it boring?Keith: No I found the newspaper format so boring right? So I made a story instead?Ellen: Okay?Keith: And I sort of made like a fantasy?Ellen: A fantasy?Keith: Yeah. Uh, it’s from, it’s relating to urn to it relates to heaven and hell. Okay,anyhow now it’s me and I have a car accident . .113Ellen: Yes?Keith: And then then I have this other scene where I have where God or whatever, anangel orEllen: A higher being.Keith: . . . urn from the heavens, and from hell, they’re arguing whether who should takewho, like whether I belong in hell or I belong in heaven? And urn through thatargument my life is uh reflected and uhEllen: Where did you get the idea?Keith: . . . well, it was a last minute idea. I don’t know, it just popped into my head.That was like, that was like, I don’t know, there was a week left or so, right? SoI had to do something. That just came.Ellen: So, what part of it did you enjoy doing the most?Keith: Urn, actually writing about my life. Like actually, urn, going back through myearlier years.Ellen: Yes.Keith: Urn, it’s it’d like I had to reflect on my other experiences and, urn, on some of thethe experiences that have probably cultivated some of my characteristics, and soon.Ellen: So you enjoyed the reflection part the most.Keith: Yes.Interestingly, Keith had expressed in his first interview that there were “no solutions”to the time problems, and that the teachers had “no choices”. In that interview he wasreferring to a lack of time to cover the prescribed curriculum. But, in this final interviewhe indicated that he had adequate time to create a project idea, to reflect on it’sdevelopment and then to change directions in order to complete his 22 page short story.The MITA Model provides two solutions to the time problem. First, using the MITAModel, teachers would communicate frequently with one another. The teachers, in otherwords would address time concerns for the assignments given in each class. While oneteacher administered a test or major assignment on a particular day, the other teachersmight plan in-class assignments, for example, or might extend the time provided for thecompletion of a task. Second, according to the MITA Model, teachers would brainstormwith their students and would discuss with students possible dates and criteria for each114project. In this way the teachers and students would plan together an adequate timeperiod to compete the work.5.4 Students’ Perceptions of Space at SchoolConcerning space, students appeared relatively unimpeded by the traditionalrestraints of an average high school classroom. The rooms were sometimes described aspoorly equipped, but the actual space and setting appeared to be comparativelyunimportant to teens. What was expressed as significant, regarding space, was theimportance of conversing with peers in meaningful ways, which could only take placewith flexible seating arrangements. In fact the students shifted my emphasis away fromthe physical aspects of space and highlighted the importance of “psychological space”(or friendships), an area I had failed to address, in the original research questions.Students suggested that friendships can be linked to higher quality work, and mostof them wanted increased collaboration with friends. They unanimously agreed thatfriends were the most critically important aspect of their education. Keith put it this way,“I can say that our class is quiet but we’re really close together.” He then emphasized hispoint, “Therefore it’s nice. Like the environment is really important.” Keith attributed thenotion of friends’ support to homogeneous groups, stating that “. . . I guess if you’retravelling with a group of people that have the same interests . . . you learn a lot more.”Kara expressed the need to have more opportunities for students to teach eachother, “because we do that sometimes, but if you had a younger grade or something likethat, or you got some people that you actually got to tutor.” In addition to telling storiesabout the benefits of teaching others, Kara also told of students tutoring her, especiallyin mathematics. “Well, I call my friends. See a lot of my friends are really good in math115and science, so it works out well.” Sam indicated: “. . . If I don’t understand something,they’re the ones I ask.” When asked who contributed most to his grade 10 class, Keithresponded: “Friends”, adding: “Yeah, like peers.. . . I think close friends are the mostimportant thing right now.”Several boys wanted seats rearranged so that they could relate to more of the girls.Les said, “I’d mix the girls up more with the boys. That’s it. . . I’d have the girls and boyswork more together . . . because you get different ideas when you work with the girls,and not just the guys.” Sam argued that desks should be arranged in “two big rowslike you had in elementary school.” There he described “the desks were connected. Wewere facing one another.” He added, “That was really good . . . because you could talkto everybody. You could see everybody.” Cathy suggested desks should be arranged,“like maybe in a circle or semi-circle or like . . . not so structured.” Then Cathy decidedthat she wouldn’t have desks at all, but would have tables instead, “where maybe sixpeople could sit at a table”.Several students recommended that classroom space might be better utilized inorder to accommodate peer support. Elaine, for example, said that “seats should berearranged more, so that students could sit with their friends and make new friends ona regular basis”. Les suggested that more student reactions were needed “to whateveris being done” in school. Although gender distinctions were never identified by the girlsas having any significant influence on the curriculum issues we discussed, several boysdid indicate a desire to include more girls in their group interactions.Students indicated that friendships influence their sense of well-being at school,both by giving them greater support as well as helping them to learn. In Elaine’s words:if I have problems and I don’t understand, then I like working in groups to figure it116out.” She suggested that fellow students actually contributed to her curriculum programmore than any person, because . . . “we sort of help each other.” Elaine added, “Whenwe have problems . . . like when we don’t understand something we ask each other,instead of the teacher sometimes.” Elaine even suggested that students should beencouraged to participate more in guest speaking, and that former students should beinvited in as they would be, in her opinion, “more interesting.” The students’ emphasison the important relationships between friendships and learning is not surprising,according to one recent youth survey (Bibby & Posterski, 1992). According to Bibby andPosterski, in a cross-Canada youth survey, friendships ranked even higher than familyrelationships in teens’ estimation of relational values and enjoyment.But what does this student emphasis on friendships suggest to teachers and tocurriculum developers? What would some students say about the opportunities forlearning from their peers? Is it possible to create curriculum opportunities that willchallenge and equip students, without understanding and incorporating the values theyhold highest? Are there embedded opportunities within curriculum for meaningful peerinteractions? West (1985) would agree with these students that peer evaluation, forexample, is one way to develop an atmosphere where students would learn more aboutthe subject, about themselves, and about learning (p.176).How much attention do adults give to the high significance teens place on theirfriendships? Could the lack of attention given here be attributed to what Fullan (1982)suggests is our lack of knowledge about what students think? More important, how arefriendships, and their potential value for development of student abilities, factored into thecurriculum organization in high school? The fact that students in this study shifted myattention away from the physical space of classrooms to the psychological space of peer117relationships suggests that students support an emphasis on meaningful peer interactionsas part of their high school learning experience.Just as researchers Bibby & Posterski (1992), reported that friendships wereextremely important to teenagers (pp. 1 99 - 206), this fact was repeatedly expressed bythe students in this study. Interview questions that related to physical space ofclassrooms, brought the students comments about friends and peer support. Where I hadintended a discussion about seating arrangements, for example, the students spoke offriends who sat near them. Students also identified opportunities that the schoolenvironment provided for nurturing friendships, as more significant than the mere physicallayout of their classroom. In fact the surroundings were much less important to teens thanto their teachers. Friendships, on the other hand, rated highest on the students’ list ofwhat is needed at school.5.4.1 Space Concerns as they were Addressed in the StudyStudents’ concerns for more opportunities to interact with their peers wereaddressed in the MITA Model, especially in phases two and ten, as illustrated in Chapter4. In phase two, brainstorming with students, the students participated together in thecurriculum process. Not only did this stage provide opportunity for students and teachersto collaborate, but it created an environment where students collaborated with oneanother on each topic. Students, for example, were encouraged to choose partners orform groups in order to explore different aspects of the common themes. At times theyraised questions and communicated their ideas individually within the large group. Atother times they exchanged ideas in small groups.118The phase ten component, videotaping and filing projects, was included in theMITA Model partly to provide students with opportunities to work together. While thisphase was to have taken place following the completion of their interdisciplinary projects,the teachers’ strike prevented the model’s full application. Thus, one can only speculatethat phase ten, the process of students videotaping and filing projects, would haveaddressed their concern for additional opportunities to interact with their peers within alearning environment.Since students were provided with choices for their interdisciplinary units, somecollaborated to generate project ideas and created ways to work together. Sam, forexample, described how he interacted with his peers during this final project.Ellen: Okay, Sam! Will you tell us about your project?Sam: Urn, I did something that was almost exactly what you are doing right now. Iwent and interviewed people about school, and how it related to ourinterdisciplinary studies, our subject areas. Urn, I just asked them how theiractivities outside of school and and urn their interests related to school and whatthey learned and how it interrelated. So I just asked them . . . (both talking at onefor a brief time)Ellen: Who did you interview? Students, these people? or outside adults? or where theyalready in school? or finished school? or both?Sam: I interviewed whoever I could. It was mostly students. There was one or twoadults in the uh tape.Ellen: The tape.Sam: Yeah.Ellen: And then how did you write up your study, And what did you find out? Whatkinds of things surprised you that you found out?Sam: Well, okay, I didn’t write up a study. I handed in a tape which was, urn, with mycomments in it, and learned, urn, that people think that they don’t learn anythingin school, and most of the time their interests in what they learned in school andwhat they’re interested, the subjects they’re interested in is totally different?They’re almost nothing in common. Usually.Ellen: What would you do about that. . . Sam? Is there anything that can be done aboutthat?Sam: Well . .Ellen: Are you suggesting that school might be more related to students’ interests andwhat they do well? You said it almost isn’t. almost is always not related. Did youthink that it should be related?Sam: Yes119Ellen: Yes. Can you give me any examples of what was not related? Things that peoplereally liked to do and then couldn’t do in school?Sam: Okay, urn, (pause) there’s someone, they liked sportsEllen: YesSam: . . . but they they in school they liked photography and like their, or activities theylike bike riding and well i can’t remember it well but there wasn’t anything thatwas similar.Ellen: Okay . . . alright. That’s interesting. So actually that is exactly what I’m doing,because I’m looking at what the things that you’d enjoy doing and that you’regood at that are part of your schooling and you’ve been helping me to do that.Was it a worthwhile project? Sam? (pause) Did you learn something importantfrom it?Sam: Not really.Ellen: What would you have done differently if you did it again?Sam: I would ask some different questions, and made it more specific.Ellen: It’s hard to ask interview questions . . . and draw people out. When they’re realquiet, it’s hard to know what to do.Sam: Most people just answered with one word answers, they didn’t give me anythingelse so . . . it was kind of hard, but most people, the adults I did, they went on andon and on!In spite of Sam’s obvious lack of interview skills, and the young interviewees’ lackof communicating skills, which left him short on data, and without adequate responsesto some questions, Sam described his significant efforts to interact with others. Perhapsone of the most important results from Sam’s project is seen in his reflections near theend of our talk. Here Sam clearly identified his errors during the interview experience, andsuggested that he would reword the questions in future, in order to make the questionsto his peers more specific. Sam’s interactions with his peers and his personal reflectionsin the above segment show Sam’s progressive development of his own interest andability to communicate and work with others.5.5 Students’ Perceptions of their Own Authority in SchoolConcerning authority, students usually described their teachers as flexible, andconcerned. They felt, for the most part, that they were given some authority to develop120their own abilities, but four students agreed that they learned most from teachers who,as Cathy said, “get closer to the kids,” and as Les added, “get on our level”.Students generally said that teachers held all or most of the authority over theirlearning but sometimes indicated they were given choices. They also described additionalpeople with authority. Kara, for example attributed authority to “people who make thetexts” and Cathy said the teachers and parents “shared authority” over her learning. ForJoe, other students possess authority which they express “in different ways”. Thefollowing segment from my second interview with Joe elaborates this point.Ellen: Ok, can you tell me what you mean by that?Joe: Um . . . like uniqueness I guess . . . Like if you’re funny then you’re always theone making jokes in class . . .or . .Ellen: OK?Joe: . . . um . . . if your like athletic then if you’re always the one whose I dunno• talking about it or playing it all the time . . . and everything.Ellen: Yes. And so do you think everybody has . . . ah . . . a lot of authority to developthat urn . . • unique ability?Joe: Urn . . . Yeah. Cause I see many unique. . . Everyone’s quite a bit different in myclass.Ellen: Yes?Joe: Yeah . .Ellen: And do you feel that you have opportunities in class to express your ownuniqueness as well?Joe: Yeah, I think so.But while Joe suggested that students possessed authority to express theirdifferent abilities in school, he had not related that authority to any high school curriculumtopics. In fact, as evidenced in the following segment from later in the interview, Joe wasunable to identify any incident where he used his own authority to express differenceswithin the current curriculum.Ellen: OK. Good. What are the topics that you’ve learned about that are important to youin school this year?121Joe: Urn. Ah.Ellen: Any topics at all.Joe: Urn . . .Canadian history.Ellen: Uh huh.Joe: Urn . . . I dunno. Like science stuff. Stuff that you learn like . . . like how they.like invented all these things that we have right now.Ellen: Uh huh.Joe: Urn . . .like electricity. . .UmEllen: Yes.Joe: Urn . . . ah . . . anything else important . . . ?Ellen: Ok, those are . .. those sound interesting to me. . . Of those topics whichallowed you to use your own ability. Were there any opportunities to express yourown different abilities?Joe: Not really.Ellen: OK.Joe: NoI further questioned Joe to find out how he would reconstruct the current curriculumso that he had rnore authority to develop and express his own abilities and interests.Ellen: OK. What topics or activities would you add to a program in order to maximizeyour own highest abilities? If you had the choice to . . . to choose or makeactivities happen in grade ten what would you add?Joe; Urn. Maybe more group activities...Ellen: OK.Joe: Like . . .um like more . . .1 dunno . . like more group projects or something .Something that less stresses the individual stuff Urn .Ellen: OK. So are you saying that you would advocate a curriculum that looks at studentsbeing able to work in maybe three’s or four’s?Joe: Yeah. Like . . well not all the time . . .but .Ellen: More of the time.Joe: Yeah. More.Ellen: OK. So in other words, kids like working with other kids.Joe: Yeah. Mostly we have friends and everything. That’s. . . . It helps . . . and there’smore ideas and stuff.Ellen: Yes. It sure does. Well, that’s great.Joe: Yeap.Ellen: OK. How would you describe the role of students and the role of teachers inbringing information?Joe: Well, students give . . .give ideas and stuff . . or answers or from the questionsthat the teachers give you. . .Ellen: Uh huh.Joe: Urn and like they just . . . Students tell what they feel about it. . . whatever topicit is. .Ellen: Ok. So they have a pretty active part as well?122Joe: Yeah.Ellen: OK. And so you think that’s a good idea.Joe: Yep.Ellen: OK. Who would you ask to participate in the program in order to develop your ownhighest abilities? If you could set up a school for you and in order to develop thethings that you do best , who would you ask to participate in that program?Joe: Friends, I believe that would help a lot. . . urnEllen: OK.Joe: I think everyone’s opinion, like friends, teachers and parents.Ellen: Oh Ok. So that’s interesting that you would say parents. So would you have theparents more active in the schools?Joe: Urn . . . a little bit.Ellen: OK. In what way do you see that happening, Joe?Joe: Urn. . . more and more conferences involving the parents.Ellen: OK.Joe: Like informing them more.Ellen: Yes.Joe: Yeap.While some of Joe’s comments in this last segment clearly relate to othercurriculum foci discussed in this work, I included the final interview segment here in orderto illustrate how Joe recommended increased student interactions, more group work andindicated that authority over learning could be shared among friends, teachers andparents.For Keith the teachers held most authority, but for Elaine the math teacher did notneed to use his authority. Student authority, for Elaine, increased with one’s ability andunderstanding in a subject. Because she could already do the mathematics, Elainedescribed that she had more authority to learn in her math class. Her photographyteacher, however, did exert authority, since photography is not so straightforward,according to Elaine, and therefore she needed more guidance and structure. Elaineexpressed her enjoyment of being able to do math alone, however, she felt frustrationover having to watch examples be “explained over and over for those who could not getit”.123Les said that teachers and students should be more equal, and in one informaldiscussion, began to explain how this equality might work. But after some elaboration onthe topic, Les retracted his recommendations for more student-teacher equality. First heexplained how teachers had to make up so many lessons and unit plans, and then heconcluded that “maybe it’s best the way it is, after all.” Although, for the most part,students did not describe themselves in control of their own learning, several suggestedthat student authority was available to them in several ways. Joe and Keith, for example,suggested that they possessed the authority to learn whatever they chose to, or tochoose not to learn something.Following an in-class introduction of Ml Theory by Mark and John, the studentsindicated a willingness to take on more authority for their own learning. In other words,they described their interests in developing their own abilities at school and increasingtheir repertoire of intelligences used in school activities. In written responses the studentsrevealed a wide range of answersL to the question posed in Mark’s social studies class:“Are there other intelligences you personally wish to develop?” Les wrote, “No, I feel thatI am developing all the intelligences”, and Elaine responded, “I would like to developinterpersonal, verbal/linguistic, and bodily kinesthetic intelligences more.” All but Lesexpressed a desire to further develop at least one particular ability. Kara stated: “I wouldlike to improve my mathematical, and my musical abilities.” Sam, replied in similarfashion, saying: “I would like to develop such intelligences as musical and mathematical,because this would help me to broaden my horizons, and give me new perspectives andways of looking at things. Cathy extended the notion of intrapersonal ability and statedthat she hoped to improve her “conscience and intuition,” since, “conscience is whatkeeps us morally ethical, and human intuition is the immediate understanding of truths,124facts, or events without reasoning.” Keith wanted to develop his verbal/linguistic, musicaland interpersonal skills as he felt he was weak in these four areas. Each student seemedto be very aware of his or her personal strengths and weaknesses, and most thought theycould be somewhat autonomous in developing their abilities in different areas. Insummary, their comments affirmed the need for a high school curriculum that bothacknowledges and accommodates students’ authority or responsibility for their ownlearning.In the same way, Stumbo (1989), Taylor (1 991) and Lieberman (1992) concludedthat students who are given more authority in school usually become autonomous,independent learners, the students in this study typically related that their increasedauthority to choose what and how to learn, significantly increased their learningopportunities. Taylor, for example, refers to a mutual respect between students andteachers that enables students to speak out and question all aspects of their work andenvironment. When asked how they could become more autonomous, some students inmy study expressed a desire for more shared-power relationship with teachers, andrelated that students learn most from teachers who “get down” to their level and “getcloser to the kids”. Stumbo calls for increased student voice in the classroom, and moreflexibility to extend their curriculum activities beyond the rigid setting in class, wheretraditionally students sat and listened and teachers talked. While students did notdescribe any flexibility to add new curriculum initiatives to their programs, they oftenindicated that they had authority to “make choices” from within the present structure.1255.5.1 Student Authority Concerns as they were Addressed in the StudyThe MITA Model addressed the students’ concerns for personal authority orempowerment, particularly in phases seven and eight, as illustrated in Chapter 4.“Authority” here refers to the control one has over one’s own learning or the permissionto learn subject matter content in a particular way. Phase seven recommends consultingwith each student, and phase eight, negotiating assessment criteria. Both of the aboverecommended ways that would give students the authority necessary to make personalchoices about their own learning.Les described his choice in the final project, for example, to discuss theconnections between four disciplines in an intrapersonal manner.Les: My project was on personal change.Ellen: Ahhh . . . why did you chose that topic?Les: (pause) Because . . . it seemed easy at the time. (laughs)Ellen: And what happened in the project? What does it look like? And what didyou do?Les: It’s uh it’s like a life story. An autobiography uh comparing English,Science, Math and Socials.Ellen: Okay. Did you relate it in any way to debate? [Referring to hisearlier expressed interests in debating]Les: Uh . . . sort of.Ellen: How?Les: Just decisions.Ellen: You talked about decisions. Did you relate it to singing or music?Les: MusicEllen: So how you improved and how you think you went sort of backwards[referring to an earlier statement made]. Okay. And what was the mostinteresting part of the report? What was the part you enjoyed doing themost? Of all that you did?Les: The baby years.Ellen: You enjoyed the baby years because you reflected back on those years? orWhy did you enjoy the baby years?Les: (pause) Because babies have nothing to contend with!Ellen: So you found that the choices that you were forced to make and all thethings that you had to do later were harder.Les: Yeah.126Ellen: Or were less interesting. Where did you get your information? Didyou have to interview people? I mean you wouldn’t remember when youwere a year old.Les: I don’t know, I had to ask people, my mother, aunts and uncles, and youknow see what I was like.Ellen: And did you tell in the story what they said?Les: Yeah, yeah I incorporated it into the story.Ellen: So you actually had interviews incorporated into your story.Les: (pause) Sort of.Ellen: Did you do any art? Did you use any pictures? What didLes: No (laughing) it was just a plain report!!Ellen: Just writing.Les: Yeah, just all writing.Ellen: So there were no pictures in it?Les: No pictures.Ellen: But do you remember how long it was?Les: (long pause) I don’t know. It was like 20 some pages.Ellen: 20 some pages! that’s amazing! What would you do different if you wereto do it over again?Les: Don’t do it at all.