You might want to do some introspection. For each of the eight intelligences in the Howard Gardner list, think about your own level of talents and performance. For each intelligence, decide if you have an area of expertise that makes substantial use of the intelligence. For example, perhaps you are good at music. If so, is music the basis of your vocation?
Students can also do this type of introspection, and it can become a routine component of PBL lessons. Students can come to understand that they are more naturally gifted in some areas than in others, but that they have some talent in all of the eight areas identified by Howard Gardner. Curriculum and instruction can be developed to help all students make progress in enhancing their talents in each of these eight areas of intelligence. Robert Sternberg
Many teachers have provided testimonial evidence that PBL encourages participation on the part of their students who do not have a high level of "school smarts." They report that some of their students who were not doing well in school have become actively engaged and experienced a high level of success in working on projects. These observations are consistent with and supportive of the research of Robert Sternberg.
As noted earlier in this chapter, different researchers have identified different components of intelligence. Sternberg (1988, 1997) focuses on just three main components:
Practical intelligence--the ability to do well in informal and formal educational settings; adapting to and shaping one's environment; street smarts. Experiential intelligence--the ability to deal with novel situations; the ability to effectively automate ways of dealing with novel situations so they are easily handled in the future; the ability to think in novel ways. Componential intelligence--the ability to process information effectively. This includes metacognitive, executive, performance, and knowledge-acquisition components that help to steer cognitive...
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