Exploring Executive Function: Multiple Intelligences’ Personalised Mapping for Success

By Maura Sellars.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The accelerated rate of change that typifies today’s society has resulted in educational systems and educators being confronted with the challenges of educating students for a world characterised by social mobility, globalisation and technological challenge: a world in which students have to assimilate, assess and integrate more information from diverse sources within increasingly short periods of time. This paper discusses the unique characteristics of Gardner’s Intrapersonal intelligence domain and assesses its potential in comparison to some other “self” theories commonly found in educational theory and practice. It then argues that the concept of the executive function of intrapersonal intelligence provides a relatively unexplored notion of self that has the potential to empower all those engaged in educational pursuits, irrespective of their diversity. As executive function brings together and interpolates the commonly identified characteristics of successful learners, it is argued that one of the most inclusive ways in which educators can improve student outcomes, build knowledge, skills and strategies that promote personal achievement and prepare young people for the complexity of their world, can be found by exploring this specific aspect of the renowned Multiple Intelligences (MI) paradigm and ways in which it may be enhanced.

Keywords: Intrapersonal Intelligence, Executive Function, Inclusive Pedagogy, Multiple Intelligences

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp.293-304. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 772.656KB).

Dr. Maura Sellars

Lecturer, School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Mayfield, NSW, Australia

Maura Sellars began her teaching career in London after completing her teacher preparation program at the Froebel Institute, now part of the University of Roehampton. She taught all primary aged groups of students as a classroom teacher and executive staff member for twenty eight years in both England and Australia before taking up a position as a lecturer in Educational Studies at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research interests include inclusive practices, developing students’ intrapersonal intelligence, promoting the cognitive capacities of executive function and maximizing students’ capacities as learners. She remains closely involved with schools and classroom practise in her current role as Deputy Director of Professional Experience (Education) at the University of Newcastle, as this position allows her access to a diversity of classroom practices and learners.


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