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1 Teaching for Successful Intelligence Robert J. Sternberg Yale University.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Teaching for Successful Intelligence Robert J. Sternberg Yale University."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Teaching for Successful Intelligence Robert J. Sternberg Yale University

2 2 Contact Information Robert J. Sternberg, Director PACE Center Department of Psychology Yale University Box New Haven, CT USA

3 3 Collaborators John Antonakis, Cynthia Berg, Donald Bundy, Anna Cianciolo, Pamela Clinkenbeard, Janet Davidson, Martin Dennis, Michel Ferrari, P. Wenzel Geissler, George Forsythe, Peter Frensch, Michael Gardner, Joyce Gastel, Guillermo Gil, Elena Grigorenko, Martin Guyote, Pamela Hartman, Jennifer Hedlund, Joseph Horvath, Linda Jarvin, Jennifer Jordan, James Kaufman, Daniel Kaye, Smaragda Kazi, Jonna Kwiatkowski, Jacqueline Leighton, Delci Lev, Jerry Lipka,Todd Lubart, Gerry Mohatt, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Diana Marr, Timothy McNamara, Akundaeli Mbise, Adam Naples, Tina Newman, Damaris Ngorosho, Wei-Hua Niu, Catherine Nokes, Linda O’Hara, Renate Otterbach, Lynn Okagaki, Frederick Okatcha, Janet Powell, Jean Pretz, Ruth Prince, Judy Randi, Carol Rashotte, Scott Snook, Robert Sternberg, Erasto Tuntufye, Sheldon Tetewsky, Bruce Torff, Margaret Turner, Richard Wagner, Wendy Williams, Shih-Ying Yang, Wen-tao Yuan

4 4 Acknowledgments The research described in this presentation was supported under the Javits Act Program, as administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement of the U. S. Department of Education; the National Science Foundation; the U. S. Army Research Institute; the Partnership for Child Development, which is funded in part by the James C. McDonnell Foundation; the National Council for Eurasian and Eastern European Studies; the National Center for Educational Statistics; the U. S. National Science Foundation; and the World Bank. This presentation does not necessarily represent the positions or policies of these supporting agencies.

5 5 A Problem with Traditional Education Traditional education tends to “shine the spotlight” on certain children almost all of the time, and on other children almost none of the time. The result is that some children are placed in a much better position to achieve than are others.

6 6 But… The children who are not placed in an optimal position to achieve may be just as able to achieve at high levels as the students placed in a position to achieve. Moreover, the advantaged children will not necessarily be more successful later in life.

7 7 A Problem with Traditional Education Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: The Vicious Cycle Low Expectations Low Achievement Reward

8 8 Global Mission of Presentation To demonstrate how to teach and assess students using the theory of successful intelligence—to help all children achieve at an optimal level.

9 9 The Concept of Successful Intelligence We need a concept of intelligence that is broader than the conventional concept. Successful intelligence is such a concept.

10 10 The Concept of Successful Intelligence Successful intelligence is the ability to achieve success in life, given one’s personal standards, within one’s sociocultural context; in order to adapt to, shape, and select environments;

11 11 The Concept of Successful Intelligence Successful intelligence is via recognition of and capitalization on strengths and remediation of or compensation for weaknesses; through a balance of analytical, creative, and practical abilities.

12 12 Motivation for “Triarchy of Abilities” Alice: –A student high in analytical abilities Barbara: –A student high in creative abilities

13 13 Motivation for “Triarchy of Abilities” Celia: –A student high in practical abilities Paul: –A student high in analytical and creative abilities but low in practical abilities

14 14 The Triarchic View of Intelligence There are three aspects of intelligence: analytical creative practical

15 15 The Concept of Successful Intelligence Conventional (Analytical) Intelligence Creative Practical Intelligence

16 16 Thought Question Think of a learning experience that was really valuable to you. What made it valuable?

