Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Models for Leadership Education
Multiple Intelligence Theory in the Context of Teaching and Learning in Undergraduate Nurse Education in Ireland
Margaret Mary Denny, BSc, MPhil, School of Health Sciences , Department of Nursing, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland
Learning Objective #1: The learner will be able to critically discuss the contribution of MI and MITA brain approaches to teaching and learning in nurse education.
Learning Objective #2: The learner will be able to discuss how teaching for MI using a MITA and MIDAS approach influenced the student formative and summative assessments.




Multiple intelligences theory has only recently entered the teaching and learning dialogue in education and research. It is argued that despite the rhetoric of a student centred approach nurse education remains wedded to conventional teaching approaches, which fail to engage with the individual and unwittingly silence the student’s voice.  This paper will examine the concept of multiple intelligences (MI) and outline Gardner’s (1983) contention that the brain functions using eight intelligences, which can be employed to improve learning at an individual level. It will then outline how the use of a five phase model, developed by Weber (1999), known as a multiple intelligence teaching approach (MITA) impacted on student learning. It is contended that MITA has great potential in nurse education, particularly in terms of reinforcing learning beyond the educational domain and into the individual’s professional development and clinical practice. The research paradigm is non randomised treatment control group design with pre and post testing for time 1 of treatment; pre and post testing time 2; with subsequent measurement of MI profiles using multiple intelligence development scale (MIDAS-Shearer, 1996) 12 months later (Heppner, 1999). Two groups of second year undergraduate nursing students undertook the study, treatment group (N=26) and comparison group (N=18). Results show a very significant finding between groups with the ‘treatment group’ out performing the ‘comparison’ group on summative and formative assessments. Arguably, this departure from traditional approaches to teaching will contribute to the present post-technocratic model of education, and to the conceptual understanding of MITA brain-based approaches to teaching and learning in third level nurse education.