ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Psychology & Psychiatry

How do we apply the theory of Multiple Intelligences in Singapore? Pt 4

Updated on July 5, 2011

This hub is a continuation of How do we apply the theory of Multiple Intelligences in Singapore? Pt 3

An experiment conducted in Singapore's National Technical University showed that students who were taught information processing using MI methods performed superior to controls in their project work (Foo, Majid & Mokhtar, 2008). Living in a multicultural society means that many students have classmates from different ethnic backgrounds. While English is the main language of instruction in schools, not all students speak English at home. An MI approach to education will help students handicapped by language. A good example of this is Macpherson Primary – where most children come from financially needy homes, and many more are from foreign countries like Cambodia and Nepal. Students in this school have outstanding performances in the arts and sports competitions, winning Gold awards in Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging competitions, although many struggle academically. Obviously, many of these students are budding musicians and dancers, and I think if schools like this could pilot MI theory approaches, their students would benefit greatly.

One challenge of MI is that students may miss out on learning opportunities when they selectively participate in activities that involve their "stronger" intelligences, attributing achievements to their high intelligences while dismissing failure as lack of ability (Klein, 1997). This is potentially exacerbated in Singapore, where students have strong notions of elitism. Here 'triple science' subjects are more prestigious than arts, and medicine and law are better career paths than sports or the performing arts. From young, students grow up with the mentality that if they are in the Express Stream or in an Institute for Technical Education(ITE), they are not smart and 'it's the end' of them. If we are careless, MI could then foster more competition between students instead of showing them how each individual's uniquely giftedness complements and supplements another's. This attitude towards schoolmates will invariably be transferred to fellow Singaporeans; in a society bursting with foreign talent and ageing citizens, it is crucial that our future leaders do not grow up seeing others as threats or second-class citizens but instead as valuable resources with unique contributions to be made.

Another challenge would be garnering parental support for MI. It is no secret how parents fight to put their children in certain high ranking schools. I feel ranking schools puts unnecessary pressure on teachers to resort to pedagogically questionable means to raise student's performance to meet certain educational goals (Tan & Gopinathan, 2000). None of the intelligences should be viewed as inferior to others, although some may deemed more desirable in society. Ideally, parents should embrace MI theory as instrumental to realising their child's learning potential, instead of a tool to create 7 additional performance indicators that schools, or worse, their children ought to be measured against.

Beyond the classroom setting, we can apply MI theory to many settings. Gardner even proposed that in future museums would apply MI theory in their exhibits! MI theory is 'work in progress' as Gardner has added naturalist, spiritual and existentialist intelligences and possibly sexual intelligence to his list of intelligences (Gardner, 1999). Clearly, MI has exciting possibilities when explored in various real-world contexts, which are continually being delved into by researchers.
To conclude, MI theory offers much potential to illuminate Singapore's students. Singapore is generally conservative and pragmatic, structuring our education to supply our economic demands. However, if society, especially parents are willing to embrace new creative (and seemingly unorthodox) teaching methods in schools, more students would be able to experience academic and personal success. Indeed, educating students using their intelligence profile is mutually advantageous to the students, teachers and society.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)