(both laugh)Ellen: Okay, I’m going to ask you a hard question then! How did it relate toMath?Les: How did it relate to Math? (pause) The quantity of statistics uhm whatelse let’s see . . . Math the course that I took at school!Ellen: Yes.Les: Urn, uh, urn, figuring out you know money. Stuff like that.Ellen: Okay, how did it relate to SocialsLes: Socials? History, geography, you know, who I am. and, uh .Ellen: Where you came from.Les: Yeah.Ellen: Where you’re going.Les: Economics.Ellen: Economics? Interesting. How did it relate to English?Les: English? The presentation, uh, the, uh, the language, (longpause) .Ellen: How did it relate to Science?Les: Science. I was born! That’s what!!Ellen: (laughs)Les: Yeah and I grew! That’s one!Ellen: Okay.Les: Uh . . . uh . . . (pause) Weather, what Vancouver’s like.Ellen: The weather, okay. The topography in Vancouver?Les: Yeah. Rain.127As the above segment indicates, Les appeared unsure about some of therelationships that existed among the four disciplines. Nevertheless his project descriptionprovided a clear demonstration of the subject matter which he personally selected torelate to his own personal interests and abilities as well as to the grade ten requiredcurriculum. Les used his authority to relate the project work he did to several of his owninterests and abilities. For example, he used an autobiographical approach to reveal andexamine his own interests in intrapersonal issues, mathematics and economics.5.6 Students’ Perceptions of Subject MatterConcerning subject matter, students most enjoyed topics that related to life beyondthe classroom, and expressed interest in topics that allowed them to use what theyconsidered to be their “passions”. Some students expressed a particular enjoyment forcurriculum experiences that provided hands-on activities such as the wood liceexperiments described in detail (see Chapter 1) by Elaine, Kara and Keith as enjoyable andworthwhile. By way of contrast, they sometimes referred to “dry” text materials asunrelated and boring.Several students identified examples of real life connections which they enjoyedin most of their classes. Elaine spoke of the contests in math, which made sense to hersince she could apply the mathematics concepts to life experiences that she understood.Sam spoke of the Pacific Rim studies relating meaningfully to various ways of life, andtherefore taking on meaning for him. Sam suggested that school should be “related tolife and to work after”. Sam described a unit introducing people in different careers,where a Credit Union manager came in to teach the class: “Like last year we tookbusiness education . . . And the teacher brought in a man from the credit union and he128helped us do our project. That .. . . we were selling shirts . . . So he was really helpfulin doing that.” Then he went on to explain that schools need more of that kind ofconnectedness to real life - people from the community, and people from different careers.Chelsie also enjoyed school when curriculum was related to the world, and she could seethe connections.In addition to topics that related to the real world, the students enjoyed subjectmatter topics that accommodated their individual interests and abilities. How were theirideas about subject matter and Ml Theory documented? In the first interviews studentsresponded to questions about their subject matter, without any prior knowledge of MITheory. At about midway through the study, the students were introduced to Ml Theoryin class by three of the four teachers. The idea was to expand the students’ vocabularyabout their interests and abilities and to communicate with them about Ml Theory ideas.All students in the study were given an opportunity to respond in written form totheir perceptions of the ideas put forward by the teachers and myself regarding Ml Theoryas it related to subject matter. How were students made aware of the main ideas in MlTheory? Mark, the head teacher, first introduced Ml Theory to his grade ten social studiesclass, in which all eight students participating in the study were enrolled. Although Iobtained data on the whole class’ response to Ml Theory ideas, I will focus upon the 8students in his class who were the student participants in this study. Those eight wereinterviewed after the introduction of Ml Theory, in order to obtain more information abouthow the students related subject matter to Ml Theory ideas.The students in Mark’s class discussed MI Theory using four categorical topicareas. These areas included students’ perceptions of their own intelligences; any changesin their perceived areas of strength over time; the development of additional intelligences;129and, their perceptions of their teachers’ strengths. Following this classroom presentationand discussion, the students graphed (on both line and circle graphs) their perceptions oftheir own strengths and weaknesses. Mark adapted and used a Multiple IntelligencesSummary Wheel (Lazear, 1991, p. 197) for this purpose. For an illustration of how twostudents’ (Kara and Sam) responded on this wheel, and to the questions, see AppendixI. Within the wheel each intelligence is represented under several descriptors. Musical, forexample, is represented under music structures, schemas for hearing music, sensitivityto sounds, and so on. Each of these divisions was clarified by Mark in class, so thatstudents understood the meanings intended. Mark then designated seven lines on eachof the intelligences represented, so that the students could indicate for each intelligencerepresented, roughly where they perceived their strengths and weaknesses to be. Simplyput, the students charted their perceptions of their own intelligences. Because the wheelprovided an equal section to represent each of the seven intelligences, the students couldcompare their perceived individual abilities. That is, students could compare theirperceived musical abilities with their perceived mathematical abilities and so on.Next, Mark engaged the class in a discussion concerning the development ofindividual differences. Students were asked to write, what Mark referred to as the“professional use” (in a career) and the “personal use” (for personal enjoyment) of eachintelligence. Two sample charts which illustrate the students’ perceptions concerning theexpressions of each intelligence, are listed in Appendix J. The exercise was intended toboth increase the students’ understanding of Ml Theory, and to relate the theory to reallife. The students then responded in written form to four related questions (seeAppendix K):130Students appeared especially aware of their orociress in develonment of abilitiesover time. When asked how she had changed from childhood to adulthood, for example,Elaine wrote:As a child I did not have physical strength or endurance or skill tocarry out some sports and physical activities. My body did not developenough to enable me to do these things. For example I could not throw aball accurately. As I got older I could succeed in all the fundamentals.Visually and spatially, I haven’t changed much. But I’ve improved quite a bitin the verbal and interpersonal. My musical abilities have always been there.Elaine’s was a typical story, only the variations and abilities described differed. Butall of the students expressed an awareness of where they were strong and where theywere weak, and most of them saw improvement in some areas and reported a desire toimprove the others. Keith told of how he grew in confidence over the years, through hissuccesses in bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal and verbal skills. He attributed thisconfidence for his change from “shyness, protectiveness and narrow-mindedness” to a“greatly improved” academic achievement.In reference to the subject matter content they learned, students demonstratedan ability to discern their strengths and weaknesses realistically. Confirmation thatstudents had accurately described their apparent mastery of the grade ten subject matter,came from other students about their peers during our group discussions. Three students,for example, referred to Elaine’s success in mathematics. Students also spoke of thebenefits of doing many activities that would give them opportunities for nracfice. Sam131suggested that having a mentor to help him practise would also be beneficial. It isinteresting to note here that while their abilities as described by the students varied,students typically shared a common desire to take part in a variety of different activitiesand to be provided the opportunity to exercise many abilities.5.6.1 Subject Matter Concerns As They Were Addressed in the StudyHow did the students’ perceptions of their individual abilities and interests asevidenced in their work in school subjects differ before and after the introduction of MITheory? During our first interviews and early discussions, the students had no knowledgeof Ml Theory. By the time students described their final year’s projects, however, theyhad been introduced to Ml Theory concepts. Interestingly, their ideas about “subjectmatter” unlike ideas about the other four foci: time, place authority and people, showsignificant changes over the year that I worked with students. Certain changes wereevident from the beginning interviews to my final discussions with students on the topicof subject matter.In order to compare students’ responses about their perceptions of subject matterin the initial interviews which occurred in September, with their final description of therole of subject matter in their projects, in June, first, it would be helpful to review brieflystudents’ initial responses. As previously illustrated in Figure 1 .1, students varied broadlyin their initial identification of what we came to call, their “passions” or their individualabilities and interests. In the first interviews, except for the opportunity to chooseelectives, the students did not identify any significant relationship between their interestsand abilities and their high school curriculum’s accommodation of these. However, whenthese abilities and interests were discussed in the context of their final June projects, the132students documented significantly increased interests and abilities that were expressedin their projects.As earlier stated, the final interdisciplinary projects were a product of thecollaborative efforts by four subject area teachers, and these were assigned 10% of thestudents’ final mark in each of the four subject areas: mathematics, science, socials, and,English. Students were expected to create a project based on the unit theme for the term,to use as many of their intelligences as possible in these thematic projects, and they werealso expected to show some relationships among the four disciplines, in their work.When interviewed about their projects, several students identified additionalintelligences to those mentioned in previous interviews (see Figure 1 .1), which suggeststhat students were able to describe a wider range of abilities after their introduction to MlTheory. Some, however, did not perceive any relationship between expressed interestsand abilities and the subject matter in their interdisciplinary projects. For example, Joe,did not mention Socials or English in the initial discussions, but expressed their lack ofrelatedness to his project in the follow-up discussion. Les, on the other hand, referred forthe first time, to intrapersonal, interpersonal and mathematical skills that came into playin doing his project, three intelligences that were not mentioned as abilities in formerdiscussions.How did the students use their different abilities to develop the subject matter dealtwith in their individual projects? Kara recognized the use in her project of several differentabilities and was able to identify her use of multiple intelligences. In contrast, Chelsie,Cathy and Keith described several of their previously listed intelligences, as non-existentthroughout their projects. While some intelligences did not relate to students’ work, manyof their abilities appeared to be useful for the integrated projects they described. In133summary, through students’ interviews, I was able to document their perceived abilitiesas they related to the integrated curriculum project. As illustrated in Figures 1 .1. and 5.1.,students typically described more interests and abilities expressed in their projects,which occurred after Ml Theory application, than were expressed in their regularassignments, discussed in the interviews prior to the Ml Theory introduction. The factthat students appeared more aware of their different abilities following Ml Theoryintroduction, may support the study’s assumptions that Ml Theory is a generative modelfor addressing student individual differences at the high school level. The increasedvariety of intelligences expressed in the project work, however, may also be influencedby the nature of projects. That is, the increased references to individual abilities and thedevelopment of these may be more a result of some projects’ greater accommodation ofstudent individual differences. It should be noted, however, that because the MITA modelwas developed from documented students’ ideas about their awareness of their ownindividual differences, the model also incorporated their recommendations for furtherdeveloping these differences. How does this model relate in particular to students’ ideasabout their subject matter described in this section? Finally, how does the MITA Modelhelp to connect student ideas about subject matter, to the whole project?The MITA Model, in Figure 4.1, illustrated my incorporation of studentrecommendations about their high school subject matter, and my own efforts to show themany relationships between the students’ ideas and Ml Theory ideas about studentindividual differences. Figure 1 .1 (in Chapter 1) illustrated the relationships betweenstudent “passions”, high school curriculum and Ml Theory. Figure 5.1 illustrates oneaspect of the students’ major projects, by showing the relationships between students’initial expressed interests or abilities, Ml Theory, and their final interdisciplinary projects.134Figure 5.1 Relationships Between Student Passions, Ml Theory, and Final Interdisciplinary Thematic Study’s ProjectsParticipant Passion Reference to Expressed in ProjectMl Theory (from initial antervews)Joe sports kinesthetic did report on sports; showedhow 5 sports changed over theyears — included: tennis,baseball, football, hockey, andbasketballcomputers spatial typed his report; showedchanging technology in sportssocials not relatedlinguistic English not relatedElaine math logical- found it hard to relatemathematicalphotography spatial Burned the edgescamping intrapersonal used diary approachteaching others interpersonal (no mention of use)Les debate linguistic related project to debatesinging musical told stories about his musicintrapersonal autobiography wrote a life storyinterviews interpersonal asked family stories about hisbabyhoodstatistics mathematical statistics and math courses I tookin schoolKara swimming kinesthetic examined family sportsart spatial Drew headings for videohistory linguistic Wrote a family historydrama kinesthetic Created a videocommunicating interpersonal interviewed relativesscience labs intrapersonal examined fam. occupations(i.e.uncle designed a truck)Figure 5.1 Continued 135.. P.a.rtic:p.an.t :piön. •:.:Refé?eflce.to..:...:...; :::::E :ré:sedin P.:.. :::...:.:•.:[ Theory. .::.:. (fro:initia[Sam sports kinesthetic not mentionedcreative ideas linguistic interests unrelated to schoolart spatial not mentionedbusiness interpersonal interviewed peopleChelsie math logical- number of believersmathematicalpiano musical 13, 14, &15 Centurysports kinesthetic built a mockup churchreading linguistic Religious Historywriting linguistic Essay - “The Holy Book”Cathy piano music “does not relate”socials linguistic examined time instrumentsEnglish linguistic Wrote an essayWorking with interpersonal inventors of sundialspeoplemusic musical “did not relate”math logical- “had a lot to do with” theory ofmathematical relativityhow pendulum swingsKeith sports kinesthetic showed evolution of sportsmath mathematical did not relate to mathscience mathematical Science Fiction storysocials linguistic originally - do newspaperart spatial did not relate to artFigure 5.1 illustrates a wide variety of interests and abilities expressed by studentsand some application of these abilities in their final projects. The following sectionidentifies three main limitations of the subject matter typically taught in a high school toaccommodate students’ different interests and abilities.136As their responses indicate, the students identified three main limitations of theirpresent curriculum subject matter to accommodate their individual differences. First,insufficient time is allocated daily for each discipline. Second, the mandated curriculumdrains too much of the students’ energy, allowing few opportunities to explore anddevelop their own interests and abilities. And third, the riciid university requirements donot include opportunities for individual development.Students generally described subjects that related to “real life” as more interestingnow, and more “useful” for their future career preparations. Students also recommendedthat they should be given more choices concerning what high school subjects theystudied. In contrast to Bloom’s (1987) claim that high school students frequently do notknow what subjects to choose, and should be offered a menu of the classics rather thanexpected to make choices, the students in describing their projects, identified a widevariety of interests and abilities that they hoped to develop in school. As a group, thestudents’ listed, as indicated in Figure 5.1, all seven intelligences identified in Ml Theory.This fact would seem to support the argument in favor of a high school curricular menuthat would allow students to develop individual differences, rather than a more traditionaldisciplinary content.Perhaps because these were generally strong academic students, they easilyreflected on their own abilities, and articulated their expressions of individual differencesin class. For the most part, as indicated in Figure 5.1., students expressed a desire to usemore than one intelligence in their schoolwork, and an appreciation for opportunities touse a variety of abilities. Interestingly, the intelligences least mentioned by students asuseful, were musical and intrapersonal. From the students descriptions of their projects,137they corroborate Gardner’s (1992), argument that mathematical and linguistic are themost useful intelligences for most current school-related projects.Linguistic abilities were mentioned by students on nine occasions as contributingto their projects, and mathematical, on six. Kinesthetic was mentioned six times, andspatial and interpersonal were referred to five times each. Surprisingly, intrapersonal isonly mentioned by two students, Elaine, who wrote an autobiography and Kara, whoresearched her own place in her family’s background.In one discussion about “subject matter”, Keith described some connections heidentified in his project between math, social studies, English and science.Ellen: How did you relate it to, urn, Math?Keith: Math? Uh, I just used like ‘cause part of science the growth rate?Where you use a line graph?Ellen: Yes. How did you relate it to Art?Keith: Art. Good point. Urn, Art, well, (laugh) urn actually . . . maybe Art well justimagination. Just irnagination of how to having two worlds.Ellen: Did you do any drawing or graphics or .Keith: I did, just f or the title page though.Ellen: Just for the title page. What did you do on your title page?Keith: I don’t remember!Ellen: You Don’t remem .Keith: Uh, it was quite a while ago!Ellen: Yeah? Edith related hers to Math and Art.Ellen: Okay, so it was not necessarily artistic. Did you relate it in any way to urn sports,Keith?Keith: Um, actually how I related it was sort of urn is how my life is urn what it hasevolved from.Ellen: Of course, so you told about sports in your life?Keith: Sort of. I just told about events right? But I’m not sure there are any connectionsin there? Maybe there are but I don’t know. Okay, I’m still no where .Ellen: Of course! Of the connections that were made. Did you find it difficult to try andmake connections between those subjects? Is that hard for you? Or do theconnections just come?Keith: Some. .Ellen: Thank you, okayKeith: . . . uuh sometimes if I’m heading in the right direction. .Ellen: Okay, thank you! Why do you say that if you are heading in the right direction itcomes?138Keith: You’re just focusing on sometimes you just focus too much on this one disciplineand you just ignore the rest?Ellen: Okay, so you ignore the connections?Keith: I guess so.Ellen: Interesting. Thank you. I appreciate that Keith. I there anything else you wantto say about your project?Keith: . . . urn.Ellen: What would it look like if I saw it?Keith: It’s just urn a folder and a story.Ellen: It a folder and a story. How many pages?Keith: About 22 pages.Ellen: Twenty-two pages, and how is it broken down? Does it have chapters orKeith: No, it’s just one short story.In addition to relationships between mathematics, science, social studies, and Englishconcepts, some students also described the relationships between their interests andabilities and their high school subject matter.The students’ expressed relationships between their individual differences and theirsubject matter provided several significant ideas toward the development of the MITAModel. For example, the students indicated the necessity for more collaboration andbrainstorming with teachers, through their mention of a wide variety of expressedintelligences and approaches used to complete their projects. The use of interestinventories was included in the MITA model in order to help students and teachers toidentify the many student abilities and related approaches represented in Figure 5.1.The MITA Model addressed the students’ concerns about subject matterparticularly in phases three and four, as illustrated in Chapter 4. In phase three, therecommendation to introduce MI Theory, provided students with an opportunity to identifytheir own abilities and to outline any perceived weaknesses. The recommendation wasalso intended to enable students to suggest activities which would be associated witheach of the seven intelligences.139Phase four of the MITA Model, on the other hand, explored the use of an interestinventory in order to identify representations of subject matter emphasis the students mayselect. Because each of the segments of interview text included in this chapter, in oneway, related to subject matter, no further specific examples are cited here. Finally, asillustrated in Figures 1.1. and 5.1., the students identified all seven intelligences withinMl Theory.5.7 Students’ Perceptions of the Role of People in SchoolConcerning people, the students showed appreciation for what they typicallydescribed as the caring community of teens at their school, and expressed a desire formore parental involvement . Regrets were at times expressed by some students thatthrough lack of communication between the school and home, parents did not alwaysknow what was expected at school. For this reason, according to Kara, their parents attimes could not offer needed assistance that would otherwise have been available. Karaextended the notion of increased involvement to grandparents, and expressed the desirefor more contact between teens and the elderly community.The fact that friends, were so highly valued by these teens, changed the directionof my investigation, to include the relevance of students’ friendships. Joe, Les, Chelsie,Cathy, and Keith described their friends as significant contributors to their acquisition ofknowledge. Keith spoke of the friendly corn petition provided by peers that keeps him onhis guard academically.After friends, parents were considered the most significant people in the students’learning process. One important area in which students expressed interest and enjoymentin parental involvement, was through student-led conferences. Letters following up on140these conferences were published in the January School Newsletter, and are illustratedin Figures 5.2. to 5.4.. Joe suggested the schools need to provide “more and moreconferences involving the parents.” The following letters written by students and parentsindicate the level of meaningful interaction involved, and show the students’ enthusiasmover leading these conferences.Figure 5.2 Examples of Letters Written by Parents and Studentsr?-4 ?Y1OfY,k-jcu-C CQ(?Lr1 Th t- tef-ieACo rt Q4Y1 .. t.L eaL2e__t-e rL 4 bJSCt1OiWOfk. 14 -S £. 3ooo! €4pc24-AX-’i- k L1tL.L tI1OLAJ1.speck viraUt-S &lrnL’5 rn O m cL IPovotfEe cL o LL-Y v -141Figure 5.2 Continued:b 7 LA -L4-J yii_—‘—I,-d4LtA. ckL C1-_/---’-Lt éi-- A- 4--------o. 4477L_..Q -L.AJ 22-Li4L Ad ,-v-€-j. ‘-“-‘-4it ,4A4i ,&447 L— JL,—’--L Z. z-ta‘1 O-fA 4j-i4_’ eL ?#-1-ô-L4I1J1J*t. 4 4JJ142The conferences from which these letters were generated are held once each year.The students invite their parents to the school and then discuss their progress, usingexamples of their works and major projects in order to show and tell parents what theyhave learned. Figures 5.2. to 5.4. were selected as examples of the exchange of lettersbetween students and parents, following their student-led conferences.Kara described how there should be more such exchanges. She told how herparents and grandparents really wanted to help. Kara’s dad did not understand all thesubjects they studied in school, but helped her to get organized since this was hisstrength. He taught her lessons in organization that helped her to do well in her schoolwork. Kara expressed concern for the way our generation ignores the talents and abilitiesof older people, and showed her ideas of how they should be invited to become a part ofschools. “I think I’d like to get the older generation in, you know? Like our family is veryclose to our grandparents but I know a lot of other families where you know the olderpeople are sort of left . . . unregarded . . . like just sort of kids to be babysat. . . .Students typically named their parents as the most responsible for “what you learnin school”, and several students indicated a desire that parents become more involved incurriculum issues. I had expected the students to choose between teachers orthemselves as most responsible. Their strong mention of parents’ contribution wasparticularly surprising, since it was not anticipated in my interview questions. Yetstudents directed the conversations in this way, and named parents and evengrandparents as significant players in the educative endeavor. In addition to friends andparents, older people have a great deal to offer teens, according to Kara, and they wouldenjoy the challenge. “They have a lot to offer. And they love young kids. If you go upand say hello to them . . . and you know . . . they really enjoy that. . . .