Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 24 Issue: 6S

Understanding the relationship between dominating multiple intelligences and teaching styles through a canonical analysis

Hasanuddin, Universitas Medan Area


Multiple Intelligences, Teaching Styles, Canonical Analysis, High Schools, Indonesia


This paper presented a brief analysis of the relationships between dominating multiple intelligences and teaching styles in the teaching and learning processes. This study employed a canonical relation analysis with Gardner’s multiple intelligences and Grasha’s teaching styles as the dominating factors. The participants were 810 teachers from several high schools located in the region of North Sumatera, Indonesia. The multiple intelligence factors applied were logic-mathematic intelligence, linguistic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence and existential intelligence, while the teaching styles involved were expert style, facilitator style, and delegator style. The results showed that there was a significant relationship between the dominating multiple intelligences and the teaching styles during teaching and learning processes, whereas all-dominating intelligence factors were correlated positively along with the expert style and facilitator style. Meanwhile, the existential intelligence did not exhibit any correlation with the expert style. Overall, it conclusively pointed out that the interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence had implied the most effective factors in the teaching and learning processes, while the existential intelligence was as the most insignificant factor.


Teachers play an essential role in determining the education process going progressively. There is always correlative education factors that successfully engage along with the teacher role. A lot of attempts have been carried out either by the governmental bodies or by the private institutions to improve the teacher competency and role in the educational system (Mustofa, 2007). Sardiman (1992) stated that a teacher should be able to act as an informator, organizator, motivator, director, initiator, transmitter, facilitator, mediator, and evaluator in the teaching and learning processes. The teaching quality implies obviously to the competency improvement for the graduates. An interactive and condusive environment for learning activities can be created in a class room as long as the teacher possesses a good knowledge and awareness with the students’ diversity (Wood, 1999). The teaching quality can actually be reflected through the teaching style that is usually applied during the learning process (Kamamia et al., 2014).

The teaching styles are mostly referred to the behaviour and attitude demonstrated by an instructor during in the class room in order to create the best situation or condition for a well being learning process (Hasanuddin, 2021). The teaching style is also a complex combination of self-confidence, behaviour, strategy, motivation, personality and control (Wright, 1987). Grasha (1994) defined the teaching style as a representative of self-confidence and behaviour exhibited by a teacher during in the class room, comprising some influencing dimensions such as the ability for the knowledge transferring, interaction with the students, student’s homework monitoring and student’s projects supervising. These dimensions clearly exhibit that the multiple intelligences play a significant role in the improvement of teaching style which in turn reflecting the learning strategy (Gardner, 2007).

Intelligences can be asserted as the main factor which determines the ability to fruitfulness achievement from a learning process. In Indonesia, many educational institutions are still focusing their teaching and learning frame into a method that so-called as “single intelligence”, although there is no actual evidence that the smart students will easily attain a successful grade in the learning process (Howard, 2010). Serin and his co-workers (2009) studied the relationships between teaching strategies and multiple intelligences for the kindergarten teachers. Results exhibited that various dimensions of the multiple intelligences such as visual intelligence, natural intelligence and interpersonal intelligence played a vital role in the teaching and learning strategies. In addition, Sulaiman and his associates (2010) reported that the multiple intelligences apparently implied to the improved teacher profile and role, leading to the attainment of a comprehensive and constructive teaching strategy.

Multiple Intelligences: Theory and Definition

The theory of multiple intelligences was introduced and developed by Howard Gardner, a psychologist and an education professor from the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University in 1983 (Gardner, 2007). Gardner had given a definition for the intelligence as an ability to resolve problems and yielded products in the circumstances and real situations. Therefore, intelligence was not merely devoted to the ability to answer the IQ tests in the class room, in fact, it also contained the ability to alleviate the real problems in the circumstances (Gardner, 2010).

