Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Elaine Van Lue


Howard Gardner, instructional strategies, intelligence, multiple intelligences, smart, teacher training


This research study outlined a professional-development program for training preschool teachers in Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. The program then continued training in practical applications of the theory for instructional use in the classroom. The preschool director and teachers’ perceptions and experiences were documented and provided the data to assess the impact of the training on the instructional strategies demonstrated in the classrooms. Attention was paid to any impact on classroom management, teacher morale, and cohesive instructional vision throughout the school.

The data from this study revealed that the years of experience of the teachers proved to be the determining variable regarding the teachers’ successful navigation of Gardner’s theory from concept to practice. Neither the ages of the teachers nor the ages of the students proved to be a major factor. The training united the staff in that it benefited them professionally and personally, and their perceptions of one another were enhanced, as were their perceptions of their students. The teachers gained a greater appreciation for their students and colleagues as unique individuals, which positively affected their instructional strategies. Some teachers noted an improvement in the behaviors of children who had exhibited misbehavior prior to the training.

A future study might include larger classes and older children to determine how the results of this study would convert to such variables. A recommendation is for existing school systems to consider Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences as a foundation for learning and teaching. There is much to be learned from the successes of existing MI schools.