“143In the way schools are presently organized, however, parents or grandparents havefew roles. Chelsie put it this way: “I don’t think the parents do that much unless theyjoin the parents’ association or something . . . . but no . . . they don’t really do thatmuch. They just give suggestions maybe. The students suggested that parents should bemuch more involved in the critical issues and “educative” environment at school, theeveryday meaningful activity at school, as opposed to only after school fund-raising orextra-curricular activities.Interestingly, while students identified the significant contributions of parents andcommunity members toward their high school education, they either did not mention theprincipal’s role, or could not identify what that role was. The only person to directlymention administration’s role, Chelsie added: “And the principal? Frankly I don’t knowwhat the principal does?”5.7.1 Students’ Resnonses Concerning the Roles of PeoDleThe MITA Model addressed the students’ concern for increased parentalinvolvement by recommending, that parents be invIted to contribute ideas to thecurriculum planning stages (in phase 6), as well as contribute ideas about the students’interest and abilities. Further communication between parents and the school communitywas recommended in phase 9. Here students thematic projects would be displayed forparents’ viewing. The idea was that parents and students would interact concerning theprojects.Kara’s project illustrates her choice to involve parents and family members in herschool work. In Kara’s words:144Kara: Well, okay, uh my first one was the main one. It was a family history sort of. Itwas to show change throughout the generations of my family and doing this, uh,first I had like about ten topics, but then uh I narrowed it down to about one,which was occupation. Then I chose, I got into the occupations of like my familymembers from . . . I think I started at my great great grandparents, my great greatgreats were mentioned once or twice, and then moved up to to my generation andhow occupation has changed and through that I showed like how the lives havealso changed because like you know there’s lots of different like aspects of lifethat can be incorporated in. And I did a movie on it, soEllen: What do you mean you did a movie? Can you tell us a little bit about that?Kara: Well I filmed . . . basically it wasn’t actually it wasn’t actually like a acting one‘cause I didn’t get, have enough people that I was working with, but uh I drewsome or a lot of the introductions I drew diagrams and different symbols like feryou know for parts ofEllen: You drew them?Kara: Well, just the introduction part.Ellen: Great. And then did you have a video? Or is this from the drawings.Kara: Well, no, yeah, no it’s just that on the video. Like I filmed the you know the thingthat I put on and put music behind it.Ellen: And then did you have people on the video as well?Kara: Um, I had, mostly I had photographs and I got (laughs) some from my grandparentshouse, and uh, looked through boxes of of stuff, and arranged them like I wastelling you. Urn, for instance, one of the struggles was I bought urn well like mygreat grandpa used to work painting cars, so I had a little toy car and I filmed thatas I told it and then different . . . it was all done but most of it was done ondifferent pieces of material ‘cause we’ve all got different plaid ‘cause we’reScottish and English so you know, most of our roots go back there. Laid out, youknow with the different, the different like urn dolls. I used dolls for human figuresand a lot of photographs too.Ellen: Did you enjoy doing it?Kara: It was fun, yeah.Ellen: What was the part . . . what did you enjoy relating it to the most?Kara: Ummm . . . . mmm . . .l’m not sure, probably well the easiest to write was theSocials and urn I guess yeah Science was pretty easy to, but like you know it’s it’seasy to find the subjects in it, but to show how they interrelate like around acertain subject is really difficult.Ellen: What is the hardest one?Kara: ummm. . . I’d have to say probably Math.Ellen: Math.Kara: I did there’s lots of there’s lots of instances where Math occurs with applicationsand stuff, but just like there’s not like enough you can make anything with it?There’s sooo much English and Socials, you don’t want to leave Math totally out,and yet you can’t like go you know my parents had like children and it’s like twokids plus one equals three or something you know! (laughs) You get reallydesperate at times!Ellen: (laughing) They have four chairs and three bedrooms in their house and . . . fourflies flew in!(both laugh)145Kara: That was so (intelligible words) butEllen: Did you did you have other people in to help you? or did you do it pretty much onyour own . . .?Kara: Urn, no my family was . . . uhEllen: All involved!Kara: I have all my grandparents on tape and got them to tell me uh stories about theoccupation of their parents and urn that was the part I enjoyed the most, uh, Ifound different things out from looking at pictures. I spent a lot of time thatwasn’t about the project just going through old photo albums, It’s reallyinteresting.Ellen: Did they like talking about their past and their careers andKara: Well, yeah, yeah they liked they like helping me out right, so I just got tons of stufffrom them and thenEllen: Excellent, so would you do that again?Kara: Yeah, I think I’d Like to, but I don’t think I’d like to do it a little bit more, to do Idon’t think so much like so much occupation, like I’d rather do it more roundedsort of how life changed, but it’s hard without specific .... You know, I’d like toget more into the personal part of it.Ellen: I see, I see, rather than just .Kara: Yeah what the people are like ‘cause it’s very interesting finding out about wherenatures and stuff, you know . . . my grandpa was an artist and he was verywithdrawn and sometimes if he didn’t want anyone to come to his house he whenhe saw his friends coming up he would put all the shoes outside so they wouldthink everyone was there and they would go back down the mountain! But it’shard to incorporate that into I think I’d like to do over.Ellen: I see. How did you how would you be able to relate it to urn to swimming say?And to some of the things you like? You relate it to Art and Drama andcommunicating and . . . and why was it easy to relate to Science?Kara: Well there’s actually a lot of things urn to do with occupations because if my wellmy grandpa worked in forestry so it was easy with the cutting of trees and and healso was a a lime shipper, so you know how they, how they process the lime andthen you know how they shipped it actually there was some science in the waythey designed the trucks, which he sort of designed a new type. They never usedto have you know tops on them?Ellen: Yes.Kara: So the lime would be like every time they stopped, the lime would come flying out,right in! So he said well you should put tops on! And stuff like that. You knowjust .Ellen: So did he invent lids for .Kara: Well . . . he didn’t really but he suggested them and how to put them on ‘causeEllen: Okay, well that’s an invention in a sense.Kara: Yeah. .Ellen: Thank you. So is there anything else you want to tell us about your project? Soit came in as a video tape.Kara: Yeah, well I also had a rough copy which I’d written out everything that I’d said.‘Cause I narrated the whole thing. I had it playing on a tape behind where I wasfilming? So I was like narrating with music so urn . .146Ellen: So you transcribed that on paper.Kara: And that it was really rough. I don’t that’s one thing I wish I could have had timeto do is print it all up ‘cause that was where I showed my connections. Eachsubject was a different color and I used arrows and little words.Kara enjoyed talking about her family, and her close family ties. To include herparents and grandparents in her work, for Kara, was to include an important part ofherself. Again and again as we talked, she illustrated ways in which her parents addedto her success in school. She indicated here that by focusing on her own background ina project, she would enjoy learning more.5.8 Summary of Student Responses to the Research QuestionsThe three most significant themes in student responses regarding the five focipresented, were time, friends and parents. Of less significance were the themes, authorityand subject matter. Students identified the time shortage, which they attributed to beingan outcome of too much curriculum. They made a plea for increased opportunities to workwith peers in order to experience peer support. Finally, students suggested that theirparents be permitted greater involvement in their education. These students did notexaggerate the current constraints of their high school curriculum, and generally appearedto be well-adjusted and happy in school. But they were surprisingly agreed on severalrecommendations to improve the curriculum. Their suggested improvements included:more time in class for individual development; more peer interactions; more relevance tothe real world; and more parental involvement in school activities.As we will see in Chapter 6, students’ perceptions differed dramatically from theirteachers’ perceptions, especially concerning the issue of student authority orresponsibility over their own learning. For example, the students attributed much more147authority for learning to their peers and their parents, rather than to just themselves ortheir teachers. Chapter 6 describes the teachers’ perspectives of the third researchquestion: “What was the role of the teachers in the development of the MultipleIntelligence Theory Application Model?”148CHAPTER 6: TEACHER PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOLING AND STUDENT ABILITIES6.1 IntroductionChapter 6 presents the research results, from the data collected through thediscussions, interviews, and group meetings with the teachers, including about 30 hoursof curriculum planning sessions. The chapter describes the teachers’ responses to thethird question guiding this work, “What was the role of the teachers in the developmentof the Multiple Intelligence Theory Application Model?” Because the main focus of thisstudy was on students, I am using the same categories here as I used in the student dataanalysis. That is, teachers’ perspectives concerning, use of time in high school; the roleof friendships among students; the cultivation of student autonomy; the relationship ofhigh school curriculum to the real world; and, the involvement of parents in curriculum,are presented. This chapter, like the previous one, is divided in five foci or sub-sections:time, space, authority, subject matter, and, people, in order to present the teachers’responses to the third research question. Before undertaking the analysis, however, I willexamine the teachers’ perceptions of Ml Theory and its application to curriculumdevelopment.6.2 Teachers Respond to Research Question ThreeThe third research question concerned how did the teachers view the applicationof the MITA Model, in relation to their current practice? It should be noted that both theteachers and students contributed to the construction of the MITA Model. At regularintervals, as the model developed over ten months, I provided diagrammed copies of themodel’s progress to all teachers. In addition, I responded with print copies of our149collaborative efforts following each development meeting. Either I would sketch myinterpretation of the teachers’ contributions concerning the model, or write out thecomments made. After each session, these feedback copies were placed in each teacher’smailbox at the school. Samples of my correspondence to teachers are located in AppendixF. It was not always possible to communicate sufficiently on the model’s development.Due to a teacher’s strike, and the many time restrictions of the participants, the teachers,for example, were unable to evaluate the MITA Model’s use following the teaching of theinterdisciplinary units. Discussions were held weekly with teachers, however, during themodel’s development, and teachers’ verbal input was significant during this ten-monthperiod.There were several limitations encountered in obtaining appropriate data to addressthe question adequately. In addition to interruptions from the strike, the teachers’responses to the MITA Model’s development were limited by another significant factor,namely, the MITA Model was not used in a similar manner by all four teachers.Specifically, one teacher did not use the MITA Model as he was previously committed toanother approach to curriculum development (Perceptivism) and he did not view the twotheories (Ml Theory and Perceptivism) as compatible.6.3 Teacher Percentions of the Study’s Curricular InitiativeIn order to establish a context for the teachers’ responses to the curricular initiativewe first examine their perceptions of: (a) Ml ideas; (b) the development of studentindividual differences; and, (C) the traditional constraints of high school. Teachers’perceptions of each of the three topics are presented in the following sections.1506.3.1 Teachers’ Percentions of Ml IdeasThe four teachers were provided opportunities to discuss their perceptions of MlTheory ideas during three in-depth interviews. Questions asked in the initial interactiveinterviews are filed in Appendix B. The teacher-generated questions that guided oursecond interviews after two months of working together are listed in Appendix A. Finally,after nine months working together, teachers were interviewed regarding their perceptionsof the process and the usefulness of Ml Theory as a generative Model for addressingstudent interests and abilities. In addition to the three interviews, we held at least twelvelarge and small group discussions, that lasted anywhere from one to three hours each. Myresponses to teachers during these discussions are found in Appendix F, and the visualmaterials I supplied from our discussion for use in classroom introductions are found inAppendices G and H.In part, the teachers’ responses to Ml Theory were also expressed in theirdescription of the methods by which they presented Ml Theory ideas in their classrooms.Mark, the head teacher, for example, after a presentation of Ml Theory in his socialstudies class, asked the grade 1 0 students to graph their assessment of their own abilitieson a chart, and to respond to several written questions concerning the theory. Mark, alsodiscussed with the students: the different intelligences they hoped to develop; the areasof perceived growth from childhood; the development of additional intelligences andinterests; and, students’ view of the intelligences most developed in teachers. John andJoanne both expressed their intention of applying Ml Theory to curriculum developmentmore in the coming year. Bob, on the other hand, did not see the usefulness of Ml Theoryin teaching mathematics, and consequently did not discuss Ml Theory with students.151The teachers differed significantly, in their perceptions of the usefulness of Mlideas in the high school classroom, from Joanne’s claim that the seven intelligences werealready evident in a “good classroom”, to Bob’s statement that, “these are not very usefulin teaching math.” John and Mark both introduced Ml Theory to students in class, usedthe theory in order to identify and discuss more student abilities, and worked withstudents to help them develop and express more of their seven intelligences. It would benecessary to revisit the research site in a year or so, following a more lengthy trial withthe MITA Model, in order to determine whether there were any lasting effects.6.3.2 Teachers’ Perceptions of Individual Student DifferencesThe notion of student individual differences was discussed with the teachersthroughout the study. Following a group discussion on the idea of fostering students’individual differences, the teachers suggested three main recommendations for addressingindividual differences adequately. Firstly, there was an agreement from all four teachersthat students would benefit by “getting beyond” the curriculum. Joanne, for example,referred to projects that “get past the curriculum” and spoke of ways that she helpedstudents to “value their own opinions”. When students valued their own opinions Joannesuggested, they “use their own ability to look at things”. Students confirmed this notion,when they talked enthusiastically about collecting beetles for observation in Joanne’sclass, and of conducting experiments that were not in the textbook.Secondly, there was an attempt made by teachers to provide as many choices aspossible for students. In order to do this, John, told of negotiating with his class thedates for project completions, and also encouraging a wide range of student responses152to each question. John emphasized, “We are trying to make them think individually.” Infact he stressed his own discomfort when students, “ask me for the right answer.”Mark spoke of a “shared responsibility” between the teacher and the learner, wherethe students have some control over what they learn. He described how he built afoundation for a history course, and then required that students choose one segment ofthe historical period in order to teach the class. As an illustration of this, Mark said:in grade 11. . . I’ve taken the students historically from 1 867 toapproximately 1 940. Now it’s up to them to carry on. And they’ve decidedin groups that they are going to teach according to a decade. . . so there’llbe the 50s, the 60s, the 70s, 80s, and 90s. So it’s up to them how theywill teach me about these periods. . . it’s a shared responsibility.Thirdly, teachers spoke of cultivating an environment where students could makeindividual choices. Such an environment differed significantly, however, from one teacherto another. By way of illustration, in mathematics, it appeared significant to placestudents of similar interests and abilities together, in order to provide choices forstudents. Bob expressed a concern here, that mathematics’ classes should consist ofstudents of similar interests and abilities. According to Bob, “If we have every imaginablerange of interest and ability in one classroom, that, it would seem to me, would be totalchaos. Students couldn’t make choices.”In science, Joanne argued, “Science is not something you can put in a box.” WhileJoanne expressed concerns over the restrictions imposed on her by the mandatedcurriculum, she spoke of ways to get students past the curriculum, and into anenvironment where they could experience many differences. One way in which this was153done, was a requirement for students to use a wide variety of other people as theirresources in science. These people, according to Joanne should include, “the person nextdoor who happens to be a chemical engineer, or a bus driver, or a person in thesupermarket,” all of whom would provide students with an ability to communicate theirunderstanding of science topics and to develop a variety of perspectives.In English, John also referred to a wide variety of outside resources in order toprovide students with a greater number of choices. Some of these outside resourcesincluded writers from the University of British Columbia writer’s program. John also spokeof inviting parents into class as guest speakers suggesting that they would “provide avaluable resource”. On the topic of providing more choices for students to developindividual differences, John said: “. . . no matter how much we individualize, I wish wecould individualize more.”6.3.3 Teachers’ Percentions of Traditional Constraints of High SchoolThe teachers’ responses to the interview questions in Appendix B showed theirconcerns for several current curriculum constraints, such as time constraints. Each ofthese teacher concerns is explored further in one of the following five sections.Throughout the study, the enhancement or impediment of the conventionalcurriculum structures in high school was discussed, as these structures were perceivedto enhance or impede the development of individual differences. On this topic, theteachers identified lack of time and too much content, as the greatest barriers toindividual student development, in their current setting. They frequently made referenceto these two as barriers to the development of students’ individual differences. In thissegment from the second interview, I asked John to tell me more about the mentorship154program that he spoke of developing in his class. In response, John expressed frustrationsabout time barriers, and a teacher’s difficulty in covering the content material. Similarfrustrations arose with the other teachers:John: Well, it depends which face . . . Some of them were the rotary club, volunteerswho were interested in doing. . . . being mentors. And that was . . . I was sort ofcoordinating that with the whole school - not just the mini-school. Before I cameinto the mini school, and then for a year after. And then it was felt by the staffthat the Autonomous Learner Model version of mentor is different than that. It wasbuilt around student passions - so we needed to identify student interests and helpthem to enter into a field of their passion.Ellen: Yes .John: Um . . . which we’ve found very very time consuming.Ellen: Yes, of course.John: Urn . . . we’ve had some successes in two or three cases. We wish we had moretime to make more of that happen. I just read and article about a lady at YMCAat YWCA . . . who has matched 35 kids, she mentors.Ellen: Oh.John: And I wonder if she has some secret to do this and I wonder what else she isdoing? If she’s also teaching full time English or . . . ? Or what she’s doing? Or ifthis is a half time job. . . . it’s a little bit like career prep . . . you some peoplehave a half time job .Too much time in the present system, according to John, would be required toaccommodate student individual differences. Yet, like John, all of the teachers recognizedthe necessity of developing student individual interests and abilities. The sense was that,“if barriers did not exist we would concentrate more on individuals.” But, as evidencedin John’s words, within the present system too many barriers prevented thisconcentration, according to teachers.In contrast, the greatest enhancement currently to individual development,according to the teachers, is srace (since it can be altered by students and teachers) andDeoDle (since guests can be brought in as rich resources). On the matter of authority,teachers provided fewer comments and these could not be easily construed as either anenhancement or an impediment.1556.4 Teachers’ Perceptions of the Use of Time at SchoolThe teachers were generally in agreement that the lack of time to cover importantconcepts, or address individual student differences, was a major constraint to current highschool teaching. John suggested that in order to overcome this problem, he “. . . oftenschedules meetings with students after school.” Mark suggested that it is difficult toassign time to his average day, since he breaks up time with seminars, debates, and avariety of activities, stating that he allows “about 15% to 20% for the development ofindividual differences. As illustrated in the interview segment below, Bob stated that“you can get through that” and get onto other things, referring to the time it takes to“get through the mandated curriculum”, in order to create time for the development ofindividual interests and abilities in mathematics.Bob: Well, one of them, of course would be the ability to ah . . . to do the required corework. . . which involves a lot of calculation and so on .Ellen: OK. So maybe long chains of reasoning?Bob: Yeah. Yeah. with different procedures whether it’s factoring or dealing with thebasic algebraic operations. . . urn . . . multiplication, division, addition andsubtraction, and so on.Ellen: Uh hum.Bob: Um. . . working in coordinate geometry. Urn. .. you know. ... XY plane and gettingequations mapping them with graphs. Looking at graphs and getting equations forthem. . . probability and statistics. . . calculations and so on .Ellen: Uh humBob: That would be basic sort of things.Ellen: Yes. So how much time do you spend on these kinds of things?Bob: Well, it depends on which class it is. If it’s a mini-school class, you can getthrough that and get onto other things.Ellen: OK. What other things would you get onto, Bob.Bob: Well, we try to work on applications, is one example. And try to look for instancesin other subject areas where uh. . . the ideas apply. You know, like takingconcepts from mathematics and seeing how they’re used in Science, for example.Ellen: Oh. That’s interesting. . . Can you describe how you see time divisions in your onehour block in a mini school math class. How would you describe the allocation oftime to . . . to big areas. . . for example?Bob: Within any hour. .Ellen: Yes. . . within any given hour for a mini school class.156Bob: Well it roughly divides into three. The beginning third of the class there’s some sortof introductory work that ties to the work beforeEllen: Hum.Bob: Or that works on some idea, and they have to do something right away.Ellen: YesBob: And that gets their books open and urn. ... gets them doing something. Then, inthe second third of the hour there is some sort of activity where we work onsomething new.Ellen: Uh hum.BobS and . . .ah. . so either I introduce something or I give them something to dothat develops a new idea.Ellen: Uh hum.Bob: And the third part of the the class they practice it, either individually or. .working with each other. A lot of the times they work with each other.Bob’s suggestions for how to handle the “lack of time” problem, as suggested inthis interview segment, were very different from the other three teachers. Basically, Bobfelt that he should work students hard “to get through” the prescribed curriculum in orderto do “other things”. Joanne’s students also expressed frustration by the lack of time.These students described how they enjoyed lively discussions or cooperative activities,but did not like the bells that cut this work short. For example, when students were askedto work with one another in pairs to solve a problem or to develop a variety of individualperspectives about an issue, they typically commented that they would be at the peakof their discussions, and the bell would inevitably ring. As Joanne put it:part of the problem of course is that we are limited to one hour.And sometimes you’ve got people working together or there is acooperative group going on . . they work in one group and then they shiftto another. It’s just flowing, and the ideas are starting to come, and we’rebrainstorming, and the darn bell goes. It would be nice to have flexibility,when things are moving along.157Teachers not only expressed concern for too much curriculum to cover in too littletime, but they recommended a variety of solutions. These included, “breaking up timesegments with a variety of activities,” “meeting students after school to work onindividual development issues”, “using