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Improving Student Motivation and Achievement in Mathematics through Teaching to the Multiple Intelligences

01/2002;

ABSTRACT This action research project described strategies for improving student motivation and achievement in mathematics through multiple intelligences. The targeted population consisted of kindergarten, third, fourth, and fifth grade students located in two major Midwestern cities. Documentation proving low student motivation and achievement in mathematics included the following: preschool screening and kindergarten orientation testing, parent and student surveys, checklists, traveling portfolios, previous report card grades, beginning of the year math tests, and student participation. Probable cause data indicated that students learned best when instruction was geared to their multiple intelligences. Too often, multiple intelligences strategies were lacking, thus causing underachievement in mathematics. Math interest was not inherent in some students. Poor attitudes in mathematics were likely to foster lower student achievement. Research indicates that students have an inability to transfer math concepts into real life situations. Review of literature for possible solutions communicated the need for non-traditional teaching strategies. Students seemed to exhibit higher achievement and greater enthusiasm when able to explore different learning styles. Teaching to Howard Gardner's eight multiple intelligences made instruction and learning more meaningful to students. Post-intervention data indicated a general trend toward an increase in student motivation and positive attitude through the use of multiple intelligences strategies. Improvements were noted in student participation and student enthusiasm during mathematics. (Contains 36 references.) (Author/MM)

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