17 17 Instructional and Assessment Techniques Balanced use of instruction and assessment that is –Memory-Based –Analytically-Based –Creatively-Based –Practically-Based

18 18 Teaching/Assessing for Memory-Based Learning Remember –Recall –Recognize

19 19 Teaching/Assessing for Memory-Based Learning Remember –Who? –What? –Where? –When? –Why? –How?

20 20 An Example from My Classroom The cerebellum is in the –*A. hindbrain –B. midbrain –C. left brain –D. right brain

21 21 Thought Exercise What would be some examples of teaching/assessing for memory in your classroom?

22 22 The Triarchic View of Intelligence Analytical intelligence is evoked when we analyze compare and contrast evaluate explain judge critique

23 23 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Analytical ANALYZE (a literary plot, a theory in the sciences, a mathematical problem) COMPARE AND CONTRAST (two characters in a novel, two systems of government, the styles of two artists)

24 24 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Analytical EVALUATE (a poem, a cultural custom, a strategy in tennis) EXPLAIN (the use of grammar in a sentence, your interpretation of an historical event, the solution to a scientific problem)

25 25 Outcomes of Teaching for Analytical Intelligence Analytical instruction and assessment should enable students to: –Identify the existence of problems –Define the problems –Allocate resources for solving the problems

26 26 Outcomes of Teaching for Analytical Intelligence –Mentally represent the problems –Formulate strategies for solving the problems –Monitor their strategies while problem solving –Evaluate their solutions after they are done

27 27 Evaluation of Analytical Products To what extent is the product –Informed? –Logical? –Organized? –Balanced?

28 28 An Example from My Classroom Critique the ethics behind Stanley Milgram’s studies of obedience, discussing why you believe that the benefits did or did not outweigh the costs of the research.

29 29 Thought Exercise What would be some examples of teaching/assessing for analytical thinking in your classroom?

30 30 The Triarchic View of Intelligence Creative intelligence is evoked when we: create design invent imagine suppose

31 31 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Creative CREATE (a poem, a sculpture, a new game) DESIGN (a new system of government for the classroom, a scientific investigation, a comfortable home)

32 32 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Creative IMAGINE (what life would be like in another country, what it would be like to be president of a country, how bees communicate with each other) SUPPOSE (worldwide temperatures increased 5 degrees on average…, people were paid to inform on neighbors who do not support the political party in power…, the ozone layer were completely depleted)

33 33 Outcomes of Teaching for Creative Intelligence Creative instruction and assessment should enable students to –Redefine problems –Ensure that they are solving good problems and have good solutions –Sell their ideas –Realize that knowledge is a double- edged sword

34 34 Outcomes of Teaching for Creative Intelligence Creative instruction and assessment should enable students to –Attain self-efficacy –Persevere to surmount obstacles –Tolerate ambiguity

35 35 Outcomes of Teaching for Creative Intelligence Creative instruction and assessment should enable students to –Continue to grow –Develop a sense of perspective on themselves and their work –Defy the crowd

36 36 Evaluation of Creative Products To what extent is the product: –Informed? –Novel? –Compelling? –Task-appropriate?

37 37 An Example from My Classroom Suppose you gave the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC- III) to children growing up in a remote African village in Kenya (whose school language, but not home language, is English). What kinds of results might you expect in comparison with results from a large middle-American U.S. city such as Minneapolis? Why?

38 38 Thought Exercise What would be some examples of teaching/assessing for creative thinking in your classroom?

39 39 The Triarchic View of Intelligence Practical intelligence is involved when we: Use Apply Implement Employ Contextualize

40 40 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Practical USE (a lesson that a literary character learned in your life, a mathematical lesson in the supermarket, a lesson learned on the playing field in everyday life)

41 41 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Practical APPLY (what you learned in a foreign-language class to an interaction with a foreigner, a lesson from history to the present, a scientific principle to everyday life)

42 42 Outcomes of Teaching for Practical Intelligence Practical instruction and assessment should enable students to –Use what they learn –Put problems in real-world context

43 43 Evaluation of Practical Products To what extent is the product: –Informed? –Feasible with respect to time and place? –Feasible with respect to human resources? –Feasible with respect to material resources?

