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R O B E R T ) . S T E R N B E R G , L Y N N O K A G A K J , A N D A L I C E S .

S tudents can be taught to meet the implicit
expectations of their teachers they don't have to
rely on osmosis.
E ducation is a prcx'ess of living and not
a preparation for future living (D ewcv
e knew the change had be
gun when we heard about
"C arla" [all names of students
in this paper are fictional]. D uring the
first semester, C arla had been either
late to the new Practical I ntelligence
class or not there at all B y the second
week of the second semester, she had
started to wander into class just before
the bell rang. A lthough she hung hack
a little from the rest of the group, she-
was attentive and s<x>n began to par
ticipate in her own way.
C arla had started the gradual pro
cess of dropping out (B onikowske
1987) by 7th grade Y ear after year, her
performance suffered as she made the
same mistakes, over and over again
Her teachers had not neglected her,
but they were working under the as
sumption that she had learned what
school expected of her; she had not
T hey saw their role as primarily one of
teaching subject-matter in a variety of
disciplines. T hey believed that she was
either rebelling or not trying B ut
C arla had simply never learned what
we call the t f sch<x>l.
T eachers have a wide array of expec
tations for students, many of which are
never explicitly verbalix. ed. S tudents
who cannot meet these implicit expec
tations may suffer through year after
year of poor school performance with
out knowing quite what is wrong
T heir teachers expect them to know-
how to allocate their time in doing
homework, how to prepare course
papers, how to study for tests, how to
talk (and not to talk) to a teacher if
they never learn these things, they will
suffer for it.
T he concept of tacit knowledge was
introduced by Polanyi (1946. 19~6) .
L ater. S teniberg (198S ) and VC 'agner
and S tcrnberg (1986) used it to de
scribe knowledge that is not explicitly
taught or even verbalised, but is nec
essary for an individual to thrive in an
environment T he concept applies in a
ariery of settings For example, level
) f tacit knowledge is an excellent pre-
lictor of performance in management
Wagner and S ternberg 198S . 1986V I t
also crucial for successful perfor-
nance in school I ndeed, our research
indicates that it is as good a predictor
of college success as are academic
S E PT E M B E R 1990
types of tests (S ternberg and Wagner
1989) . O f course we should teach stu
dents the skills they will need for life
outside the school, but too often we
forget the point of D ewey's quote at
the beginning of this article life in
school is not just preparation for life: it
ife. S tudents must learn how to use
their intelligence effectively in school
because that's where so much of their
lives take place.
O ur program the Y ale Practical-
I ntelligence-for-S chool (PI FS ) curricu
lum was developed to help students
like C arla learn the vital tacit knowl
edge they need to succeed in school.
T his paper details the development of
the PI FS curriculum, explains our
teacher training procedures and les
son designs, and reports on our field-
test and evaluation of the program at a
middle school in a middle-class sub
urb of C onnecticut
S ince 1987, our Y ale University team
of investigators and Howard G ardner's
Harvard University researchers have
engaged in a joint effort to develop the
theory-based curriculum, practical in
telligence for school. T he program is
an outgrowth of a merger between
two theories of human intelligence
Howard G ardner's (1983) theory of
multiple intelligences and R obert J .
S ternberg's (1985, 1988b) triarchir
theoryof human intelligence. T he way
we have combined the theories is il
lustrated in Figure 1. G ardner's theory
expresses the domains in which intel
ligence manifests itself: linquistic, log
ical-mathematical, musical, spatial,
bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and
intrapersonal. Within S ternberg's triar-
chic theory, the componential subthe-
ory identifies the mental processes
that are exercised in these domains;
the contextual subtheory defines the
practical, "relevant-to-life" ways in
which the processes are applied; and
the experiential subtheory deals with
the transfer of skills to new situations.
N ote that in Figure 1, under the con
textual subtheory, the practical appli
cations include both in-school and
out-of-school problems.
O ur Y ale and Harvard research
teams came up with a total Practical
I ntelligence curriculum which in
cludes two pans:
T he Y ale portion of the curricu
lum, designed to teach skills used
across content areas. T his is taught by
content teachers separately for two to
three periods per week, ideally for a
period of a year.
T he Harvard portion of the curric
ulum, which emphasix. es individual
subject-matter infusion of skills within
the content class.
T he two teams work together. T hey
generate ideas and provide feedback
as the curriculum is developed. T his
report focuses on the Y ale portion of
the curriculum.
T he organization of the Y ale Practical-
I ntelligence-for-S chool (PI FS ) curricu
lum is based upon the three kinds of
tacit knowledge that Wagner and
S ternberg (1985) have found critical to
adaptation to any environment: man
aging oneself, managing tasks, and
working with (managing) others (see
fig. 2) T he curriculum consists of
both a student text and a comprehen
sive teachers manual that describes in
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42. S olving Problems in C ommuni
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detail how the course can be taught
T he course opens with instruction
on how students can manage them
selves. T he first units, on self-manage
ment, provide an overview of students'
multiple intelligences T he teacher
and the students discuss styles of
thinking (see S ternberg 1988a. 1990)
and how students can best exploit
their own individual styles T his unit
on self-management also deals with
crucial aspects of adaptation to school,
such as taking in new information,
showing what you have learned, using
what you know, and implementing
what you have learned.