the curriculum as springboards, rather than as anend product”. One teacher spoke of seeking ways to avoid being “bound by time”, andanother spoke of “getting through” the mandated curriculum so you could get “on toother things” (such as the development of individual differences).Were the teachers describing here a basic difficulty within the current high schoolsystem? According to Brown (1 991), their frustration with inflexibility is based on thesystemic imposition that forces teachers and students to “keep on schedule” (p. 237).Time, according to Brown (1991), “is also a function of what is called coverage, thesecond most frequently given reason why there is not more thoughtfulness in theschools” (p. 237). Both students and teachers expressed the concern for what Browndescribes as “ . . . they must cover an already sprawling and constantly expanding list oftopics within and across subject matter areas” (p. 237).6.5 Teachers’ Perceptions of the Use of Space at SchoolOn thetopic of space, teachers sometimes expressed a desire for additional roomand, as Mark said, “a few couches and a rug for students to get more comfortable,”They mentioned including more tables for students’ group activities, and bringingcomputers into the classroom. Mark also stated that space was not really a problem,since he liked to get students out of the classroom whenever possible, “in order toexperience richer environments.” Although Mark indicated he would transfer his158classroom into more of a museum if possible, he described how he does not allow thespace restrictions to detract from his Social Studies program.Ellen: Will you talk to me about space? Urn . . . Would you describe the classroom andmeeting place for Social Studies?Mark: Well the world is the place I would begin to give you an appropriate answer. UrnEllen: And that is appropriate.Mark: Urn . . . I don’t think I could define the learning space, or the appropriate learningenvironment as my classroom. I don’t think I would have achieved again myeducational goals. Mine is to make the students a global citizen. And to becomea global citizen you have to be . . . try to be aware .. . of all the events that aregoing on. Obviously there not. . . . because of the age that we live in oftechnology and communication and Marshal McLuhan’s global village conceptThat’s something I want to try and promote in the classroom.Ellen: Then I’d like to get at that from a different perspective. Do you think that themeeting place that you have within this school is adequate to accommodate yourglobal perspective and if not, why? And if so, how?Mark: That’s like asking for a wish list. Urn . . . No . . . I don’t think it’s appropriate. Butit’s the only area that I have to deal with right now.Ellen: Why isn’t it appropriate?Mark: Ah . . . . Lack of visual aids, I think. Lack of technology at my fingertips. Forexample it would be nice to have. . . Well we do have a satellite in the school, butbecause of money it’s not working. But I would like to have ready access to thesatellite hooked up in my classroom for example the inaugural speech that wasgoing on just boom - (Claps fist into hand) put it into my classroom. The Iraq,Persian Gulf issue. . . right into my classroom where we could discuss it rightaway. But as educators sometimes we’re bound by the curriculum not to allowthat to take place. But we do have for example, we do go to . . . .try to not focustoo much on grade 11 here. . . with the grade eights .. . . we’ll go to temples forcomparative Religious studies. So that is part of the classroom.Ellen: So you have quite a few field trips for Social Studies?Mark: Not this year . . . . but I do in grade ten we’ll go to Victoria. And rather than readabout Victoria, we actually focus on a unit in British Columbia. And we actuallywill go over to Victoria, like Ross Bay Cemetery. And we’ll have a tour of thecemetery. We’ll go to the legislative buildings .. . . an introduction to government.We’ll do a tour of Victoria for a historical overview of Victoria . . . its economic,political, social significance in comparison to the rest of the mainland. So I preferto do that. And that’s when I said to you earlier - relate to life.Ellen: Yes. . . yes.Mark: And that’s relating to life, I think in the nineties is so important because ofwhat the students are faced with in the sense of the media. Ah . .Ellen: Yes. Would you say that your meeting place for Social Studies is very different ordoes it compare to across the city say. . . high school social studies classroom.How is your environment different or is it the same? The place that you meet in.159Mark: I think it’s a frame of mind actually. I mean a room is a room. You could say forthe social studies class here compared to Dat’s or Fong’s or others it’s a roomthat’s a dimension of 30 by 30Ellen: And that it’s similar?Mark: I’m sure it’s similar. I mean I haven’t been to all the social studies classrooms.But I think it’s what takes place ah. . . . and the interaction between the teacherand the learner, and the wealth of knowledge. And the concept of knowledgebeing power. Power is knowledge and I think that’s something I would like thestudents to be aware ofEllen: Is it fair for me to say from your statements earlier that to improve theenvironment that you have now. . . . technology and the freedom that technologywould bring you would be a major improvement that you would like toMark: Un hum. It would be an asset . . . I don’t know, it would be a tool.Ellen: If you could create an environment where your students . . . if you could designit, what would it be?Mark: If I had control of the curriculum? to do that?Ellen: Yes.Mark: It would be more field studies. More than I do now because I . .Ellen: So you’d keep your room the same?Mark: I’d keep my room . . . good question I never really. . . Would I keep my roomthe same? No . . .1 might change my room. . . Yeah . . .1 would change my room.Ellen: What would it look like?Mark: What my room would look like? It would have a couch. It would have. . . . areading centre. It might have an telephone, an old telephone booth in it. It mighthave a. . . it would have projects in it that students are currently working on .It would . . .have um .Ellen: More like a museum, then ?Mark: Yes. Yes, some kind of a museum. It wouldn’t look like what it looks like . . . WellThe above segment shows how teachers typically described space in an externalcontext. As indicated by Mark’s comments, space to the teachers meant either physicalenvironment or external objects. The teachers responded to this question of space,usually by describing their working areas, and identifying objects they would add to ortake away from this environment to improve the learning conditions.Joanne suggested that the current science room, where large counters were fixedto the floor made it difficult to group students for cooperative projects. She favoredlighter, and movable tables in order to allow more flexibility for students to move around.160Bob suggested that his classroom with movable desks, was adequate for teachingmathematics.The teachers responded more directly to the actual physical space in contrast tothe students’ emphasis on personal friendships here. But indirectly teachers did refer to,and give examples of group activities that would cultivate peer support groups. Theseare explored further in the next section.While the teachers all expressed a willingness for providing an environment inwhich peer relationships and group interactions are cultivated, none directly stressed thesignificance of friendships to learning. No teacher raised the issue of friends, here, as didstudents in every instance, but when they were asked about friendships, they referredmore to the collaborative groups than to individual support or encouragement. Teachersspoke, for example, of grouping students whenever possible in order to brainstorm forideas on a particular topic. Teachers generally spoke of peer relationships in a differentcontext, relating the groups more to project outcomes than to the individual studentrelationships that emerged.Indirectly, however, the teachers’ resolve to foster interactive and collaborativegroups, at times surpassed the students’ requests for peer interactions. Joanne, forexample, said that she regularly “mixed kids up” because students often appearedreluctant to work with students of the opposite gender.” It should be noted here that theproblem of “too much curriculum” at times also significantly influenced the amount oftime designated for groups, friendship supports or individual differences.Finally, while the teachers frequently referred to “outside resource people”, thestudents talked more about their peers and parents as resources. The teachers talkedabout how these outside resource people were brought in to provide students with a161“greater number of choices” (see section 6.3.2.). Yet none of these resource people werementioned by the students, a fact I found surprising.6.6 Teachers’ Percer,tions of Student Authority in SchoolTeachers expressed their desire to encourage students to take more personalresponsibility or authority for their own learning in different ways. John spoke of planningteaching activities for critical and creative thinking where he described how the studentswere encouraged to question the author’s intent and to develop creative activities suchas write a modern version of “Romeo and Juliette”. Mark repeatedly referred to thestudents as partners in learning, and spoke of choices they were given to decide theirown project topics. He and John also described classroom scenarios where the studentsmade daily decisions in a democratic way. For Mark these decisions were mainly basedon project themes and methods of displaying projects, for John they also included dailyshared decision-making, such as dates for project completion and who would worktogether on group projects.Joanne described her attempt to extend teaching and learning beyond thecurriculum. She suggested that one way to get students to look beyond the curriculumis to use persons as resources, rather than limiting your subject matter to the textbook,and to help students to trust in their own ability - “to value their own opinion.” Asillustrated in the interview segment below, Joanne, used students and other people asauthorities to supplement the science textbook in the same way that Mark used globalspace to expand his social studies’ curriculum.Joanne: And what I try and do is let them know what I know about the thing. Butwhat is the hardest thing I’ve discovered, is getting them to value their ownopinion.162Ellen: Yes. Because they are not used to having their opinion valued?Joanne: Well no. It’s not that. They think that they come into school, and I’m thereto teach them science. Now, I can teach them some of the formulas or I candirect them into some of the . . . Urn . . . people don’t use other people asresources enough. And they don’t use their own ability to look at things.Ellen: Who do you mean by other people? People don’t . . . do you mean thecommunity?Joanne: When you give students a research project, where do they go? They go tothe library. They go to theEllen: Oh . . . I seeJoanne: But don’t think to ask the person next door who happens to be chemicalengineer, or who drives a bus, or . . . urn . . . you know . . . the person inthe supermarket, or . . . . they don’t feel that . . . for instance universityprofessors are accessible to . . . . (bell rang)Ellen: Yes.Joanne: So they don’t use other people. They don’t use their own ability to observeas a valid thesis.Ellen: Very interesting. Urn . . . what do you think is the extent of the students’authority to develop their own uniqueness in your class.Joanne: It’s not as much as I would like it to be. Urn . . I mean it’s limited bysometimes by the fact that we have a mandated curriculum and many ofthe students are bound by that. We are bound by that in a sense thatEllen: How many students do you have?Joanne: It varies. The smallest science class I have is 18. Uh . . . the biggest oneIhaveis...uh...29.Ellen: Em.Joanne: That’s a lot. And that may not be a lot . . . . depending on who . . . . youare looking at such a range of people. Some of them like to share withothers . . . some of them prefer to work on their own. And so we havewhat we try and do is allow them time where they have to share withothers and time where they can work on their own.Ellen: You have some very valuable ideas . . . I can see that . . . On the topic ofpeople . . . What people contribute most to your science class?Joanne: I’m not sure I know what you mean.Ellen: Other people, other than the students and you.Joanne: Other teachers, not just science teachers.Ellen: That’s unusual for high school. Isn’t it?Joanne: Well . . . That’s part of my nature. is that I work best with other people.Give me an idea, and on my own I can come up with 5 things, and withsomebody else I can come up with 10.Ellen: How would you describe your role?Joanne: I acknowledge that I am a knowledge base. Urn . . .. it’s funny . .sometimes I’m the person who keeps them on track. And sometimes I’mthe person who pushes them away from the obvious. It depends on whatwe’re doing - or who it is.Ellen: Who else would you ask to participate in your program in order to developyour students’ individual differences?163Joanne: I . . . like to bring in people from the Science World, as in universities,people who work in breweries, you know. . . . There are other teachers inthe school who I think are really . . . urn . . . There is a big commitment,you know . . . to a program like this.Ellen: Yes, I know.Joanne: People have given up a whole day to help us work on the assignment.Ellen: Yes.Joanne: I’d like to bring in people from the elementary school. I would like to bringin elementary students. Elementary students often know more science thathigh school students.Joanne frequently referred to the students and other people as part of theclassroom curriculum. She described here her attempts to encourage student authority inmeaningful ways, by providing people as resources for students to observe and learnfrom. Interestingly three teachers, Joanne, Mark and John, expressed a similar desire togive their students even more authority, in order to create more student responsibility forchoices and outcomes of their own learning. The teachers appeared in one sense, to becaught between the desire to increase student empowerment and the desire to fulfillprofessional responsibilities. As John said: “ . . . each individual is most responsible fortheir learning; but in the sense of the Ministry and the law, if you like and my earning mymoney, and my professional responsibility, I feel responsible. And I think I probably am,contractually.” Other teachers mentioned the tension between providing students withauthority over their own learning, and meeting the demands of the curriculum thatteachers are responsible to cover.Teachers, for the most part, argued that students appeared reluctant to assumemore authority for their own learning. The limitations of too much curriculum to cover,sometimes restricts teachers from extending more student authority, according to twoteachers. Mark, defined what he called, “a shared responsibility”, between the learner andthe teacher, which he has tried to cultivate. Bob, as previously discussed, suggested that164one can give students some choices, but states that “if we have every imaginable rangeof interest and ability in one classroom . . . it would be chaos.”Two teachers in the study expressed the desire for more “shared responsibility”with the students. In order to increase student authority, teachers suggested four generalstrategies. First, collaborate with students and give them choices where it is possible.John explained: “I try to give them a choice about something with every activity. If it’snot the content or the topic, then it’s the process, or the group arrangements, or thenumber of people working.” Second, help students to view their world in different ways,so that they will grow confident in their own perspectives of issues. Third, teachstudents and help them to participate in a sense of shared responsibility with the teacherfor their own learning. Finally, to remove the sense of certainty that accompanies a searchfor “right” answers and to cultivate an environment where students are not afraid to takerisks. John explained it this way: “. . . let them know that as Northrope Fry says, ‘Thereare no right answers, in ilterature, there are only well defended options’, that ultimatelythe notion of authority is a problem”. According to Candy (1991) students require suchautonomy if they are to acquire the abilities to become lifelong learners.6.7 Teachers’ Perceptions of Subiect Matter in SchoolThe teachers appeared to be especially aware of a need to make subject matterapply to the real world. As Mark argued: “always relating it (subject matter) to now isso important.” He added, “Otherwise the students don’t see the significance.” Mark gavean example of how this relationship between discussions in class and practical life in thereal world takes place. “Like we talked about the Japanese community and I wanted tocompare it to the Holocaust and to the Jews, but then also to the Kingston Affair. . .165let’s talk about the charter now -- let’s talk about the Myer Indians. So you’ve got thekids moving all the time with their minds and thinking about it . . .relating to life . . . andhow it might have been different. These are the kinds of questions that we pose.”In his Social Studies course, Mark had students relate all subject matter to real lifesituations whenever possible. This was done through virtual reality exercises, or throughconsidering similar incidents over history. For example they might be asked to recreatea revolution. According to Mark, “ the synthesis is they create their own revolution andhave to apply the principles on the top according to the stages - or a document. They cancome up with a political document, so to speak.” Mark asked the students to pick acountry, and they acted the parts of real people in order to recreate significant historicevents from that country.Mark explained why it was so important for his students to connect their work inschool with life beyond the classroom. “1 think if any discipline is to have relevance toa learner or a student, you have to be able to apply it or at least relate it to somethingthat’s concrete - outside of the text book”. He added,you can combine the two - give the students the backgroundknowledge yet allow the students to see with their own eyes. For exampleif you went to Carmmanah . . .if you talk about deforestation . . . . if youtalk about the logging practices. . . if you talk about anything. . . . but yetif you drive through and see where they’ve actually clear cut, all of asudden the affective kicks in. .Joanne attempted to get her students beyond the textbooks in science class inorder to help them relate science to real life. She spoke of several experiments, involving166insects gathered by students - experiments that were similarly mentioned and enjoyed bystudents for the same reason - they were “real”. Joanne gave research projects tostudents and required the students to discuss their ideas and findings with persons in thatfield of study.Not all teachers agreed that the curriculum should relate to real life. For Bob, itwas more an issue of the systemic problems of curriculum, than the issues of connectionswith life. To give a sense of Bob’s rationale here, I have included a section of oneinterview with him. When asked how he made the daily curriculum real or applied it to thereal world, Bob uncovered a few barriers, and spoke at length about a larger systemicproblem in math, which prevented the possibilities of making curriculum real inmathematics class. The discussion illustrates Bob’s main concerns for the overloadedmathematics curriculum as he perceives it.Bob: . . .because the present curriculum. . . . and I’ve talked with other teachers aboutthis . . . And a couple are even threatening to get on the curriculum committee.But the present curriculum in mathematics is about one-third overloaded. That is,if you cut one-third of the actual content out, then you might have room to dosomething in terms of higher level cognitive processes . . . Like applications orsynthesis or . . . ah .Ellen: I’ve seen that. My daughter just came through an honors math class in thechallenge program and they were overloaded.Bob: . . . it is . . . It is absolutely overloaded. And of course the agreement is essential.That is, what teachers agree to as the actual content must be delivered.Otherwise the students’ educational progress in future years is seriously . .Ellen: Yes.Bob: . . . undermined. So it’s not like a teacher can say, “Well, there’s one-third toomuch content here, so I’m just hacking it out and then I am going to do someapplication things and so on . . .or whatever enrichment things you want todo. Because the very next year, that student is going to be missing one-third ofthe content. .Ellen: Yes, so Bob if you were appointed tomorrow to the highest curriculum committeeto change that . . .how would you change it? What would you do? How wouldyou resolve that conflict?Bob: Well, . . . schools have to make choices. And by and large . . . the way schools arestructured now, there aren’t any real educational leaders in the school. That is, the167curriculum and instruction exists in small departments, and there is nobodymanaging the thing.Ellen: OhBob: And so when everybody . . . anybody comes along and says, “Well, isn’t this agood idea here . . .or isn’t that a good idea. . . “it’s just added in, as anothercourse.Ellen: Oh.Bob: And the same thing about the curriculum itself. You know? In mathematics theyjust toss it in. And it’s easy to toss things in. It’s very difficult to toss things out.So. . . plus .. .there’s no overall philosophy of education that would indicate whatpriorities should be.Ellen: Yes?Bob: . . . and so without that in place, the present curriculum is just . . . toss everythingin there. Load it up in mathematics, load it up in science, and also load it up inother things. You know I mean teach driver training, sex education . . whateveryou want, just toss it in there. And I think it’s well recognized . . . it’s not just me• . . . that recent MacLean’s review of education for example. .Ellen: Yes.Bob: Many people who’ve studied the problem indicate that there is a day hopefully inthe relative near future where education will have to get its act together and .have priorities. And try to say, what should be in and what should be out.Ellen: YesBob: And right now, just everything is tossed in. .Ellen: I see .Bob: And what’s dominating the curriculum now is the low level stuff. Facts and so on.Ellen: Very interesting.Bob: And calculations. . . .And there’s literally no room.Ellen: Yes.Bob: Well, you make room at your own peril.Ellen: Of course.Bob: You make room by tossing core out . . . Or you make room by overloadingstudents, by saying to them, “Not only will you do all this do basic corecurriculum, which is really one third too much to start with, but we’ll also dumpsome more applications and other things on top of you like that, you know? Ofcourse that overloads them completely. .Ellen: Of course it does. .Bob: And makes the whole high school experience totally distasteful.Ellen: Very interesting.While Bob perhaps expressed the notion of curriculum overload most concisely,many other teacher and student comments confirmed this problem. In other words, theconcerns Bob expressed here, concerning mathematics, were also experienced by othersin each of the four subject areas. Unlike the other three teachers, however, Bob did not168offer any alternatives to this dilemma, nor did he indicate that he provided studentschoices within the prescribed mathematics content. Since he was not asked specificallyif he provided such choices, however, it could be that Bob simply did not speak aboutthese.While most teachers agreed with students that curriculum, in order to be useful andrelevant to students’ must be related to real life beyond the classroom, they were lessagreed on how this could be accomplished. The problems that attend “making contentrelate to the world outside class” sometimes surfaced in our discussions. One suchproblem, was identified as the larger systemic problems in the high school mathematicscurriculum, for example, where mathematics teachers are not at all agreed on how thisconnection might take place. Typically, when teachers expressed enjoyment in theirteaching, as with students in their learning, they also identified a relationship betweenthe curriculum and the world beyond the classroom. Each of the teachers interviewedargued that the benefits of finding connections are worth any difficulties that may attendsuch an effort. This fact was not surprising, since the four teachers met regularly overseveral years in order to build an integrated curriculum.Educational theorists, Common (1987), Anderson (1982), Jacobs (1989) andGardner (1992) would support the teachers desire to identify the relationships betweenthe curriculum and life beyond the classroom. In fact, the literature suggests several waysin which curriculum can be “made real”, or “related to the real world.” For Common thetwo worlds are drawn together through narrative; for Anderson a sense of reality iscultivated through a supportive school climate; for Jacobs integration of the disciplinescontributes to the curriculum’s connection with reality; for Gardner the real world comes169into the classroom through performance-based assessment, or the activities which allowfor the expression of, and assessment of at least seven ways of knowing.6.8 Teachers’ Perceptions of the Roles of People at SchoolConcerning the topic of “people”, the teachers had far less to say about parentalinvolvement, than their students. Teachers, however, did express an openness forparental input, although according to teachers, parents did not appear to be currentlyinvolved in any significant way at the curricular level in high schools. The teachers agreedthat more ways to involve parents further in school life should be explored, however.Teachers, however, did not mention any pressures caused by parents. Parental pressures,identified by the students as desires for their sons or daughters to become doctors orlawyers, a fact which hindered their enjoyment and success at school, were in no wayidentified or discussed by their teachers. Probably, the most significant reason for fewerreferences to parents in the teachers’ comments was my own omission of any specificreference to parents in the interview questions. The above