Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Historically, American schools provide various levels of instruction geared to the potential mathematician, writer, scientist, and historian. But what is the purpose of education in the United States? Some would argue it is the preparation of tomorrow’s workforce and the development of problem-solving skills across all disciplines. In order to accomplish this task, pedagogical theories and reforms are constantly reviewed, implemented, and assessed. This thesis project examines the concept of the individual instructional needs of students while considering Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory published in 1983. At the time of this writing, students’ main conduit for information in core content areas was through verbal and logical reasoning means. Gardner’s MI Theory introduces seven different intelligences and the subsequent learning style of each. This research project asks the question, when science learning centers are designed with Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory in mind, what trends in the engagement of second grade students occur. The research was undertaken in a large suburban school district in Western New York. There were twenty-two students in a second grade classroom with two teachers. The class was broken into groups of four or five students, assigned a leader, and each had an hour per week to utilize the science learning center area. A three week time frame was used with six learning centers designed for the study. A heterogeneous group of six was selected for interviews prior to the study. Parameters studied included: on-task behavior, voluntary involvement, and expressions of interest, either verbal or written. Conclusions drawn from the project support the use of multiple intelligences in education. Additionally, the use of science centers, designed with this in mind, allowed the researcher more time to observe individual students and obtain their views and opinions more than would normally occur in a "traditional" classroom structure. Given a choice, it was concluded that students prefer to learn through methods that incorporate a variety of intelligences and activities.


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