44 44 An Example from My Classroom How do gambling casinos employ reinforcement techniques to keep people gambling at slot machines?

45 45 Thought Exercise What would be some examples of teaching/assessing for practical thinking in your classroom?

46 46 Principles of Teaching for Successful Intelligence The goal of instruction is the development of expertise through the creation of a well and flexibly organized, easily retrievable knowledge base

47 47 Principles of Teaching for Successful Intelligence Instruction should involve teaching for analytical, creative, and practical thinking as well as for memory learning Assessment should also involve analytical, creative, and practical as well as memory components

48 48 Principles of Teaching for Successful Intelligence Instruction and assessment should enable students to: –Identify and capitalize on strengths –Identify and correct or compensate for weaknesses

49 49 Sample Course Requirements Examinations –Multiple-choice or short-answer items –Choice of 2 out of 3 (or 4 out of 6) essays (which are, respectively, primarily analytical, creative, or practical)

50 50 Sample Course Requirements Examinations –Term paper/project (assigned or unassigned topic) –Oral presentation (assigned or unassigned topic)

51 51 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Advantages of Triarchic Teaching Enables students to capitalize on strengths and remediate or compensate for weaknesses Enables students to encode learning material more deeply Enables students to encode learning material more elaborately

52 52 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence: Triarchic Teaching Advantages of Triarchic Teaching Enables students to encode learning material in multiple ways Motivates students more strongly Prepares students better for actual job requirements

53 53 Potential Objections to Teaching for Successful Intelligence Test scores will suffer It does not fit current standards It’s just another fad It’s too hard to do

54 54 Potential Objections to Teaching for SI It takes too much time It is only for gifted students It is only for weak students Teachers should teach only in ways that are comfortable for them It’s for other teachers

55 55 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence When we teach for successful intelligence, student achievement increases

56 56 The Triarchic Aptitude- Instruction Interaction Study When high-school students are taught in a way that matches their pattern of strengths at least some of the time, they perform better than when they are not so taught

57 57 The Triarchic Science-Social Studies Main-Effects Study Students (in grades 3 and 8) who are taught triarchically (for social studies and science) outperform students who are taught either primarily for critical thinking or primarily for memory, regardless of how the students are assessed (I.e., for memory or for analytical, creative, or practical achievement)

58 58 The Triarchic Reading Study When working-class middle school and high school students are taught reading across the curriculum, triarchically taught students outperform students taught conventionally in vocabulary and reading-comprehension measures, regardless of the form of assessment used

59 59 The Triarchic Mathematics Study When Alaskan Yup’ik (Native American) high school students are taught geometry concepts triarchically, they outperform students who are taught the same concepts conventionally, regardless of the form of assessment used

60 60 Applications of the Concept of Successful Intelligence Successful intelligence can be developed: Analytical –The Learning-from-Context Studies Creative –The Insight-Training Study Practical –The Practical-Intelligence-for-Schools Study

61 61 A Caveat People can be intelligent, or even successfully intelligent, but foolish: –The egocentrism fallacy –The omniscience fallacy –The omnipotence fallacy –The invulnerability fallacy

62 62 For Further Information… –Sternberg, R. J. (1997). Successful intelligence. New York: Plume. –Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2000). Teaching for successful intelligence. Arlington Heights, IL: Skylight

63 63 For Further Information… –Sternberg, R. J. (1997). Successful intelligence. New York: Plume. –Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2000). Teaching for successful intelligence. Arlington Heights, IL: Skylight

64 64 For Further Information… –Sternberg, R. J., & Spear- Swerling, L. (1996). Teaching for thinking. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

65 65 Web Sites

66 66 Final Conclusion Individuals are better recognized for and are better able to make use of their talents Schools teach and assess children better with better results Society utilizes rather than wastes the talents of its members

67 67 Invitation to Collaborate We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with individuals and institutions all over the world. If you are interested in collaborating with us in one of our ongoing projects or in a new project, please contact me at


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