T he second pan of the course
managing tasks deals with topics
such as getting organized, setting up
strategies for problem solving, breaking
bad habits, seeking help with problems,
and thinking about time management
T his pan of the course also deals with
understanding questions, following di
rections, and taking tests.
T he third pan of the course coop
erating with others presents such
topics as how to handle yourself in
class discussions, knowing what to say-
when, putting yourself in anothers'
place, and solving communication
problems I t also involves learning
how to take a long-term perspective in
dealing with other people
T he lesson designs in the teacher's
guide follow a format based on the
four-prong model of S ternberg and
D avidson (1989) T his model draws
upon Vygotsky's (1978) idea that learn
ing is most effective when it occurs
first in a social context and is only
internali/ed later
T he teacher is provided with lesson
sections that describe the global pur
pose of the lesson and give the under
lying theory or rationale for teaching
it. T he objectives and time planner
help the teacher become quickly
aware of the specific skills to be taught
and the timipg of the lesson. I nforma
tion concerning prerequisite skills, an
estimate of the amount of time needed
for the lesson, and necessary materials
facilitate preparation.
T he teacher starts out by giving stu
dents an orientation to the concept
being taught. First, the teacher taps the
students' prior knowledge, which
gives the teacher an opportunity to
correct incorrect information and a
chance to see the way students have
learned to think about the topic T he
teacher presents new information
lecture, discussion, questionnaii ^s.
and the text.
S tudents then meet in small groups
to try to apply their new knowledge
and skills T his part of the lesson in
cludes games, activities, and work-
S E PT E M B E R 1990
sheets as well as small group work. I t
allows for greater variety in the les
sons, creating a sense that "something
new may happen" in the Practical I n
telligence class. A fterwards, students
evaluate their use of the new knowl
edge or skill. T hey also critique their
work and the material being taught.
Finally, the teacher provides inte
gration activities that encourage the
students to apply their new knowledge
in their own lives. T hese activities are
intended to help bring about the trans
fer of the new knowledge or skills to
situations other than school.
T hree teachers at our C onnecticut
field-test school received six after-
school and one full-day inservice train
ing sessions T raining focused on the
two theories of intelligence, strategies
for teaching, and problem solving.
T eachers were supported during the
implementation phase by weekly op
portunities to interact with one or
more of the coauthors. Five after-
school meetings were conducted to
develop plans and discuss concerns.
C ountless programs are introduced
into schools either without evaluation
or with evaluations limited to students
and teacher comm'ents. We did not
want our program to become one of
these, rather, we wanted to know
whether the program we devised
would genuinely improve students
practical intelligence for schools. A nd
because this was the first time the
curriculum would be implemented,
we were as concerned with using the
results of our evaluation to improve
the curriculum as we were with using
them to test its validity and practicality.
O ne hundred 7th grade students par
ticipated in the study. We targeted the
course to these students because grade
7 marks the point where school be
comes much more complex: students
need to learn how to shuttle between
multiple classes and how to negotiate-
the demands of multiple teachers.
T hree reading classes (a total of 61
students) were used as the experimen
tal group, and two others served as a
control fa total of 39 students) . T he-
experimental students received our
course materials; the controls, the-
standard basal reader. B oth groups
were almost evenly distributed by gen
der. B ecause the program was admin
istered over only one semester three
days per week for about 50 minutes
per session only about half the ma
terial was covered
T hree different tests were adminis
tered to the students before ana1 after
the course: T
S S HA ) (B rown and
Holtzman 1967) , T
L A S S 1) fWein-
stein and Palmer 1988) , and the Prac
tical I ntelligence section of the S
S T A T ) .
T he S T A T was included as a transfer test:
N one of the skills measured in the S T A T
were directly taught, but we hoped
these practical-intellectual skills would
improve as a result of the training.
O n the S S HA , the experimental
group showed statistically significant
gains on all four scales (D elay A void
ance, Work M ethods, T eacher A p
proval, and E ducation A cceptance) . O n
the L A S S I , experimental-group students
showed statistically significant gains on
nine of ten subscales: A ttitude, M otiva
tion, I nformation Processing, S electing
M ain I deas, S tudy A ids, and S elf-T est
ing O nly the subscale T est S trategies
did no! show a significant gain. R esults
of the evaluation indicate 14 intergroup
differences significantly favoring the ex
perimental group, 1 significantly favor
ing the control group, and 2 favoring
the experimental group nonsignifi-
cantly. T hese results suggest that the
PI FS program was quite successful,
even in one semester, in improving
practical-intellectual skills as measured
by two tests of study skills and one of
practical intelligence.
T he usually unspoken knowledge that
is crucial to practical intelligence for
sch<K ) l is teachable. R ather than
merely hope that students have-
learned school survival skills in their
previous grades, we can directly teach
these skills to all students.