reference to students wasincluded, not to make comparisons between teachers with students, but to show theteachers’ perceptions as they are related to the issues identified by students.Teachers often referred to using people external to the classroom as experts whocould enrich a certain topic. For example, Mark, described how people in differentcultures, or in different life circumstances could enhance his social studies topics. ForMark, these people included, guest speakers, his administrators, and other expertsaround the world. He even suggested using modems to communicate with outsiders,when distance prevented a more personal contact.170Ellen: Umhum . . . Now people. What people would you say contribute most to yoursocial studies class?Mark: My students. Urn . . . I would like . . . again. . . an ideal situation is the oralparticipation from my students as the people. Guest speakers.. . .1 don’t know ifthat’s what your thinking?Ellen: Yes, yes it is. Because I am looking at people . . . all people.Mark: An example again, (laughs) is . . . ah . . . next week we have a survivor of theHolocaust to speak to my grade 11 ‘s . . . is something they were interested in.Ellen: Did they choose that person? Or did you, or did they know the person’sbackground ahead of time? Or how did that come to be?Mark: I said it is possible to do this. And they said how? And I said OK - here is a phonenumber and they phoned some one. . . and they arranged it, and . . . ah .Ellen: Very good. They arranged it .Mark: . . . and ah . . we have this person coming in on February the 8th? February the8th . . So I think we’re on the concentration camps. . . . So it will be very movingEllen: Very moving.Ellen: Who else would you ask to participate in the program in order to develop yourstudents’ highest individual abilities? Can you think of other people that . . .mightbe included in your social studies program . . . or . . so that students’ individualconnectedness or differences would be addressed?Mark: I think other institutions . . . or people in other institutions outside of the schoolwould be my authorities.Ellen: School institutions. . . or . .Mark: Yeah. Universities. . . research . . . ah . . . libraries. . . urn .Ellen: Urn . . . I think you’re the one to do that kind of connecting too.Ellen: . . . because it just hasn’t been done.Mark: Yeah. yeah. . . no it hasn’t been done. Well, again with technology and themodern. I am trying to encourage students to use the modem. And we are goingto have electronic mentors, through EDNET now. A mentor would be someone inthe area of environment. Ah . . . and they can link up with this person, and theymight have 5 or 6 questions that they would like answered. And they fire it ontothe modem through EDNET. And the electronic mentor would pick up the questionand then answer it and then other people in other schools will see the answer andthey might want to respond to that.Ellen: Excellent. Do you see that in place this year?Mark: Well, Moira Hill (Director of Gifted Students’ Programs), mentioned it when I wasat the future problem solving workshop with some students in the city, . . . andsaid in the near future it will be on.As the discussion illustrates, Mark (and the teachers in general) tended to focuson outsiders who could enhance his curriculum material, rather than concentrate as thestudents did, on the significant contributions of friends and parents. This segment shows171that Mark viewed people, external to the classroom, as an important part of his everydayclassroom activities.Teachers focused their discussions mainly on their own roles, the students’ andexperts’ roles as resources in various fields of study, while students referred more toparents and friends. They tended more to consider themselves and their students as themost significant contributors to the students’ acquisition of knowledge.Indirectly, however, the teachers showed concern for both parental involvementand friendships among students. These concerns were evidenced in the letters whichthese teachers published from parents in the schools’ newsletters, from their initiation andsupport of the student-led conferences, and from the many activities where studentswere encouraged to relate to one another in class. Examples of these activities includedthe pair-share groups described by Joanne, in order to make hypotheses in science class,and intensive small group preparations before a trip to Japan, as described by Mark.6.9 How Teachers Perceived the MITA Model Development and Implementation of MlTheorySince the MITA Model originated partly from teachers’ perceptions of Ml theoryin the context of a curriculum development initiative, the following three sections willexplore the teachers’ perceptions of this endeavor, It is not surprising that the teachersagreed with many of the components of the model, since its development was generatedby their ideas about students’ individual differences and the importance of developingcurriculum experiences to meet these differences.There were, however, several concerns about the MITA Model’s proposed process,expressed by teachers, both in the individual interviews and in group sessions. For172example, the MITA Model components included increased parental involvement. Theteachers agreed with the notion of involving parents more in curriculum related matters,but two expressed uncertainty as to how this could be done. Teachers recognized theinsignificant role provided for parents in conventional high school curriculum, and providedsuggestions for parental input. Bob mentioned, that while he welcomed parents’ ideas,he “suspects that by and large parents don’t have very much input to offer as far as thesubject matter goes”. John mentioned that parents may be involved as guest speakersin the classroom. The student-led conference was one attempt made by the school, inorder to involve parents more actively in curriculum planning, and at the same time toaddress the students’ individual development.In order to document their ideas about matters such as parental involvement,teachers were provided with draft copies of each phase of the development of the MITAModel, during the study. That is, notes of our collaborative work, and suggestions forusing these ideas in the MITA Model development (see Appendix F) were presented toteachers on a weekly basis. These draft presentations usually followed our collaborativecurriculum planning meetings. Similar to the minutes of a meeting, the draft copies actedas a reflection on our discussions and as a guide toward future meetings. As the MITAModel diagram (see Figure 4.1.) evolved, draft copies of diagrams were also regularlypresented to teachers for their input. In addition two videos were provided for teachersto view samples of schools that had applied similar models at the high school level. Thefirst Video, “A Look at the Schools of the 21st Century Grant: Shorecrest High School”,is a presentation published by senior students of Shorecrest High. The film documentsboth the integration of projects, similar to the curricular integration being undertaken inthe present study, the students’ reactions to integrated studies, based upon Ml Theory173approach. The second video brought to the school, “Common Miracles: The NewAmerican Revolution in Learning”, produced by Jennings (1992), describes theeducational reform movement in the United States over the past 10 years, using anintegrated learning approach. The purpose of these films was to illustrate Ml Theory inoperation in the high school classroom, for participating teachers.While Canadian examples of similar models, were sometimes discussed at ourcollaborative meetings, we had fewer materials to demonstrate integration in action inCanadian high schools. The current reforms in American schools, it was hoped, wouldprovided a starting point for our discussions on integration and what implications MlTheory has for the process. Unfortunately, while the films were viewed, discussion of thematerial took place with only two teachers, partly due to a teacher strike whichinterrupted the work, and partly due to busy timetables of the other two teachersinvolved. Since I had provided previously, many hard copies of the documented changeprocesses at Shorecrest, these changes were discussed at several meetings, and theteachers expressed an interest in visiting the Shorecrest School at some later date.During informal discussions with each teacher, they were asked: “How can MlTheory help students to develop their individual abilities?” During these discussions, theteachers typically agreed that the curriculum should accommodate these differences andthey offered three main suggestions for how student interests and abilities might bedeveloped. Firstly, the teachers spoke of “getting beyond” the prescribed curriculum.Joanne, for example, referred to projects that “get past the curriculum” and spoke ofways that she helped students to “value their own opinions”. When students valued theirown opinions Joanne suggested, they “use their own ability to look at things”. Teacherswere generally in agreement with students here. Kara, for example described the174students’ wish to get beyond the text when she described how the class collected beetlesfor observation in Joanne’s cjass, and Joe told how he enjoyed conducting experimentsthat were not in the textbook.Secondly, there was an attempt made by teachers to provide as many choices aspossible for students. John, told of negotiating with his class the dates for projectcompletions, and of encouraging a wide range of student responses to each question.Mark, John and Joanne spoke of their regular attempts to make students thinkindividually. All four teachers described students who showed different abilities andillustrated activities that would accommodate these. While teachers agreed that exploringand developing individual differences was an important part of learning, less emphasiswas placed on helping students to discover their own interests and abilities.Thirdly, teachers spoke of cultivating an environment where students could makemore individual choices. Such an environment differed significantly from one teacher toanother. In mathematics, for example, Bob told of placing students of similar interests andabilities together, in order to provide more choices for students. Teachers expressed thehope that by providing more choices for students, and by guiding them to select a varietyof interdisciplinary projects, students would find more learning activities that challengedtheir abilities. The teachers identified three significant barriers within the current highschool system, however, to using Ml Theory to accommodate students’ individualdifferences. These barriers are outlined in the following section.6.10 Teachers’ Perceived Barriers to Ml THEORY ApplicationTypically, the teachers agreed with students on the following three perceivedbarriers to Ml Theory, as this theory applies to present educational practice. According175to the teachers, these three barriers include: first, the limited time, in a high school day,combined with the many pressures and demands for that time. Time constraints, Bobargued, do not allow time for the development of individual interests and abilities asadvocated by Ml Theory. Second, the conventional mandated curriculum already makestoo many demands, and Ml Theory application could become another demand onteachers and students. And, third, the universities make “rigid” requirements thatstudents must meet, and these requirements typically do not include the development ofstudents’ individual abilities.According to the teachers, the mandated curriculum appeared to interfere at timeswith the use of Ml Theory to address student individual differences. That is, teachers feltrestricted by the need to “cover curriculum” in order to prepare students for the provincialexams and university requirements. One teacher described this limitation as being “boundto the curriculum.”As discussed previously in this chapter, all four teachers expressed concern forproviding a curriculum that is relevant to their students. Their discussions aboutappropriate curriculum often centered around individual student concerns. There was aspecial concern frequently expressed, for example, toward expanding student choices incourse selections, leading toward providing courses and activities that relate morespecifically to each student’s own immediate and future goals. This concept of providingmore relevant and appropriate courses that accommodate individual student differences,is supported by Sullivan (1988, p. 33).1766.11 A Final NoteThis chapter has discussed the teachers’ responses to those issues that wereidentified by the students in Chapter 5. Where did the teachers guide me in terms of thedevelopment of the MITA Model used in the study? That is, what conclusions can bedrawn regarding teacher perceptions of this curricular initiative from teacher interactiveinterviews, collaborative planning sessions, and group discussions? The teachers’responses to the research questions, and to the five curricular initiative foci or subsections identified in this study: time, space, authority, subject matter, and, people, wereused to develop and extend each phase of the MITA Model, as illustrated in Chapter 4.While the study’s emphasis was mainly on students’ perspectives, the work was greatlyenhanced by the teachers’ perspectives on each of the topics that students identified.In addition, the teachers’ collaborative work was especially helpful in the development andapplication of the MITA Model.The curricular initiatives were often complex, and at times teacher frustrationsbecame evident, during the meetings. For example, the teachers frequently expressedtheir frustrations over personal time constraints. Two teachers also expressed a desire foradditional room and in some cases, additional resources were requested, such as tablesfor students’ group activities, and computers for the classroom. The main causes forfrustrations, however, were the hectic schedules kept by all four teachers. On severaloccasions teachers were called out from the meetings and at other times one or twoteachers were away coaching an athletic team.Sometimes our meetings were heated. The teachers often disagreed (at timesvehemently) on several of the topics we discussed. The four teachers varied widely, forexample, in their notions of how students’ differences should be developed. Through177discussion and interview segments throughout this chapter, some of the mostfundamental teacher differences were illustrated. Nor did the teachers agree with studentson some topics. Regarding students’ authority, for example, the teachers differeddramatically from the students. In fact, while teachers identified the tension as onebetween students having authority for their learning, or teachers holding that authority,students perceived authority in quite a different place. In contrast to their teachers, thestudents suggested that authority for learning also rested with their peers and theirparents, rather than exclusively with themselves or with their teachers.The teachers differed from their students in three significant ways. First, theteachers typically expressed more concern over issues of external curriculum resourcesand the external environment. The students, on the other hand typically valued more theirpeer support groups. Second, teachers did not refer directly to friendships as a significantpart of curriculum development. Students, however, regarded friendships highly, andspoke at length about the issue of peer relationships and learning. Third, teachers did notcomment at any length on parental involvement, while students, on the other hand,referred to parents as key players in their high school development. Teachers generallyagreed with the students in two main areas. Both emphasized the importance of studentauthority, as well as the significance of making connections between the real world andcurriculum.In Chapter 7, the concluding chapter, I present a summary of the perspectives ofboth teachers and students, as well as indicate further research recommended, as a resultof this study.178CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSIONS7.1 Introduction and OverviewThe purpose of this chapter is to summarize the conclusions to the researchquestions. A brief description of the data that were collected to address the questions, isprovided. Areas for further study are outlined and discussed, particularly research directedtoward determining the nature of peer relationships and parents’ involvement in developingstudents’ individual differences in school; strategies that could be used in order to involveparents and peers in high schools in a more significant way; and, the usefulness of theMITA Model.In subsequent sections, readers are alerted to some of the methodological andpractical limitations of the study and a brief discussion of the generalizability of the studyis presented. Several larger educational issues of which this study is a part, are explored,such as the change process occurring at the provincial level which was also influencingchange at the high school research site. Finally, the relationships between the researchresults and the literature reviewed in Chapter 2 are highlighted.7.2 The Questions Guiding This WorkThe main research question guiding this work is:1. What is the nature of the curriculum development processwhen high school students and teachers in their classroompractices, apply ideas congruent with Multiple IntelligenceTheory, in order to address individual student differences,within the traditional constraints of a high school? How canthese processes be incorporated into a model?179In order to address this question, the MITA Model (illustrated in Chapter 4) wasdeveloped as one response which requires a collaborative effort between students andteachers. This model, which represents the main outcome of the study, was presentedto the four teachers at several intervals during its development, as well as discussedinformally with each student, it was ultimately influenced by my understanding of MlTheory, my philosophical assumptions, and my educational experiences, which were notnecessarily shared by the eight students and four teachers. This model provided aheuristic for the introduction and application of Ml Theory at one high school.In order to investigate some of the issues concerning the provision for individualdifferences of students and the respective roles that they played in the development ofthe MITA Model, two further research questions were framed. These questions and abrief response to them are outlined below:2. What was the role of the students in the development of theMultiple Intelligence Theory Application Model?As outlined in Chapter 5, the students responded to interview questions I askedthem, concerning: the use of time in high school; the role of physical space at school;the existence of student authority in class; the place of subject matter in learning and,the involvement of other people in their class activities. These five sub-sections were alsoused to organize the questions and discussions concerning their existing curriculum, andMl Theory as a useful method of developing their interests and abilities.The students had very little to say about the topics of time and authority, butmade several significant recommendations about the topics of space, subject matter, and180people. Concerning time, students typically expressed regret that because teachers “hadto cover” too much curriculum in the textbooks, there was little time to consider theirown interests or abilities. When I asked students about authority over their own learning,they usually described their teachers as flexible and concerned that they be givenchoices. Students typically suggested that they were given some authority to developtheir own abilities.The students had more to say about space, subject matter and the involvementof other people in their high school activities. Classroom space, they recommended couldbe better organized in order to support increased opportunities for peer interactions atschool. Friendships and peer support figured centrally in the students’ interviews andinformal discussions. In fact, the students tended to shift the emphasis away from thephysical classroom space that I attempted to address, and talked more about thepsychological space of peer relationships.Concerning subject matter, students most enjoyed topics which related to lifebeyond the classroom which allowed them to use their interests and abilities. A particularenjoyment was expressed for curriculum that provided hands-on activities, such as a“wood lice” experiment described by Elaine, Kara and Keith. They sometimes referred totheir texts as dry, not related to real life, and boring. In general, the students enjoyedschool most when their curriculum was related to the world, and especially when theycould see the connections, such as the lesson Sam described, a business education unitwhere a credit union manager came in to teach the class. The students also expresseda frustration that rigid university requirements often preclude opportunities for individualdevelopment.181Concerning people, the students expressed a desire for more parental involvementin classroom activities. They recommended, for example, more student-led conferenceswhere the parents would come to school to interact with students about their thematicprojects. Kara extended this notion to also recommend increased involvement withgrandparents and the elderly community.Students also expressed particular appreciation for the caring community of teensat their school. They spoke of student friendships as useful to increase learning, providefriendly competition, and keep them “on guard academically.”Furthermore, it should be noted that in order to examine the students’ perceptionsof the particular application of Ml Theory used this study, the students contributed to theconstruction of the MITA Model as discussed in Section 5.2.7., but they did not responddirectly to the final development of the model. Discussions were held with the studentson three occasions during the development of the model. The lack of direct studentresponse to the application process, however, was due to two main causes. First,because of the strike, there was inadequate time after completion of the integratedcurricular unit to interview the students about their overall reactions; and, second, TheMITA Model was not implemented in any standard manner by all four teachers, as earlierdiscussed. In fact, according to two teachers, the MITA model would likely be used moreextensively in the future, and so would probably yield further students’ responses atthat time.Students did, however, respond indirectly to the MITA Model and the study’sparticular application of an Ml View of Learning. Throughout the model’s ten-phaseprocess, the students made recommendations, and suggested procedures that theyenjoyed. For example, the students generally expressed appreciation that the teachers182collaborated at times, with one another. Keith said concerning student workloads andprojects that used a thematic approach, “The teachers do not give us major projects atthe same time because we have too much homework”. The students, however,appeared sometimes to be unaware of the teachers’ collaborative efforts.Figure 5.1 shows the students’ descriptions of their final projects as these relatedto their previously identified intelligences (as illustrated in Figure 1 .1). It is interesting tonote that Figure 5.1 illustrated a more significant relationship between student passionsand their final interdisciplinary projects. It should also be noted here that the principlesof Ml Theory were introduced to both teachers and students after the findings illustratedin Figure 1.1 and before the more significant relationship indicated in Figure 5.1. Tworeasons for the greater evidence of Ml Theory principles which occurred later in thestudy, are: i) teachers were more aware of Ml Theory as it applied to high school curriculum and ii) students were given a language to describe their individual development.The following discussion concerns the teachers’ perceptions of the issues relatedto the MITA Model and their role in implementing it, as articulated in question 3.3. What was the role of the teachers in the development of theMultiple Intelligence Theory Application Model?The teachers expressed similar frustrations, to those offered by the students. Forexample, they suggested there was too much curriculum to cover and too little time todo so. The teachers sometimes recommended larger classrooms with more comfortablefurniture. Teachers suggested that desks should not be fastened down but should bedesigned for greater flexibility of movement. The teachers generally supported183collaborative groups, but at times expressed the problem of “too much curriculum” whichinterfered with the amount of time or emphasis they could give to peer support.The teachers appeared in one sense to be caught between the desire to increasestudent empowerment and the desire to fulfill their professional responsibilities. Againthey mentioned their frustrations over meeting the demands to “cover” all the curriculumcontent. Two teachers expressed the desire for more shared responsibility with theirstudents, and suggested several strategies (outlined in section 6.6.) for doing so.The teachers like the students expressed the need to make the curriculum applyto the “real world” beyond the classroom. But again, they suggested that the overloadof curriculum content prevented them from making relevant connections between thecontent and “real life”.Teachers rarely mentioned existing parental involvement. They did, however,express a desire to explore more ways to foster parental input. Teachers tended to focusmore on out-of-school experts to enhance the curriculum material.The teachers’ responses also provided useful contributions during each phase ofthe MITA Model development. As the development of the model progressed, teachersexpressed both agreement and some concerns with the direction it was taking. Theygenerally agreed with the idea of developing student abilities, interests and individualdifferences. They expressed concern about: the limited time to apply the MITA model,because of the many existing demands on time and energy; too many demands to coverconventional curriculum already existent; rigid entrance requirements of the university.The problematic issues raised by students and teachers in this study, mainlyconcern the relationships among the explicit curriculum, the hidden curriculum, schoolstructures, and teaching intentions. In a similar manner to Britzman’s (1991) suggestion184that