In the theory of multiple intelligences, Gardner stated that the intelligences were comprised of 8 (eight) intelligence dimensions, such as linguistic intelligence, mathematic intelligence, visual intelligence, musical intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intra-personal intelligence, and naturalistic intelligence (Gardner, 2010). This theory was based on the perception that the intellectual ability determined using the IQ tests (single intelligence) was very limited. This was because the IQ tests merely emphasized on the logical (mathematic) and linguistic abilities. The followings are Gardner’s multiple intelligences (Gardner, 2010):

1) Linguistic intelligence. The ability in using the words or sentences to express the thinkings.

2) Logic-mathematical intelligence. The intelligence in using the number and logics effectively.

3) Spatial intelligence. The intelligence deals with the ability to recognize matters, and reading a graph precisely.

4) Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. The intelligence to self-expression with the body gestures.

5) Musical intelligence. The intelligence in developing and expressing music and sound, melody, and ability to play musical instruments.

6) Interpersonal intelligence. The intelligence to relate and communicate with people.

7) Intrapersonal intelligence. The ability to self-recognition and control, and behave appropriately in the society.

8) Natural intelligence. The ability to well understand the environmental ethics.

9) Existential intelligence. The ability in answering the existential problems or the philosophical matters related with the existence of human and so forth.

Teaching Styles: Definition and Perspective

Teaching and learning is a process along with the complicated activities in the uncertainty condition. There is no absolute explanation during the teaching and learning process between a teacher and students (Townsend, 2007). Teaching is a condition where the evaluation and decision are controlled professionally in conducting the learning process appropriately (Schunk, 2012). According to Cohen (1998), teaching is a process carried out by an instructor in the class room. Therefore, he expected that an instructor would undergo a challenging process during the teaching and learning process. Teaching style is then referred to the combined behavior and attitude demonstrated by an instructor to create the best condition and situation for a well being learning process. The teaching style is also corresponded to a complex combination of confidence, attitude, strategy, motivation, personality and control (Wright, 1987). According to Gayle (1994), teaching style is a systemic structure behaviour, complex, and stable that are associated with the teacher profile, while (Kaplan & Gies, 1995) defined the teaching style as the attitude and media for the knowledge transfer process.

Both analyses exhibit that Gayle, Kaplan and Gies perceived the teaching styles from a wider aspect points of view, which was instructor personality and teaching note. Moreover, Grasha (1994) defined the teaching style as a representative frame, necessity, confidence and instructor behaviour and attitude that are usually shown during in the class room. This teaching style is composed by some dimensions that influence the way to providing information, student interaction, managing homeworks, and monitoring and supervising the student’s projects. The teaching style then can be categorized into 5 (five) styles i.e., expert style, formalistic authorization style, personality model style, facilitator style and delegator style. The teaching style is indeed determined by the instructor’s confidence, knowledge, and performances during in the class room.

The confidence frame is the fundamental principles by an instructor associating with the students, and learning process. While, knowledge and performances refer to the ability of an instructor to carry out the duty and responsibility effectively (Goodyeara & Dudley, 2015). Peacock (2001) stated that the teaching style could be shown by the naturalistic behaviour of human being in delivering the information and knowledge in the class room. Gage & Berliner (1994) noted that the teaching style as the behaviour demonstrated by an instructor through body gestures, moving during in the class room, intonation and sound, and the eager to holding the teaching and learning process. Fisher & Fisher (1979) thought the teaching style as an approaching method. Galton and his co-workers (1980) defined the teaching style as a complete teaching strategy. Siedentop (1991) perceived the teaching style as a teaching format. Conclusively, those three definitions emphasize the teaching styles depended on the instructor profile and the teaching strategy.

As aforementioned, Grasha (1996) had categorized the teaching styles into five styles. Below is a concise characteristic of each style:

1) Teacher possesses the expert style perceives that the in-depth knowledge and soft skills are primarily needed, giving the students a more detail knowledge.