B ut teaching practical intelligence
for schools is anything but easy: For
many teachers, successfully teaching it
requires a fundamental reorientation
of attitudes and teaching style I n par
ticular, teachers need to come to value
a kind of knowledge that they usually
do not teach, despite expecting stu
dents somehow to learn it. A nd they
must realize that this practical knowl
edge will be learned by students only if
it is, well, p tudents must sec-
how to apply it in their daily school
lives we would not want students to
acquire this knowledge in an isolated,
encapsulated form that i$ not useful to
them. We all want children to succeed
in school; teaching practical intelli
gence for school can foster that success.
Finally, it's important to find out
what the students thought of the class
A fter a lesson on memory, B ill said,
"I 'm bad at math. I always thought I
would be bad at math even if I tried. I
hate it so I just rush through it. N ow I
take my time with it. I f I take my time-
to study it, I understand it better. "
N adia spoke up during a lesson on
self-management. "T his year I had
trouble in social studies. I was too shy
to ask the teacher. T hen I got a D o I
asked the teacher for help when I
38 E D UC A T I O N A L L E A D E R S HI P
clkln't understand- T he next time I got
an A n social studies. "
K rin reported, "I n social studies I
changed the way I was studying. I went
through every single chapter and tried
to think of the main idea. I went from
60s to 80s in that class "
J im said, "I didn't really think I
could reach level 4 on the computer
game. N ow I 'm top score. N ow 1 be
lieve I can improve hy working hard. "
T he course also seemed to have a
positive effect on students' attitudes
toward others. O ne gifted student re
marked. "B efore, I thought that intel
ligence practical and academic
was all one thing I didn't reali/. e it had
different pans I t will help me recog-
nix. e that someone might not he able
to read but may be really smart in
being able to repair a ear. I used to
think that other people were dumb.
N ow I think that they can be more
intelligent than me in other categories
B efore, I might have said to myself
(not out loud, but in my head) , 'Y ou're
so stupid. ' N ow I won't think of them
as dumb anymore. "
A nd C arla? S he's still in school, in
mind as well as in body, and doing just
fine, thanks D
B onikowske. D (1987) T
I nd N ational E ducational S ervice
B rnwn, W F , and W I I Holt/. mu i (I 'X) "1 )
S S I I A ) N ew Y ork T he Psycho
logical C orporation.
D ewey, J . (1964) . "M y Pedagogic C reed I n
dited hy R . D . A rchamhault.
N ew Y ork M odern L ibrary
G ardner, H. (1983) F
Y ork B asic B <x) ks.
Polanyi, M (1946) . S
ondon: O xford University Press
Polanyi, M (1976) 'T acit K nowledge' I n
edited by M M arx and F G ixxison N ew
Y ork M acmillan
S ternberg, R J (1985) . K
N ew Y ork; C ambridge University Press
S ternberg, R J (1988a) "M ental S elf-G ov
ernment A T heory of I ntellectual S tyles
and their D evelopment. " H
1: 197-224
S ternberg. R . J (1988b) . T
ew Y ork: Viking.
S ternberg. R . J (1990) . "T hinking S tyles
K eys to Understanding S tudent Perfor
mance P 1 360-3" 1
S ternberg, R . |. . and J E D avidson (1989)
'A Four-Prong M (xlel for I ntellectual
S kills D evelopment. " J
22 22-28.
S ternberg. R . J . . and R K . Wagner. (1989) .
"I ndividual D ifferences in Practical
K nowledge and its A cquisition I n I
dited by P A cker-
man, R . J S ternberg, and R G laser N ew
Y ork: Freeman.
Vygotsky. L . S . (1978) . M
ambridge, M ass. : Harvard
University Press
Wagner, R . K . , and R . J . S ternberg. (1985) .
Practical I ntelligence in R eal-World
Pursuits T he R ole of T acit K nowledge"
9: 436-458.
Wagner, R K , and R . J . S ternberg (1986)
"T acit K nowledge and I ntelligence in
the K veryday World " I n P
dited by R
J . S ternherg and R K . Wagner N ew Y ork
C ambridge University Press
Wcinsiein. C . and D . Palmer (1988) U
watcr, Fla H & H Publishing C o
reparation of this article
was supported by a grant from the M cD on-
nell Foundation. We are grateful to How
ard G ardner and his research group at
Harvard for their collaboration in all
phases of the PI FS Project A lice S J ackson
was the primary liaison with the scruxil in
all aspects of this study. We thank L enora
M anzella. S andra Wright. and E lizabeth
N euse for their assistance in the prepara
tion of this report R equests for reprints or
information about the Y ale portion of the
PI FS program should lie sent to R obert J
S ternberg at the address, below
s I B M Professor of
Psychology and E ducation, L
is A ss(K "iate R esearch S cientist, and A
s A ss<x:iate in R esearch I I , Y ale
University, D epartment of Psychology-, P. O .
B ox 11A , Y ale S tation, N ew Haven, C T
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S E PT E M B E R 1990 39

Copyright 1990 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development. All rights reserved.