student teachers should explore how their experience in school shaped learningexpectations, their own sense of power, and their relationships with teachers and otherstudents, this study supports ideas about exploring students abilities and interests withina high school community of teachers and their students. The MITA model, as outlinedin the study, was designed to facilitate the development of students individuality in highschool, and to provide one method of exploring students’ experiences.In summary, William Yeats said: “Education is not the filling of a pail but thelighting of a fire”. Les, one student participant, illustrates it this way,Teachers light the fires for students and then provideammunition for students to learn - the students then mustkeep the fire going in order to succeed.In this study, the lighter with which the teachers ignite the flames is an Ml theory viewof human capabilities, while the fuel (or ammunition as he calls it) which students requireto “keep the fires going” is a curriculum which fosters the development of several ofstudents’ preferred ways of understanding the world around them.7.3 Limitations of the StudyThe limitations of this study are organized around methodological and practicalissues. These are discussed in turn below. The methodological issues, which arediscussed in section 3.6, and outlined here, influence the study’s claim forgeneralizability. The single site, a public high school for gifted students in grades 8through 1 2, which already provided integration of subject specific courses, was atypicalin many ways. These are discussed in detail in section 3.2.185The somewhat unique context of curriculum change in the province of BritishColumbia also limited the study. The teachers at times felt caught between the Year2000Documents’, (1990) recommendations for changes which were consistent with theMITA Model methods, and they sometimes expressed resistance to such changesespecially because of anticipated pressures from the university’s rigid requirements.The practical limitations also discussed in Section 3.6 influence the validity of thestudy. This limitation concerns the possible restricted use of the MITA Model within highschool classrooms in general. Is the MITA Model’s usefulness, for example, restrictedto a particular kind of setting or specific circumstances? Because of the teachers’ strikenear the conclusion of the study, and my inability to collect data following the completionof projects, which were based on the MITA Model’s use, I was unable to conduct furtherdiscussions that were scheduled with both students and teachers, to determine theusefulness of the MITA Model.7.4 Issues of GeneralizabilityWith regards to analytic generalizability the MITA Model provides a potentialorganizing framework for subsequent researchers and curriculum developers interestedin exploring the development of individual differences at the high school. The strongestargument for generalizing in the study is case-to-case transfer. Case-to-casegeneralizability refers to the situation where other investigators are able to gain valuableinsights regarding significant aspects/relationships/findings from a study and to adaptthese insights for use in their own settings. In this study I argue for case-to-casegeneralizability since I provided a “thick description” of the setting and study to allow forsuch transfer.186As this study is atypical in many ways, the study does not permit two types ofgeneralization for qualitative data as discussed by Firestone (1 993). He pointed out that,in qualitative research it is difficult to generalize findings to settings not studied. Thestrongest argument for generalizability, broadly accepted by quantitative researchers, heclaims, is “extrapolation from a sample to a population”. Here, in order to generalize, theresearcher identifies a population of interest and then draws a random sample of thatpopulation to study. Firestone pointed out that inferences from sample to population arestrengthened by knowledge about the probability that certain kinds of cases will fall intothe sample.This study does not fit the “sample to population extrapolation”. The sample wasnot selected randomly, so that each member of the population would have an equalopportunity of being selected into “the sample”. Furthermore, only one site was studied.For those reasons no inferences can be made about how closely the characteristics ofthe setting in the present study reflects the larger population. Nor does the study fitFirestone’s category for analytic generalization or “extrapolation using a theory.” In orderto generalize to theory the study would have to use Ml Theory to make predictions, andthen confirm those predictions based on the outcomes of the study. In this study, MlTheory was applied in one particular setting, and so replications under conditions thatexactly repeat the original study would therefore be required in order to reliably generalizeto theory.The MITA Model also contributes to the literature on two learning approaches,particularly as the findings of this study generalize to constructivist and Ml Theorylearning approaches. Specifically, as Doyle (1983) argues, constructivist learning isbased on a system of personal constructs, associational networks or schemata, which187is constructed and modified on the basis of experience and prior knowledge. At the heartof constructivism is the constant dialectical interplay between the learner and thecurriculum. The MITA Model extends Doyle’s notion of interplay to includecommunications among the learners, teachers and patents, and accommodates acollaborative community of learners. So the MITA Model is based on constructivistprinciples which extend to include an active and collaborative learning community at thehigh school level.An Ml view of learning at the high school level is primarily based on the philosophythat high school students’ abilities and interests would be more readily accommodatedthrough the development of at least seven intelligences. This Ml Theory view of learningwhich is also commensurate with the constructivist view has been used predominantlyin elementary school practice. The MITA Model developed in this study provides a modelfor using Ml Theory principles in the high school classroom. The model could be usedas one way to, what Jacobs (1991) terms “transcend rigid discipline boundaries,” andprovide high school students with a number of modalities and a wide design ofinstructional experiences such as interactions with teachers, parents and experts in thecommunity, in order to encourage both individual and cooperative learning.7.5 Questions For Further ResearchThrough their recommendations during interactive interviews, and their responsesto the study’s focus questions, the participating students challenged me to consider anumber of significant additional questions. The questions listed below, while addressedto a limited extent in the present study, must be examined in much more depth and serveas focal research questions for further studies.1881. How can we allocate school time in order to include the students’passions for knowledge?2. How can we cultivate an environment where friends are free tonurture and support one another.3. How can we increase student authority in order to promoteindependent learning?4. How can schools be more connected to the students passions andthe real world of today?5. How can we encourage parental involvement in more criticalcurriculum issues?According to the students in this study, their friends and their parents are alreadybackstage players who contribute in important ways to their high school education. Inorder to actively include students and parents in curriculum and planning sessions,however, further research would be necessary in two areas. First, research should beundertaken to determine the nature of existing peer and parental involvement in typicalschool situations. Second, research is necessary in order to investigate strategies forincreasing parental and peer involvement in a more central way in the planning andpresentation of the high school curriculum.Further studies would be useful to determine the extent to which students andteachers value the notion of promoting individual differences in the high schoolcurriculum. This study briefly outlined some of these issues for a somewhat select groupof students and teachers. For example, students and teachers agreed on the strengthsand weaknesses of the existing curriculum to meet individual interests and abilities of189students. The two differed, however, in their perceptions of the degree and type ofresponsibility of students for their own learning, the amount of parental influence, andthe importance of peer relationships to students’ individual development. Further studieswould be useful, in order to examine the issues associated with fostering students’individual differences in more detail.As previously suggested, more research is also required, to determine theusefulness of the MITA Model in the classroom. Particularly, its usefulness as agenerative model for addressing student individual differences. For example, would theMITA Model be useful to help high school students develop more ways of knowing thanconventional school programs currently appear to do? Such a curriculum project, usingthe MITA Model process, would involve extensive discussions and in-depthcommunication with students, parents, and other related partners in learning. Anotheraim of this project could be to examine the ways in which teachers’ practical knowledgemight be utilized in this process of collaborative curriculum development. According toElbaz (1991), teacher knowledge, which is essential to curriculum-in-use, would beawakened through the collaborative process of curriculum development. More important,such a collaborative project would provide a forum for students to be more activeparticipants in shaping the learning environments that they inhabit.7.6 Larger Educational IssuesIn Chapter 2 the Year 2000 Documents (1991), were described as the macrolevel change process occurring at the Provincial level but which was also influencing thehigh school research site. The overriding principles of these documents were alsoconsistent with a constructivist and an Ml view of learning. Access to the school was190in part facilitated by a commitment on the part of the teachers to change already inprogress, change also consistent with the MITA Model. Since the Year 2000recommendations were outlined in Chapter 2, this section will comment only on thedocument’s particular recommendations that relate to concerns that the students raised.According to statistics cited by Robitaille (1988) high schools fail to provideenough adequate programs to interest and motivate students (pp. 52-55). Reports fromthe B.C. Royal Commission on Education show that for every 100 British Columbianstudents who begin grade 9, between 30 to 40 fail to complete Grade 12 graduationrequirements. In fact 2 out of every 5 students either fail or drop out (Robitaille, 1 988,p. 53; Marx, 1988, p. 28; Sullivan, p. 14- 15). One conjecture to partially account forthis dropout rate is the lack of relevant school programs. Hence, one of the expressedgoals of the Year 2000 Document is to offer a curriculum that is both relevant andappropriate for all students. Many students, according to the Commissioner’s summary,might remain in school, if they could participate in courses other than the traditionalacademic ones.There is also concern expressed in the Year 2000 Documents that students whodo not plan to enter higher learning institutes require more relevant programs in highschool. Statistics show that approximately 70% of students who finish grade 1 2 do notgo into higher education following graduation (Marx, 1988, xi). Furthermore, of the 30%who enter university, only a reported 19% obtain a degree (Marx, 1988, xi). Increasingly,however, the core curriculum in high school graduation courses is reflective of thecurriculum courses required for university entrance. How does a curriculum that isrequired for present university entrance requirements accommodate 70% of studentswho will not go on to university courses?191Students interviewed for this study, however, for the most part expressed theirintention of attending higher learning institutes. The teachers, however, expressedconcern for providing a curriculum that is relevant to all students. Therefore discussionsconcerning appropriate curriculum often centered around such concerns. There was aspecial concern frequently expressed toward expanding student choice in courseselections, leading toward providing courses and activities that relate more specificallyto each student’s own immediate and future goals.The Year 2000 Documents because of their similarity to the curriculum proposalsat the research site, helped also to identify some of the difficulties we faced. TheDocuments, for example, proposed that in addition to 12 units of General Studies’compulsory courses in Grade 11 and 1 2, the students ought to have a choice of 5“Selected Options”. These included: Exploration Option; Passport to ApprenticeshipOption; Career Preparation Option; Community-School Partnership Option; and,University Option. Every student in the program was expected to select from 5 options,but some students were expected to complete more units of work than others, based ontheir choice of options. At first glance, the program appears to accommodate studentsindividuality and special abilities. But, as evidenced in this study, problems inevitablyarise from such a complex system. These problems included: who decides who takeswhat, and how do we know that a student is obtaining the skills required in later life?Another concern the many options raised was: How can we accurately assess thestudents according to normed assessments? If students are not assessed according tothe norms used for other similar age groups, will they be adequately prepared for higherlearning or for their careers? A far more immediate concern frequently arose in our192weekly discussions, “How is it possible to keep track of so many students doing differentcourses and activities at different times?The Year 2000 Documents highlighted several of the student concerns and alsoprovided a framework from which the MITA Model was developed. In its role as a policystatement for the study, the Year 2000 document, since it addressed students’concerns, also provided a framework for our study from which we considered some ofthe difficulties that would attend our efforts to implement the MITA Model. Associatedwith any curriculum that aims to accommodate student differences, for example, are thedifficulties associated with locating related assessment tools, and restructuring a programto suit the many participants involved.In one sense we found in the document, a measure of support in our efforts tofind successful, relevant, and individual programs for high school students. Clearly it isunrealistic to expect students’ expressed interests and abilities, alone, should dictatethese (Year2000) alternative choices. Nevertheless, students should be consulted in thecurriculum choices they make, as is suggested in the Year 2000 proposal. I would arguefurther, here, that students and parents should be enabled to participate in theconstruction of the high school curriculum, as discussed in the MITA Model approach.The literature review in Chapter Two illustrated that many previous researchstudies have utilized or focused upon only one of three perspectives informing this study:integrated curriculum construction; constructivism; and, Ml Theory. This study exploredthe relationships between high school curriculum and students’ perceptions of theirindividual differences, and identified the gaps that exist. The study differed from previousresearch in that it examined the application of Ml Theory within an integrated curriculumapproach in the high school setting.193Based on Doyle’s (1 983) definition of constructivist learning, (a system of personalconstructs, associational networks or schemata, which is constructed and modified onthe basis of experience and prior knowledge), this study identified some of the barriersto constructivist practice within conventional high school curriculum. For example, toomuch curriculum content and too little time, often prevent the active engagement withother learners, conditions that Vygotsky (1978) and Piaget (1970) argued are necessaryfor individual development.The study supports Duckworth’s (1 983) argument, however, that constructivismis often little more than a new catch word in high schools. In other words, people usingthe term, Duckworth argues, frequently hold different notions about what constructivismmeans and how to implement its principles. One major barrier to individual development,identified by Duckworth however, was not found to be a barrier in this study.Duckworth argued that teachers are too often unwilling to change their behaviour, basedon new paradigms about learning. In this study the teachers constantly changed theirpractice and actively sought more effective methods of teaching, based on what theyknew about learning.Gardner’s (1983) Ml Theory which states that all humans are capable ofdeveloping to some degree at least seven semi-autonomous ways of knowing the world,is supported by the study’s findings. Each of the seven intelligences was identified bystudents and teachers in both verbal and written responses. Gardner argued thatstudents do not automatically transfer knowledge from one situation to the next, andmust be provided opportunities to apply knowledge in a variety of activities. In otherwords, when teachers provide opportunities for students to develop strategies for solvingproblems and creating products, students are more likely to transfer knowledge from one194setting to another. It was found in this study that the current demands on time, bymandated curriculum prevented important opportunities for students to develop theirmany different intelligences. Gardner’s (1991) definition of intelligence, incorporatesthree critical educational components: individual development; personal growth; anddifferent learning styles. This study raised the question, “how can teachers accommodatesuch diversity? The MITA Model was presented in the study, as one way to facilitate thedevelopment of more student abilities.The study posited that a curriculum that incorporates a common thematic unitand combines Ml Theory and a constructivist view of learning is based on threeprinciples. These three involve: students’ prior knowledge; seven ways of knowing; and,a recognition that relationships between the disciplines can be dealt with in a high schoolsetting. Furthermore, for these principles to become operative the participants and Irealized that the role of the mandated curriculum must shift from its traditional role asan end product, to the more flexible role of providing springboards into deeperunderstandings. In other words, individual approaches to learning had to become morecentral to the curriculum design. An illustration of how curricular and instructionaldesigns can be bridged was demonstrated in this study. Our team found that byconstructing curriculum around one common theme, “Light” for the grade eight unit,students’ knowledge acquisition could be expanded through activities that used an MlTheory view of learning.The three obstacles to achieving recognition of and teaching for individualdifferences in high school, generally held in the literature, were supported by the study.First, the myth that education must return to the basic mastery of the Three R’s (Bibby& Posterski, 1 992; Brown, 1 983), was found to be evident, that is, an emphasis on facts195and content coverage. Second, the organization of high schools around particular andsegregated disciplines, which is described by George and Stevenson, (1992) as aparalyzing factor to the point that a language for alternatives is barely visible” (p.87) wasevident, particularly as students and teachers considered the rigid universityrequirements. And yet, this site had also successfully integrated some subjects as earlierdiscussed. Third, the emphasis for testing for students’ weaknesses, rather thanpromoting strengths (Brown, 1991; Gardner, 1987) was also evident in the rigiddemands by the university, expressed by the students, that prevented more time andenergy for individual development. This study supported Dickinson’s (1 991) claim thathigh school students should be provided with opportunities for both the creativeexploration of their interests and abilities, as well as opportunities for learning valuedskills and concepts through multimodal means. Finally, this study would suggest that ifteaching practice is to reflect what we now know about learning, an alternative approachwould be useful, to temper our concerns with the three R’s, with our “concern for howwell today’s young people are combining these old skills with the new means availableto them . . . “ (Bibby & Posterski, 1992, p. 71).7.7 A Final NoteOne significant objective of this study was to describe the students as they arein grade 1 0 - to show their perceptions of their current curriculum and their ideas aboutdeveloping their unique abilities. But another equally significant aim was to construct analternative approach to learning, one that would allow these students to develop theirindividual differences within the restrictions of a high school curriculum. These twotasks, while related often produced blurry lines, which hindered my ability to focus196clearly, as the research progressed. Within both tasks, the temptation to nail down eachdetail was powerful. In one sense, I felt that the study put me in charge of constructinga new model by carefully selecting major details in order to find meaning in the students’stories, and to use their ideas as a foundation for the constructed MITA Model. So thatwith each new chapter I intended to write the students story in tight, clean clear prose.But once I began the process, the stories expanded, became more complex than I hadanticipated. In addition to the students’ perspectives, all the new voices and anglessprung up around my original story, like a jungle.How could I remain flexible, and yet establish the necessary boundaries to guidethe study? While the process used was systematic and orderly, I attempted to avoid therigid boundaries that Tesch (1987) refers to as restrictive in qualitative studies. Suchboundaries, for example would be a rigid framework where only one theory wasaccepted, or a limited method of interviewing, such as brief paper and pencil responses.While the process in this study began with a research question, this question evolvedover time. According to Tesch, the process is not a science, but rather “intellectualcraftsmanship”, whereby the main intellectual tool is comparison. Some comparisons canbe made throughout the study, comparisons between teachers and students’perceptions, between one student and another, and one teacher and another, betweenthe related curriculum and each student’s perceptions of individual development.Students and teachers felt equally concerned about cultivating an environment wherelearning could take place. 