2) Teacher with a formalistic authorization style uses a standardized model by the institution or school. As a consequence, no flexibility and innovation in the teaching and learning model.

3) Teacher showing personality model style uses the teacher profile as the role model in teaching and learning process. Students are encouraged to follow the teacher’s methods in resolving the problems.

4) Teacher with a facilitator style emphasizes an interactive communication and discussion with the students. This style aims to shape a self-confident and innovative students.

5) Teacher with a delegator style promotes the improved student self-performances. Students are encouraged to work in a team with an in-depth discussion. The teacher plays a role as references source and supervisor.

The study presented in this paper is aimed to investigate the relationships between dominating Gardner’s multiple intelligences and Grasha’s teaching styles through a canonical analysis. So far, no studies have ever been reported elsewhere regarding the use of canonical method to analyze their relationships. All the data were collected from 810 teachers from several high schools in the region of North Sumatera, Indonesia. The results of this study are expected to provide a comprehensive understanding of a constructive educational model for academicians and practitioners.


Research Design

The research design used in this study was a quantitative method that employed a canonical method to analyze data obtained from the data source. There were the quantitative characteristics adopted such as utilizing direct data sources with the researchers as the main instruments, taking into account the result rather than the process, and deductive. The research design was prioritized into direct data collection, textual details, and the relationship with the psycho-educational perspective. The type of research was a case study and designed according to the obtained data source. Thereby, the use of quantitative research will allow the authors to identify and understand the research findings to construct a teaching and learning model according to the canonical method.


Participants in this study were teachers from several high schools in the region of North Sumatera, Indonesia. Figure 1 shows the region of North Sumatera whereas the research locus was conducted. 810 participants were comprised 245 male and 565 female. In detail, 691 participants were bachelor degree holder, 114 participants had master degree, and 5 participants were doctoral degree holder. Table 1 exhibits a number of participants and their population. All participants were given a complete inventory according to Gardner’s multiple intelligences and Grasha's teaching styles.

Figure 1: The Research Locus

Table 1
A Number Of Participants And Their Population
Category Sex Total
Male Female
Level of education degree Bachelor 197 494 691
Master 45 69 114
Doctoral 3 2 5
Total 245 565 810

Data Collection

The main method in the data collection used was observation. This method was used to directly observe the teaching styles and their relationships with the multiple intelligences that were reflected by the student knowledge and performances. The teaching and learning activities related to Gardner’s multiple intelligences and Grasha's teaching styles were quite difficult to observe directly. Therefore, researchers used a more comprehensive participatory approach using questioners and interviews to indicate the most dominating intelligence and teaching style. Data obtained was analyzed using a canonical method.

Canonical Analysis

The variables used in this study were comprised multiple intelligences (independent variables) and teaching styles (dependent variables). A canonical analysis was employed to examine the relationships between all the independent and dependent variables. While, the regression analysis was carried out to investigate the degree of effective contribution of each variable. Categorization was then conducted to obtain the standard critical mean values that indicated the dominating factors of each intelligence and style. Table 2 and Table 3 show the critical mean values for the multiple intelligences and the critical mean values of the teaching styles, respectively.

Table 2
Critical Mean Values Of The Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences Value
Logic-mathematical intelligence 3.68
Linguistic intelligence 3.68
Interpersonal intelligence 3.68
Intra personal intelligence 3.68
Spatial intelligence 3.68
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence 3.68
Musical intelligence 3.68
Natural intelligence 3.68
Existential intelligence 3.68
Table 3
Critical Mean Values Of The Teaching Styles
Teaching Styles Value
Expert style 3.50
Formalistic authorization style 3.90
Personality model style 4.10
Facilitator style 3.80
Delegator style 3.00


Table 4 exhibits the effects of multiple intelligences on teaching styles. There were five types of multiple intelligences that had given dominating effects into the teaching styles, i.e., logic-mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, and existential intelligence.

Table 4
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