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Human cognitive system is nonetheless one of the dilemmas when it comes to research. Due to morale obstacles, researches towards human intelligence have taken a path more inclined towards psychology than biology. The interactive elements between learning and teaching had been constantly demanding towards the need for a proper set of measurement standard in order for the society to be able to gauge a human's intelligence better. It is also important for such a standard to exist because of the understanding that each learner learns differently.
The scientific study of human intelligence was first kicked off by Alfred Binet in 1904 (E.Slavin, 2003). He is also the founder to the ever famous calculator of the Intelligent Quotient, or IQ. However, it is quite hard to actually group people's intelligence based on a system with only one, unified score, as it may require a more detailed system which may describe why are there geniuses who excel in their particular fields but not others. According to Robert E.Slavin, individuals vary in their aptitude for learning any specific type of knowledge or skill taught in a specific way (2003).
One of the famous intelligence gauging systems which define a subject's intelligence in multiple details is Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory. This theory, as proposed by Howard Earl Gardner, is based on his view on intelligence as "the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting" (K.Smith, 2008). The Multiple Intelligence Theory divides an individual's intelligences into specific fields. The main seven intelligences are Linguistic Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, and Interpersonal Intelligence. According to K.Smith, the Multiple Intelligence Theory not only exerted the importance of the first two "traditional" intelligences, but also highlighted equal focus on the remaining five, claiming that they are needed to live life well (2008).
The main purpose of this research is to attempt to understand the cognitive link between Howard Gardner's proposed intelligences and a learner's achievement in the supposed corresponded life aspect. In the quest to pursue a system which can actually define a learner's capabilities with data accurate enough to be universal, there is a need to testify a theory's validity, especially when it comes to those relative to human cognition, as there exist too many governing factors which may damp the accuracy of a hypothesis. If the learners' intelligences, as defined in the Multiple Intelligence Theory, are really reflecting their achievements in life, then this theory could be very useful in defining a suitable learning style for the particular learner. This is, by opinion, the essential step in education in order to maximize an individual's true potential, and is important in acknowledging the existence of idiot savants, prodigies, and other exceptional individuals (K.Smith, 2003).
It is also understandable that there is a high degree of difficulty for a teacher to actually provide suitable teaching styles in accordance to every student's data in the seven intelligence fields. However, the Multiple Intelligence test could be a key for the teachers to understand that not all students would have the same level of intelligence for a given subject, and that when one shows weakness in a field of performance, he or she could excel in others.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Even though the Multiple Intelligence theory was later updated with additional intelligences like the Naturalist Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence, this study will focus on the default seven intelligences as stated above. The focus of the study would be the learners' scores in the seven intelligences and their achievement in the learning of the English Language. In other words, the problem statement would be "Do the respondents' scores in the Multiple Intelligence Test answer to their achievement in learning the English Language?"
1.3 Scope of Study
The study will focus on 10 students from a secondary school in Malaysia called Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bakar Arang. All the participants are having the same age, which is 15 years old. Though comprises of Chinese, Indian, and Malay, the identity of the responding students are remained anonymous.
1.4 Significance of Study
This study is significant because it is an effort to reach an understanding towards the students' intelligences. Teachers nowadays lack the required time and perhaps energy to actually understand every single student in a classroom, let alone coming out with suitable teaching approaches which appeal to a student's strength. Through the response data, one can at least understand if the student would excel as how the teacher may expect, or if the teacher should allow the student to focus on his or her own strength.
1.5 Research Questions
A few research questions had been constructed to notify the purpose of conducting the study:
1. Do the students who score high marks in their Linguistic Intelligence do well in their English Language test?
2. Is there a linear pattern for any intelligence which can answer to the students' achievement in their English Language test?
1.6 Definition of Keywords/Terms
Intelligence: The ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (Merriam-Webster).
Multiple Intelligence Theory: A theory developed by Howard Gardner in 1989 to view intelligence as "the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting" (K.Smith, 2008)
1.7 Theoretical Framework
1.8 Conceptual Framework
Achievement in March English Test