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General questionsthat might act as a lens for our discussions; 2). Questions that invite clarificationof Ml Theory: 3). Questions that may guide our step - by - step curriculumconstruction.j General questions that might act as a lens for our discussions and a filterfor our progress:1). When do the students become involved in the over-all process?2). Could you identify assignments of ulearner activities?”3). Specifically how can Ml help with process and content on this project(integrated study).4). We need to agree on topics (themes)5). Do you agree with Gardnefs posit that all kinds of intelligence should beemphasized or addressed in all courses?6). Do you agree that alternative approaches including integrated curriculumand learning can happen in individual separate subject. by subjectclassrooms?7). What evidence is there that kids learn more, better, faster, more easily, orwith more enjoyment using either Ml Theory or integrated curricula?8). What is the difference between integrated and constructivist views oflearning?9). How specifically can you help us facilitate more integrated learning ormore learning of any kind both as individual practising teacher and as acollaborative team? (Despite our very best efforts for the last two to sixyears, most of our time as practising teachers is spent functioning asindividuals. Most of the time spent meeting and collaborating has notbeen productive if the time spent is correlated to student learning.10). We need to agree on a timeline for:a). theoretical introductionb). correlation of topic presentation to classc). student product descriptiond). work time for studentse). due datesf). grading procedure and routinesII. Questions that invite clarification of MI Theory:1). Could you identify evidence for evaluation- process/methods?2). Could you identify within the Ml where active learning would take place -exploration / reflective?3). How do the frames of mind connect/ overlap with the 9 perceptive modeswhich have already been introduced to the students?4). How strong is evidence of slotting specific subjects into the Frames ofMind knowledge?5). I want to see a concrete example of implementation of these (relationshipto its) ideas in a secondary school - How do students demonstrate eachof the 7 intelligences - when are connections made between them - ifever?6). The Ml Theory seems to be an argument for modular or non-integratedstudy as in the traditional schools. How is it an argument for integratedcurriculum and learning?7). Is it your goal that we restructure delivery of curriculum for an entireschool year?Questions•that may guide our step - by - step curriculum construction:1). How does Ml fit into each of the specific subject areas?2). Identify specific (define skills here?) that might be introduced.3). How does one assess if the student is learning?4). How are Year 2000 recommendations going to alter the ministryprescribed curriculum. How do you see this affecting what is done atTempleton Mini?5). Can you develop some strategies for its instruction, using our themes inthis setting? How does this fit with student ted conferences?6). We need to agree on course correlations if we are going to use existingcore curriculum. How is curriculum to be delivered? Is there anysupplementary curriculum needed?7). How do we assure progress as opposed to another new fad?8). We need to agree on specific student products - that are acceptable.9). We need to agree on how much of the model is to be communicated tostudents - and when?10). We need to agree on a model for interdisciplinary study?11). How do we focus on the development of an integrated student unit -opposed to global restructuring?214215APPENDIX BTEACHER and STUDENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONSThese interview questions are merely a guide into an informal conversation between theparticipant and researcher. My intent, as demonstrated by the questions is to identify students’and teachers’ perceptions of individual differences, and to explore how these different abilitiesare addressed in current high school curricular structures. since it is held that curricularorganization directly impacts on classroom instruction. My major concern is to identify anddescribe both student differences, and curricular structures through the:Research question: How do the curriculum structures (i.e. the time, space.authority, subject matter and people) in one urban alternative school, addressIndividual student differences?These interview questions represent an attempt to “get at” each of the five basic components ofcurriculum structure, since a school’s curricular organization is dependent upon the arrangementof these five elements:Teachers’ Interview:Introduction to teachers: Thank you for offering to talk with me about your high school program,________________________I am grateful to have you contribute your own unique ideas aboutstudents’ individual differences to my study.Teachers’ ideas about current high school programsare critical for me to understand if I am to help develop relevant curriculum for today’s high schoolstudents.Your name and the school’s name Ml be changed in the study - so you will remain anonymous onevery page. Any audio tapes will be destroyed as soon as the document is completed. You Will begiven an opportunity to read the document, and will be able to identify yourself through thepseudonym provided for your identity (add pseudonymhere). Since curriculum is usually made up of: time: space: authority: subject matter: and people,questions will focus on these five main components. If you do not understand the question,please ask me to clarify. There are no correct or incorrect answers, since I am interested in yourown unique ideas about the current high school practice.A). Questions re: time:1). What might be some individual students abilities that could bedeveloped through an average (add subject) class?2). How much time do you spend on________________________(name the abilities mentioned above) in most (name subject) classes?3). How could time be divided in your (add subject) classes so thatthese___________(namethe abilities suggested),could be further developed in high school?B). Questions re: space:1). Would you please descflbe for me, the classroom, or meeting placefor (add subject’l?2). Is this room, or meeting place adequate for your students’development of__ ____________—(name the statedstudents’ abilities)?3). Does this area differ from places wtrere other high school subjectsare taught?2164). What conditions might be added or taken away from thisenvironment in orderto maximize your students’ potentials in (add subject)class?C). Questions re: authority:1). Who is most responsible for (add sublect) knowledge yourstudents learn?2). Who decides how they learn it?3). If you could shift the authority around, so that students could betterdevelop their own personal abilities, how would you change (add subject)?4). What you do believe is the extent of students’ authority to developtheir own uniqueness in (add subject)?D). Questions re: subject matter:1). What are the major topics students have learned about in (add subject)class?2). Of these topics. which allow yous students to most use their____________________(name the earlier stated students’ abilities)?3). What topics or activities would you add to the (add subject)program in order to maximize your students’ highest individual abilities?E). Questions re: people:1). What people contribute most to your (add subject) class?2). How would you describe the role of these people involved?3). Who else would you ask to participate in the program, in order todevelop your students’ highest individual abilities?217These interview questions are merely a guide into an informal conversation between theparticipant and researcher. My intent, as demonstrated by the questions is to identify students’and teachers’ perceptions of individual differences, and to explore how these different abilitiesare addressed in current high school curricular structures, since it is held that curricularorganization directly impacts on classroom instruction. My major concern is to identify anddescribe both student differences, and curricular structures through the:Research question: How do the curriculum structures (I.e. the time, space.authority, subject matter and people) In one urban alternative school, addressindividual student differences?These interview questions represent an attempt to “get at” each of the five basic components ofcurriculum structure, since a school’s curricular organization is dependent upon the arrangementof these five elements:Students’ Interview:Introduction to students: Thank you for offering to talk with me about your Grade ? (name thesubject) program, (add students name). My name is EllenWeber, and I am completing my PhD program at UBC, where I am interested in how Vancouverhigh schools consider your individual differences and abilities, in school. That’s why I am gratefulto have you contribute your own unique ideas to my study. I especially enjoy high schoolstudents to participate with me, since your ideas about high school programs are critical for me toknow if I am to wflte relevant curriculum for you to study.Your names and the school’s name will be changed in the study - so you will remain anonymouson every page. Any audio tapes will be destroyed as soon as the document is completed. You wiltbe given an opportunity to read the document, and will be able to identify yourself through thepseudonym that you provide for your identity______ __________——(addpseudonym here). Since curriculum is usually made up of: time; space; authority; subject matter;and people, questions will focus on these five main components. If you do not understand thequestion, please ask me to clarify. There are no correct or incorrect answers, since I am interestedin the individuality that you bring to your (add subject) class.A). Questions re: time:1). What are your greatest abilities? In which specific activities do you mostexcel in?2). How much time do you spend on______ _______ —(name the abilities mentioned above) in most (add subject) classes?3). How cOuld time be divided in your (add subject) classes so that your______________________(namethe stated best abilities and potentials).could be developed in school?B). Questions re: space:1). Would you please describe for me, the classroom, or meeting place . for(add subject)?2). Is this room, or meeting place adequate for your develOpment of(name the student’s stated ability)?3). Does this room differ from other high school subjects taught?4). What conditions might be added or taken away from this environment ino,er to maximize your personal potentials in (add subject) cIassC). Questions re: authority:1). Who is most responsible for (add sUDject) knowledge you learn?2). Who decides how you learn it?3). It you could shift the authority around. so that you can develop your ownpersonal abilities, how uld you change (add subject)?4). What you do believe is the extent of your authority to develop your ownuniqueness in (add subject)?D). Questions re: subject matter:1). What are the topics you have learned about in (add subject) class?2). Of these topics, which allow you to use your(name the studenrs stated ability)?3). What topics or activities would you add to the (add subject) program inorder to maximize your highest abilities?E). Questions re: people:1). What people contribute most to your (add subject) class?2). How would you describe the role of the people involved?3). Who uld you ask to participate in the program, in order to develop your highestabilities?218ppenaixCCNPROCESSgSC.SampleActivitySheetforIndividualProjectsUNII’:ACTIViTYSHEETNAME:INTERDISCiPLINARYTOP1CGUIDINGQUESTION:______AIM:i4ATERiAL,S/RI50URCESEVALUATION:Appendix DD. Sample Activity Sheet for Student Indentification of IntelligencesProfessional Use Persona’ Use Tota’IntelligenceLogicaYMatheniatcalVerbaifUnguisticVuaVSpBodUyIKinestheticMuaJInterpersonalIntrapersonal220221Appendix E;OARO OF SCHOOL. TPUSTEES OF SCHOOL DISTRICT NO.39 CVANCOUVER31595 WEST lOzi, AVENUE. VANCDUVE. S.C. VEJ 1 ZB TELEPHONE (804)731-5249FAX 7E-9564STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND RESEARCH1992 November 4Ms. Ellen Weber2621 Tennis CrescentVancouver, B.C.V6T 2C1Dear Ms. Weber:I am pleased to advise that your research proposal, “Multiple Intelligence Theory as aGenerative Model for High School Curricular Organization,” has been approved for implementation in the Vancouver school system.As a condition of Vancouver School Board approval, please plan to submit a copy ofyour doctoral dissertation to this office upon its completion. Best wishes for success withyour project.Sincerely yours, .Sharon ReidSupervisor of Educational ResearchStudent Assessment and Research/lbcc Dianne Good, District Principal, Student Assessment and ResearchAppendix F222MEMO Ellen Weber- Tuesday, November 10, 1992.Overview of the Initial Research PhaseWorkshop to Discuss Ml Theory Implications for High SchoolCurriculum StructureThe purpose of the first workshop with high school teachers, the head of theEnglish department, and the researcher was mainly to establish a collaborativeinquiry, and to clarify the term “collaboration” within this specific context(Erickson, 1991). That is, we addressed the specific collaborative relationshipsthat might be formed in order to exemplify our current research project, which isto examine current curricular structures in this particular high school, and tomodify these structures in order to address student individual differences.I began with an invitation for each staff member to describe this high school’scurricular organization (i.e. how is time, space, authority, subject matter andpeople structured). We then discussed ideas for change that the teachers andadministration generated. In this way, we began the project by working togetherin a cooperative manner, by contributing notions of limitations and providingsuggestions towards restructuring the present organization. This overarchingcommon purpose - to collaboratively examine the school’s present curriculumdesign, and our subsequent attempt toward redesigning the curriculumstructure, would be guided by our efforts to address the diverse intelligences ofeach student.Following the expressed perceptions and ideas of each participant, I provided abrief overview of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory (Ml) , as MlTheory might provide a common theoretical framework to define studentindividual differences. At this time, I described my research interests, in order todetermine if my research project might fit the change in process at thisalternative urban high school.The school-based project was defined as having three broad aims:1. The establishment of a functional and collaborative researchgoup with practicing high school teachers, administrator,students, and researcher.2. The development and documentation of a Multiple Intelligenceteaching perspective in one alternative high school setting.3. A description of student and teacher perceptions of theirclassroom practices before, during and after MI Theoryimplementation.In accordance with the research findings of Erickson (1991), that teachers mustconstruct for themselves a repertoire of diagnostic techniques and teachingstrategies that will allow them to respond to the uniqueness and complexity oftheir practice setting, I initially invited participant discussion that would engageteachers in a communication of their practice. This sharing took place prior tomy provision of knowledge from Howard Gardner’s Ml Theory, and influencedthe ideas and possibilities generated by the theory itself. In other words, teachergenerated knowledge took precedence over theory generated knowledge andteacher contributions helped to establish and define the theoretical frameworkof this project, as did MI Theory.223224MEMOTO: Deleted teachers namesF R0 M: Ellen WeberDATE: November 17,1992 (2:00p.m.)R E: Your collective set of questions and our upcoming meeting.Ellen Weber - Tuesday. November 17, 1992.Many thanks for the taxed questions. Their depth and breadth made me wishmy own name was Howard Gardner - in order just to skim the surface in anauthentic response. They are actually questions I too had, and a few of them Ihave already put to Dr. Gardner at Harvard.Your detailed questions sparked some ideas for a possible unit we might beable to construct together. I will share these ideas at our upcoming meeting, onNovember 23, Monday at 3:30.Also - good news! I was just invited to speak on Ml theory as it applies to highschool curriculum organization - at Seattle University on Dec. 10th. The goodnews is that one of the other speakers has already begun to restructure anentire high school district around the 7 intelligences and the area is apparentlyquite near B.C. I will meet several other curriculum develcpers and perhaps willbe able to locate a site that will be possible for us (or me) to visit, and other highschool educators who have common goals, with whom to share applicationideas (if we wish).I look forward to our next meet and to a more concentrated time of possiblylocating together a common direction. Thank you for getting the questions tome in time for me to think, consult, and prepare some concrete applicationillustrations before our next meeting.Regards,Ellen Weber225MEMOTO: Deleted teachers’ namesFROM: EllenWeberDATE: November 22, 1992R E: Our pcoming meeting at 3:30 - 5:30, Monday, Nov. 23. I see this projectas one that begins now, is implemented during January - with a possibledisplay of our prolects to the community in the beginning of Feb. - and anassessment of our efforts in March. If we agree on the process, we may at thattime wish to begin our second theme at that time.(Deleted head teacher’s name), here is an agenda that Ihave put together based on the questions you sent, and ourprogression together. I will bring copies of several helpfulmaterials and this agenda for teachers, if it meets with yourapproval.Monday, Nov. 23, 1992 -3:30-5:30P.M.This agenda, for our 2nd meeting was written to help focus our meeting in orderto progress further in our work together. it is in no way a complete agenda, andinvites every opportunity for each person’s input or alterations.1). Introduce Dr. Gaalen Erickson (UBC Supervisor and invite Gealen’s input).2). John Goodlad in his school/university partnerships ad&essed theimportance of recognizing competing interests and purposes incollaboration. What exactly will each of our roles in Templeton project be?The students’ roles? Community roles? I see my role as:1). contact person for resources2). work together with a student photographer in openingcommunications (and hopefully resources) through reporting to both theeducational community (through Educational Leadership, and theVancouver community through the Vancouver Sun).3). Meet with you regularly at (deleted school name) to work together onthe project.4). Document our efforts.5). Work with individual students or teachers as I am able or invited.Mv own agenda:1). To interview two students (of various abilities) from each teacher (8students) Preferably 4 boys - 4 girls. (One student could be myphotographer)2262). To interview each of you once at the project’s start, once duringimplementation, and once at the conclusion.3). To perhaps develop a model for implementation of Ml Theory at theHigh School level.3). Interest inventories.4). Looking at MI Theory’s suggested four factors in Educational Reform:1). Assessment2). Curriculum3). Teacher Education4). Community participation5). Division of teacher generated questions into three categories.6). Decide on a theme and a timeline for implementing the project.7).Other_________________________—8). Suggested preparations for next meeting:1). Have student generated questions on our theme.2). Have input from the community on the theme.3). Begin to build a bank of ideas and activities for actual teaching of 7intelligencesFinally - Dr. Howard Garner in a letter to me, dated, Nov. 3, 1992 said: ‘Folkshave same goad ideas about MI in the early years, perhaps throughmiddle childhood But the royalroad for Ml at the high school levelremains to be charted - - / look to you for leadership in this area.Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you in any way. (228 - 8999). EllenRegards,Ellen WeberAlso, I have categorized all questions into three categories so they can guideour discussion and progress throughout our project. On Monday, I will bringcopies of these categorized questions for each teacher and suggest ways ofusing them to guide our collaborative efforts toward implementing a unittogether. (For a list of questions see Appendix A)In addition I have constructed an interest inventory - which could be ready foruse in order to get students involved from the onset of our project.227University of British ColumbiaEllen Weber (CSCI), Faculty of Education2621 Tennis Cres, Van., B.C. V6T 2C1MEMOTO:FROM: Ellen WeberDATE: December 4, 1992R E: Our upcoming meeting at 3:30 - 5:30, Tues. Dec.8. something youspoke at our last meeting opened my understanding to how mandatedcurriculum does not in any way conflict with our collaborated interdisciplinarystudy approach to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory.Here is what you said - and how I applied your contribution:Mandated curriculum in high school may appear to conflict with the notion ofinterdisciplinary studies, unless one views mandated curriculum as a“springboard ( Jo’r ) into deeper understandings as well asinto addressing individual student differences!How then does mandated curriculum provide such a springboard? Oneillustration comes from the following springboard from a proposed lesson on:The Industrial Revolution. Students might be hooked or provided thisadvanced organizer (springboard) into both individual differences, and deeperunderstandings:Teacher’s unit introduction: (Provides the initial springboard) TheIndustrial Revolution refers to a time ire Britain from the middle of the 18 Centuryto the midde of the 19 Century. Inventions of technology created the factorysystem of large scale machines to replace simple farm and labor practices.Farmers often left their fields to move into cities and many people gew richer byworking in these urban factory centers. With geat agricultural improvementscame also poor working conditions for many women and children who formedmuch of the work task in large factories.The above springboard now requires student and teacher and communityquestions related to the theme POWER, as a take off or leap into deeperunderstandings on this topic.228Five steps that might frame such a springboard approach include:1). Look at an overhaed or visual display of the seven intelligences, and askstudents to come up with questions that would activate each of the 7intelligences on this topic of Power and the industrial Revolution. Encouragestudents to consider their own strengths (music, kinesthetic etc.) and to poserelated questions.2). Brainstorm with other teachers for a broader perspective on key issues.3). Invite students to complete an interest inventory that might indicate what theirinterests are, and to complete an activity sheet for some interest they wish topursue further.4). Categorize questions under mandated curriculum springboard to completeyour instructional approach to this unit.5). Have students begin to discuss their interests and curiosities, andcollaborate on methods of data collection for these inquiries.Using such a springboard approach - one covers mandated curriculum, aswell as address the interdisciplinary topics and student differences.At our Tuesday meeting, I will bring some excellent, and applicational articleson specific intelligences and their education. Also, I will bring the remainder ofour initial questions that have not been discussed. Have a good weekend.Ellen.229Third Workshop. Dec 13, 1993:The Iritecrated topics are Grade 8 (LIGHT), cTade 9 (POW ER), and grade 10(ENERGY)A Ten Phase Process to Developing a Grade Nine Interdisciplinary Unit on theTheme POWER. and based on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory.This brief step-by-step approach to planning and implementing one unit ing-ade nine is intended to act as a tool that will provide examples for teachers toconstruct their own interdisciplinary units. In no way is the suggested planmeant as a heuristic that will act as panacea for all high school change. It is,however intended to disseminate accepted theories and make applications intoone g’ade nine unit that is expected to require at least a month from planning toevaluation. The process is hopefully another teacher aid, that will reflect someof the key components of Year 2000 recommendations at the high school level.The ten stages of our implementation plan include the followingprocess:1). Facilitate student input from the initial preparation stages.2). Introduce the notion of multiple intelligences.3). Introduce student interest inventories on the unit topic.4). Categorize the ideas and key questions presented into Yr. 2000 Strands.5). Invite ideas from parents regarding their childen and the unit itself.6). Review and record data on each student.7). Present assessment criteria to the class.8). Collaborate with other subject teachers on students’ projects.9). Display and present students’ work10). Videotape and file the completed tests.In this brief unit outline, each of the above ten stages is described andillustrated. Teachers are invited to make use of any materials from this booklet,such as the interest inventories and other charts included - especially preparedfor teacher use. First, however, a background sketch of Multiple IntelligenceBeginnings may be useful.Multiple intelligence beginningsHoward Gardner, of Harvard University comes from a developmentalpsychology background. Discrepancies between Binet’s original intelligencetest, published in the 1 920s, and what we now know about the way in whichpeople learn, raised new challenges to develop teaching materials based onmodern learning theories. Just as we would not expect a hospital to look thesame today, with technological advancement, so we might expect that schoolswill change to reflect new understandings about learning processes. Gardnerworks with two goups of people, normal and gifted students at Harvard, as wellas people who were normal but suffered brain strokes.230He noticed that depending where the brain lesion was located in a stroke,determines what specific intelligence is lost. From studies over 20 years,Gardner came up with a theory that suggests certain sections of the braingovern several different and entirely distinct intelligences.A Dutch Organization offered funds to Harvard goup to conduct a study thatwould tell them more about human potential Gardner’s task was to report oncognition. That study led him to write Frames of Mind, in which he exploredthe many kinds of competencies. Gardner opposes Samuel Johnston’s notionof g intelligence (or general intelligence), and daims that each normal personhas at least 7 intelligences, all of which are autonomous. Moreover, none ofthese are pre-eminent, althou persons have varying combinations of all.Gardner defines intelligence as: The ability to solve a problem orfashion a product that is valued in at least one culture orcommunity. Culture provides an opportunity to use your intelligence (orachievement). For example, Bobby Fisher, perhaps the greatest chess playerwho will ever live, but just be another average person, if our culture had neveroffered chess in which he could excel. While Piaget claimed he was studying allthe intelligences, according to Gardner, Piaget was really studying only logicalmathematics (one of the seven intelligences believed to be innate within allnormal human beings).Howard Gardners MultiDle Intelliaence TheoryThe Seven Intelligences:Logical Mathematical - includes scientific or mathematic ability -with sensitivity to, and capacity to discern logical or numericalpatterns; ability to handle long chains of reasoning.Linguistic - includes poetic or journalistic ability, with sensitivity tothe sounds, rhythms and meanings of words and the differentfunctions of languages.Musical - includes composition and violinist abilities with ability toproduce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timbre; appreciation ofthe forms of musical expressiveness.Spatial - includes navigator’s and sculpture’s abilities withcapacities to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately and toperform transformations of one’s initial perceptions.Bodily-kinesthetic - includes dancing and athletic abilities and theability to control one’s body movements and to handle objectsskillfully.231Interpersonal - includes a therapist’s or salesperson’s capacities todiscern and respond appropriately to the moods, temperaments,motivations, and desires of other people.Intrapersonal - includes detailed and accurate self-knowledge withaccess to one’s own feelings and the ability to discriminate amongthem and to draw upon them to guide behaviour; along withknowledge of one’s own strengths, weaknesses, desires andintelligences.Suocested ten-phase process from planinQ, to implementation, and evaluationof the unit:PHASE ONE: Gather a collective perspective of students’ interests and abilities:If you brainstorm with students for ideas about the notion of power as thestudents understand it, you will see what they know, are interested in, and donot know. You will probably receive responses similar to those below.Students may make mind maps, at this stage, using graphic icons for thedifferent notions that arise, (see figure 1.1) or you could simply list their ideas asthey appear below. The important aspect here, is to invite students to putforward their meaningful contributions in the earliest curriculurri preparationstages.POWER: (brainstorming for ideas and questions)- ability to do or act- authority- success at school- a person or thing possessing authority- a power station is a building where electrical power is generated- can be a specific act ie: the power of hearing- vigor- force- influence- the ability to control others- the person in control of others- legal authority- physical force or energy, ie. electric power- the capacity to exert force in terms of the rate of its use, ie. 60-watt power- a nation that has influence over other nations, ie. the big powers- national might or political strength- a Spirit or Divinity- the product of the multiplication of a quantity by itself, ie. 32 is the 5th power of2(25)- the degree of magnification of a lens or microscope etc.