In this study, I investigated the interactions between multiple intelligences and performance of learners in open-ended digital learning tasks, and to suggest possible approaches to the teaching and learning process using computers in Tanzania. With the current introduction of computers in the education system in Tanzania, the qualities of instruction and learner participation in learning computer application skills and achievement have not necessarily shown improvement (Nelson, Post,&Bickel, 2003; Tilya, 2003). It is imperative for computer teachers to know the pedagogical strategies that can help them use the current technology effectively. Researchers in instructional design have suggested instructional methods that incorporate methods that encourage the use of learner-centered instruction, incorporating activity oriented methods, and problem solving that are designed around real-world problems (Huba&Freed, 2000). Learners will be able use their knowledge effectively, reveal their uniqueness as learners, and learn computer application skills in a social setting (Gardner, 1983; Wiggins, 1993, 1998; Teele, 2000; Huba&Freed, 2000). The theory of multiple intelligences by Howard Gardner (1983) was used as the theoretical framework for this study. The theory postulates that that everybody has at least eight intelligences which reflect different ways of interacting with the world. In an effort to achieve quality learning, learning must be based on multiple approaches with a series of activities which are authentic in nature and have to be completed by the learners. The study was conducted in Tanzania using a qualitative research design. Four secondary schools were selected and 40 learners doing computer studies course participated in the study. Four intelligences from the theory of multiple intelligences were assessed: logic-mathematical, verbal-linguistic, visual-spatial and interpersonal intelligences. Assessment was done using performance assessment procedures. The findings indicated that there are distinctive intelligence profiles apart from the four intelligences that were investigated in this study. Despite the intelligence profiles of the learners, didactical issues that will enhance ICT adoption in the education environment are important. These include the use of authentic tasks, performance assessment to acknowledge learners unique performance abilities across several intelligences and teachers familiarization in the use of performance assessment procedures.
Thesis (PhD (Curriculum Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2008.