- operated by electricity, ie. power tools232- served by an auxiliary, engine driven system that reduces the effort of theoperation, ie. power steering in an automobile- power of attorney - written statement legally authorizing one person to act foranother- power politics - international political relations in which each nation attempts toadvance its interests by using military force or the threat of it.- the power of the pen- musical geatness- orchestras that combine to add new dimensions to their music- messages put out through muc- pulse, loudness and softness in music - the pause- geatness- technology- empower a student-brute force- power-dive (fly, spurt, decent)- power behind the throne (influence of those behind power figure)- mechanical power versus human power- mandated power- powerful (loud, compelling, notable, vigorous)- power line (electronics)- power of speech (eloquence)- power of the purse (finance)- power pack (electronics)- power politics (selfishness)- powers of darkness (devil)- power of Light (God)- power vacuum (impotence)- power of the people (anarchy)- physical power - (dance, sports, arobics)- power of a goup - multicultural giftsOPPOSITE OF POWER:- poverty- powerless- weak-inert- unimportantQuotes:“Absolute power corrupts absolutelyN 615:15absolute power over wives 392:9accord women equal power 578:6balance of power 328:20682:8, 902:11believe source of power is the sky 151:5black power 914:n2 and 15233certainty of power 860:7commitments of power of balance 813:11community of power 682:8corridors of power 865:19corrupts poetry cleanses 891:16The above references on power and powerlessness can be located (along withhundreds more springboard quotations into ideas for students in each of theintelligences) in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations (p. 1345 to 1346). Perhapsone or two students who may wish to learn typing could type these out forreference sake. Students may build a reference bank for the classroom, anduse their research skills to create and illustrate. Or you may construct a bulletinboard of ideas for each intelligence - using quotes and brainstorming ideas.(See figure 1.2)What about the novel (The Power and the Glory) by G. Greene (1940)? Arethere connections to the times of religious persecution in the name of revolutionin Mexico in 1938 and ethnic persecutions today? And whose power is atstake? Who is winning? Who will lose? Why? How can the balance of power beshifted? Or can it?This brainstorming and discussion session provides a critical foundation for theproject, since it draws students into initial building blocks. It is your key intostudents’ interests, prior knowledge concerning the notion of powerandageneral sense of their collective intellectual abilities. Since this unit willemphasize student individual dfferences, however, you will want to discovermore individual information in order to help student develop at their owncapacity, and using their particular strengths.PHASE Two: Introduce the Concept of Seven IntelligencesIntroduce the concept of seven intelligences to students, in such a way thatshows them how your school is willing to accept and reward more of theirintelligences, and appreciate their individual differences. You may wish to givestudents copies of the illustration in figure 1.2 or place diagam on anoverhead or bulletin display.PHASE THREE: Discover Student Differences through Interest Inventories.After a lively discussion - with input from students on these intelligences - passout interest inventories (see figure 1.3) and ask students to fill out and pass in(at least 112 hour will be needed for quality detailed responses.234PHASE FOUR Categorize your topics and ideas under the appropriate Year2000 Strands.Place your theme (see figure 1.4) on an overhead, with Year 2000 CurriculumStrands as titles, and ask students to provide questions under your ownparticular disciplines. You may wish to compare these with other teachers andto exchange ideas for each of the 7 intelligences at this stage. Be careful toinclude any mandates from the province-wide curriculum guide at this stage.But student and parent ideas should also find a prominent place in eachcategory. Invite students to keep all seven intelligences in mind as you movethrough the list of questions, ideas, and concepts.For the actual teaching of concepts related to power, you will want to consultyour gade nine curriculum mandates for one particular unit that would includepower. For example mathematics topics in gade nine (Addison-Wesley) wouldinclude: (i) Arithmetic Fundamentals (ii) Ratio and Proportion (iii) Operationswith Positive and Negative Numbers (iv) Algebra - Working with Variables (v)Ratio, Proportion and Rate (vi) Solving Equations and Inequalities (vii) ProblemSolving (viii) Polynomials (ix) Graphing Linear Equations (x) Geometry (xi)Computer Enriched Mathematics (xii) Statistics and ProbabiktySimilarly, Science in grade nine would include such mandated topics as: TheSolar System, The Universe:Changes in Matter, Safety, Reactions,Symbols; Changes in the Ervironment, Earth Forces, Fossil Fuels,Ecology and Resource Management, A topic in Resources; Energy,Renewable and non-renewable Energy, Energy Calculations, Life Functions,Body Systems, Nutrition.Social Studies would build on the themes from texts: ExLloration Canada,Patterns of Civilization II, Oxford School Atlas (5th ed.). Hostord Study Atlas.Mandated themes in grade nine Social Studies include: (i) Geography/mapping(ii) Nation Building and Social Order (iii) Industrial Revolution (iv) OtherRevolutions - the American and French (v) History of Canada from Native toEuropean Cultures (vi) Current Events and Developments.In the same way teachers would identify themes they propose to cover. Onetheme - that would best suit the school theme, and build on prior knowledgewould then be chosen. For teaching purposes on selected themes teachersmay wish to use a scope and sequence set of questions from those raised bystudents and parents. Keeping in mind the many learning styles of students,Bloom’s Taxonomy Approach to problem solving could be useful. See thesample chart in the appendix 1 at the end of this booklet.You will also find a sample Interdisciplinary Concept Model on the theme ofWorld Hunger (appendix 2) at the back.235PHASE FIVE: Invite Parents’ Contribution By Filling Out Inventories onStudents.Hand out additional inventories for students to invite their parents (or an adultclose to them) to fill out comments concerning their individual differences.Asking for care givers perceptions of your students’ interests, and abilitiesprovides another way to meaningfully involve the community in school life. (Seeappendix 2). A good idea would be to a your students to have their parentsprovide questions (or input) on their theme. You may also ask them forinteresting speakers under discussions that arise as another means of involvingcommunity in the project.PHASE SIX: Identify Individual Student Differences, and Record a Few Notesfor Proiect Preparation Ideas.After collecting this information you have your data for compiling each teachingunit under your particular discipline. You can match student and parent inputwith your curriculum guides, and lesson materials. As part of the project, youmay also encourage students to build display posters or ideas on their conceptsof their different intelligences, and they might try to show their own preferenceshere.MI THEORY DEFINES INTELLIGENCE AS THE ABILITY TO SOLVEPROBLEMS OR FASHION PRODUCTS THAT ARE ACCEPTED BYONE OR MORE CULTURES. How would you define each student’sintelligence, from the evidence you have collected?Ml Theory also states that one way of recognizing and identifyingstrong intellectual proclivities in each area is the persistenceshown by students in activities within that area.Give each student two activity sheets, (one for rough) and have students passin a sheet (see figure 1.5) after dscussion, brainstorming with peers andteacher, and possibly input from home. Provide a set date to complete theirsheets. Explain to students that after one month there will be a project display -with visitors welcome and they will be invited to discuss, defend, debating,describe, or illustrate their individual projects. Show students your oriteria forassessing projects, so that they understand expectations.At this point you may ask what criteria should be expected so thatpro/ects are not authentically assessedPHASE SEVEN: Discuss and Explain Assessment Criteria to Students.Ml Theory, in recognizing there still exists a fear of projects in some circles dueto the 1920s project idea of anything goes, suggests criteria be used forauthentic assessment. Evaluation of projects includes:236Criteria for Project Assessment:- rich contexts- relate to life beyond school- display knowledge!skills and understanding- exhibiting strengths- encouraging cooperation- encouraging autobiographical stance onlearning- meaningful end-states- suitability for interdisciplinary work- possibilities for original work- deeper and more rounded contact with teacherYou will want to invite students’ questions and ideas on each criteria, so thatthey know at the beginning of their work, what is expected. You may wish tooffer students instructional alternatives at this stage (see figure 1.6).PHASE EIGHT: Discuss the Students Proiects with Other Teachers.Such collaborative conferencing will enable teachers to begin to developdimensions of vocabulary for describing the levels of gowth. A vocabulary willemerge as teachers sit and review the work together. See figure 1.7 foradditional evaluation techniques that could be used here. Ml Theory suggestsseveral dimensions for assessing projects, that may generate discussions:Dimensions for Assessing Projects:1). Conceptualization2). Presentation2373). Quality (technique, originality, accuracy)4). Individuality5). Evidence of cooperativeness (this includescooperativeness with data bases, use of libraries,use of different sources etc.)6). Does the project reflect the curriculum?Old theories are not supplanted by c1ticism - but can gradually besupplanted by new theories - It is felt here that Ml is one new theorythat may help to supplant old ideas.PHASE NINE: Plan to Display Projects after One Month in a Large Open Area.The students are now able to discuss and debate their ideas with others. Invitethe members of corn rnunity who helped formulate original ideas in to view andappreciate the students’ work. Have students interact with viewers, explainingtheir work and responding to q.iestions.PHASE TEN: Videotape the Projects and Place on File.It is recommended that a library of each child’s projects be collected throughoutthe school years. You may wish to decide collaboratively how these files aregathered. The format will depend on the resources at your disposal and thecreative ability of organizers to gather and disseminate the information.Students may wish to get involved in this creative process.With Ml Project method of assessment - students are no longer limited to paperand pencil tests. This method invites a test that is more closely linked to themethods of research and the particular approach of the students’ learningstyles. In other words, testing will be expanded to include several types ofperformance-based exams:Rather than the traditional view of the educational enterprise, which insists onfacts on paper, the assessment method used in Ml Theory evaluates for deeperunderstanding. You may wish to compare the two methods below:Traditional Testinci in Grade Nine:Purpose Factual mastery (or back to the “basic skills”)The vehicle for evaluation of this enterprise is short answer tests.2382’). lmiroved View of Educational EnteriDrise:Purpose UnderstandingThe vehicle for evaluating is performance-based authenticassessmentWhat are the vehicles for Authentic Assessment?These are:Performance-based examsWhich may be:- portfolios- processfolios- exhibitions- projectsThe test is closely linked to the learning activity. So, for example, ifyou want a student to analyze data - give that student data and see ifthe student can place it - relate it, alter it, link it etc. The greatest twobarriers to teaching for individual differences, are time and resources.Several high schools in Canada have restructured their schoolstoward what Ml Theory calls “individual-centered schools, which allowfor teacher time to work with individual students, and a strong supportin that important endeavor. Below is one suggested structure forreleasing teachers to work with students’ differences.Individual -Centered Schools:Three expert roles:1). Assessm6’nfspec/Ifst(information about kids isled to 2 brokers).2392). SiWentcurriculumbroker- who works within theschools to help kidswith a particulareducational path.3). Schoolcommun/tvbroker- who helps kids maptheir abilities onto roleswithin the widercommunity. This personseeks out mentorships forstudents, for example.NB: Gardner ascribes to a required curriculum. Just because Deoi(e have tolearn science, however, Gardner suqqests, they should not have to learn in thesame way.David Lazear provides many practical applicational activities that both activateand educate each of the 7 intelligences in his two books, Seven Ways ofKnowing, and Seven Ways of Teaching (See references at the end)YOUR A’OI7ES240December 18, Friday - meeting at Templeton - from 1:00 P.M. until 2:00 P.M.Officially this meeting was set to gather perspectives from each other as to acommon thematic approach for our February unit using Ml Theory as agenerative model. The concerns raised were that Joanna felt Ml Theory mayrestrict and label students - rather than provide increased opportunities. Wediscussed the fact that Ml Theory promotes at least 7 and infinite additionalintelligences, and discussed the use of 7 as manageable for clustering activitiesand so on. We also wondered how Ml Theory would relate with the school’snotion of “Autonomous learner” and felt the two easily interacted andcomplemented one another.Biggest among our dilemmas was the fact that we are unsure how we can relatethe many disciplines toward connecting themes. I will offer Drake’s work here totry and document the feelings that teachers’ expressed and show what thisgoup went through in a similar process. I feel that the article may in fact clarifysome of the struggles we have met.Also, I had hoped to ask for suggestions about my own data collection, and askfor convenient times to discuss specific issues with indivi.ial teachers and theirstudents.I have had to change the basic perimeters of my study to fit the collaborativedirection of the goup, and now want to suggest a wide scope for our thoughts. Iwill tighten up my design and write up my proposal in the next few weeks, but Ido have a guiding focus throui a roughed out table of contents that I sketched.This may serve as an advanced organizer for me to get your thoughts and askhow I can fit into your schedules. I want to add here that I am willing to be usedby any of you as I can support whatever you are doing in the classroom, and Ivalue your insights as I progess.241INTERDISCIPLINARY INTEGRATED THEMATIC STUDY FOR THE UPPERINTERMEDIATE PROGRAMCoNTENTSApril 2, 1993(Suggestions from Dr. Gaalen Erickson and Ellen Weber concerning thedocument teachers may write in order to justify a school gant)A. GENERAL INTRODUCTION- rationale for interdisciplinary study- goals of the Year 2000 DocumentB. OUR APPROACH- introduction to interdisciplinary themes- Light - grade 8- Power - grade 9- Change - grade 10C. PROJECT RESULTS- students perspective- teachers perspectiveD. CONCLUSION- implications for teachers- what have we learned?- where do we go from here?F. REFERENCESG. APPENDIXTheories that contributed to the studyGrant applicationBudgetVisuals For Display or Discussion IdeasVISt..LUS LecL:Se1a,’ VIsLa/s UsexLçiYflcLiA(clw,V‘I(ooits7%1•.LN3LNONI,4:;:3)1°‘lfr)I•\(I.LIWt)ö3+a4cj000‘3NJ.Ir1I4lvu.tNgO)F0)CC — ;. I/ ‘Mi V A Ti\ c /ØN1 /- f/(2(/ p—’, /)-‘-.¶ ç 4 V•4%%,%\ SI •J Z/ \ ‘‘‘y — L\ 2A‘ ..-\ I iii 1‘(1 \—:; I \\ es,41c?/\ ::-/ ‘,),7_L-\ ?ki1J)-I \ ‘t’ /s _ c , V.JY ‘; \:I€tcV’ _.--‘‘Visuals For DispIa or DscussIon 2472rs.17L CILJfTtLcT•/. ‘ , .i.;:.:3Y Nr)c_____Includesdetailedandaccurateself-knowledgewithaccesstoonesownfeelingsandtheablilttodiscriminateamongthemantodrawuponthemtoguidebehaviour;alongwithknowledgeofone’sownstrengths,weaknesses,desiresandintelligences.p-includesatherapist’sorsalesperson’scapacities10discernandrespondappropriatelytothemoods,temperaments,motivations,anddesiresofotherpeople.4•Includespoeticorjournalisticability,withsensitivitytothesounds,rythmsandmeaningsofwordsandthedifferentfunctionsoflanguages.-Includescompositionandviolinistabilitieswithabilitytoproduceandappreciaterhythm,itchandtimbre;appreciationofheformsofmusicalxpressiveness; ‘mathematicability-withsitlvityto,andcapacitytoiscernlogicalornumericalems;abilitytohandlelonginsofreasoning.includesnavigator’sandsculpture’sabliitieówithcapacitiestoperceivethevisual-spatialworldaccuratelyandtoperformtransformationsofone’sInitialperceptions.-includesdancingandathleticabiiitiesandtheabilitytocontrolone’sbodymovementsandtohandleobjectsskillfully.249Timeline:Student interviews Student interviewsIndividual & group Individual & groupTeacher interviews Teacher interviewsCollaborative meet Collaborative meet .—(DC.(D(D1%) i-I’,)Appendix J —— STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF INTELLIGENCE2500 1q tJ1efL .4Ua1L4 3OV w.v/d /,Ic to,a ,1L. r..J #oL& — c+.c ajL. f1j—Professional Use Personal Use TotalIntelligence-L4•t - yOCL4,%4- c v-’Logical! - rs4 b.11Mathamatai -— c.m ew7n. co4i n.S — -+-1e ho r,3)SC.G4t.r - ., fr’4sVerbal!•ooo-t LA•)b(•frt. .r41LinguisticVsuaV — — )- qJ4 tpW crrd-4e ttnr’- dabs - iqBodily! -Kinesthetic — €.v.rL4rf- fQC.’°-fr.1C.4V.C...CJ.fSMusia onL.5)a;osr./à e L-tcAor row3v’Lc;41—a” p itvof.n 6cO.l J1A(pq(_ L. ro’Ivq —bipInterpersonai -•P‘-‘ -- pIc4%V .grIntraperson -i’t lf cgaraMultiple Intelligences SummaryWheel___251re-c4n: P1ace . ir eacJ- oP +ie, I main,)‘aLL m2 flue 5riCatLrOJSO.. Oir U( S.ô&s 4- a. rL,ti prokLjoL preRJeSMULTIPLEINTELLIGENCESCAPACESSUMMARY252Appendix K —— MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY WHEEL- F’-4’•’’ -—._-,jr, -•.r4g). How have your areas of strength changed from childhood to adulthood?__________r4JL±rd1— 3). How might you go about developing other areas of in lliiñàëàr interests?d & iJw ‘td’ 4bv14 44-ted7 A.”-d da-—£6TIJdJ i- jJ-d 0.z c6 & A —P ecL4 4f4#4). Which intelligences do you feel are most deid in teachers in genEal?Wj4JQJ ,v &O)4d , ‘ tc I-4oL) Z f) /V4, U-LM Iii) Dl ‘- &I-Sam_flWIh____1). Are there other intelligences you would like to develop? — . . ... - -( 14P4dUJIA&LLepA&J4c4 44_________•.--.- 4L S/ALA t,td#‘j‘7‘T’1‘4’vr‘-my..‘T21CLiypra,-‘-%,97(,4rr>-.,-•r?/T”’t-.I?>-7.’741J0”cictZ’-‘7’’)%77’I7V2’7’c-i’.-c°-k’?7”a’a’,L1f)-o-r-r--’frf-c”/-.-.,-—‘°-—c’rjrr‘-1”-rc7‘‘‘‘-2-Q-c’,-o-—fI)d----.-.i--->€r-----r,-n-or’—r-r4J‘-°‘Y’‘r1rO-7Lct<‘2“Pl-Q.-w’4wrCJ‘::t-.---v7r7d_7_’.?1v,r-4T1’17’)--t4,--o-o-277’°,r--’-)A-c’--°r-”-‘-v-c-pCr?-‘fr’Q-v’,—‘,i7?‘‘‘‘r(77.-°--‘j°714r-v”“—rd2YZ.--‘-r,‘--r17-__,47Qwa’f,-v,(ifr--‘,--‘-1L------cr-rv’722—‘‘LA/P4LPGLZPSVfz272QsVLf___7’D—--or0--1(.‘‘:1-çz-’->--o2544Jo-t ‘—--4z- ,kCv4;2L“— ,,,4,¶4A4;)Ac c‘a4, :/ •“__‘, —‘a)/4r1Iht ycu abo€a d/21%u2 ,L 9 JLQs--‘U 5f0f4, /) tZ-4U’t AtL e/1 -‘-y ‘-o L—Ir2 ae &rn y-I4,o•/x& LaL. &t4) ZLL -4. .XtZgzJ_â (-d -)LL1 --7 ‘7fKara255APPENDIX LMINI SCHOOL INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECT - 1993Timeline for TeachersMarch 1-5 Introduction of projects to class (GS)- tirneline- list of projectsMarch 8-12 Multiple Intelligence / Knowledge Organiser.Letters of Intent due.March 15-19 Spring Break.March 22-26 Time in class - project check up - end of week.March 29- April 1 Time in Class- peer feedback (5’ presentation).GRADE Letters of Project Checkup FeedbackIntentMarch 8-12 March 25-26 March 29 - April 18 Copeland/Stokes Copeland/Stokes Copeland/Stokes9 Kuniss/Hancock Hancock/Kuniss Hancock/Kuniss10 Kuniss/Hancock Kuniss/Hancock Kuniss/HancockGRADE Multiple KnowledgeIntelligences OrganiserMarch 8-12 March 8-128 Hancock Copeland9 Stokes Hancock10 Kuniss Stokes256MINI SCHOOL INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECT - 19931. Choose a project involving the theme for the gradea. grade 8 : Lightb. grade 9 : Powerc. grade 10 : Change2. Forget the window dressing, what we want is substantiveanalysis and synthesis involving the different subject areas -English, Math, Science, Socials.3. Each person must do their own individual project - NO groupprojects this time.4. Due Thursday April 15th, 3.3Opm, absolutely no extensions.Plan well ahead and budget your time wisely and efficiently.5. 10% of third term mark in each Mini School subject areaEnglish, Math , Science, Socials will be obtained using theresults of this project.6. Project timeline:a) 1 page letter of intent due March 8 : outliningproject format, sketch of content, developmentplan.b) March 25-26 : project checkup showing work towardaccomplishment of goal (1 hour in each subjectarea)c) March 29- April 1 : 1 hour from each subject areato present to peers for feedback in a 5 mmpresentation.257SCIENTIFICLITERARY< SOCIAL SCIENCES‘ MATHEMATICAL(ONE OR MORE)IS ANALOGOUS TOj IS SIMILAR TOIS COMPARABLE TOREMINDS ME OFSCIENTIFICLITERARY./ SOCIAL SCIENCESMATHEMATICAL(ONE OR MORE)4 eC(AND) LIGHT J THEIRVIEW OF POWER SUBCHANGE TOPICSTHEVIEWBECAUSE:258Suggested student prolects - Grade Eight - LIGHT1. Compile a series of paintings or sketches or 3D work of an object,a scene, an image or “something” in different artistic manners.A commentary on the function of light in each piece must beincluded.2. Compile a collection of “light and dark in music” on audio tape andwrite accompanying narrative for it.3. Write a short story or a collection of poems that makes extensiveuse of light/dark imagery and symbolism. A written criticalanalysis must accompany the work(s).4. Write an illustrated small book on the multi—disciplinaryunderstanding of light. The interdisciplinary nature of the workmust be clearly presented.5. Complete an art portfolio of original work done by you explaininguses of light,colour and shadow. A written explanation if stylestechniques and substance must accompany each work of art.6. Complete an interdisciplinary study of the light bulb. A writtencritical analysis must be included.7. Present a non—western or comparative view of light. Include ananalysis.8. Present, in some systematic way, an aspect(s) of light notpresented in class.9. Create a newspaper “Light News” including some of the followingsections: politics,science, fashion, drama, lifestyles,classified, comics, vital statistics, business, literary review,entertainment, movies, editorial....10. Script a Meeting of the Minds or Interviews with Da Vinci, Vermeer,Newton, Edison and an informed moderator about light. Video orAudio tape the meeting/interviews.11. Choreograph a dance narrative or lyric about light. A writtenexplanation must accompany the piece.12. Own design subject to pre-approval.259Suggested student prolects grade nine - Power1. Discuss what might be a twentieth century resolution of the duality ofpower (a) power over nature (b) harmony with nature.2. Assemble and present an explanation of a working model of a piece ofpower harnessing or power exploiting technology.3. Make a newspaper or magazine devoted to the balance between power overand harmony with nature. Include some of the following sections:politics, science, fashion, drama, lifestyles, classified, comics, vitalstatistics, business, literary review, entertainment, movies,editorial...4. Compare music that treats the theme of power. Prepare an audio tape andwrite an accompanying narrative.5. Write a short story or comic book or collection of poems on the themepower.The interdisciplinary nature of your work must be clearly shown.6. Do a photographic essay of power. Write an analytic narrative toaccompany it.7. Write an illustrated small book on the interdisciplinary study of power.8. Complete an interdisciplinary study of the automobile.9. Script a Meeting of the Minds or series of Interviews between Newton,Marx, Wordsworth and David Suzuki on the topic of power. Make a videoor audio tape of it.10. Present a non western view of power. Make a video of it. Clearly showthe interdisciplinary aspect of the investigatiqn.11. Construct a “science fair” type of presentation on power. Clearly showthe interdisciplinary aspect of the investigation.12. Visit a famous event in history concerned with power. Video it.Clearly show the interdisciplinary aspect of the investigation.13. Prepare a slides, music and audio presentation of power. Clearly showthe interdisciplinary aspect of the investigation.14. Own design subject to pre-approval.260Suggested Student Projects Grade ten - Change1. Script a video of changes on yourlife. Video it. Clearly showinterdisciplinary nature of the work.2. Script a video of changes in society in the 1990’s. Video it withimplications for the future.3. Make a video of types of changes. Clearly show the interdisciplinaryaspect of the investigation.4. Present a non western view ofchange. Clearly show theinterdisciplinary aspect of the investigation.5. Script and/or video a “Meeting of theMinds” between Newton, Darwin,Einstein, Keynes, Toynbee on the topicof change.6. Write a short story or collection of poems on change. Clearly show theinterdisciplinary aspect of the investigation.7. Script and/or video a cross country survey of“Changing faces of Canada”in a T.V. investigative journalism format.8. Visit a famous event in history concerned with change. Script and/orvideo it. Clearly show the interdisciplinary aspect of theinvestigation.9. Discuss in some format, changes ina) music in the 20th centuryb) sexual attitudes and Ie cw€.)t5 in the 20th centuryc) economics in the 20th centuryd) religion in the 20th centurye) science in the 20th centuryf) personal freedoms in the 20th centuryg) other10. Create a Newspaper of “Change” Include some of the following sections:politics, science, fashion, drama, lifestyles, classified, comics, vitalstatistics, business, literary review,entertainment, movies,editorial...i. 0L3n dei3n Jecf 4z p(e—apprbvaJ.

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