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An application of the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence to students of English in a Taiwanese university:
Reflections of an action researcher

LO, WEN-CHU (2009) An application of the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence to students of English in a Taiwanese university:
Reflections of an action researcher.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



In order to acquire knowledge from my teaching and students’ learning experiences, I have attempted to apply the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (i.e. analytical, creative and practical intelligence) to teaching English at a Taiwanese university. This study adopted the action research approach and was developed in three stages. Each stage lasted one semester. At the end of stage two, the lesson planning for practical intelligence was found to be difficult to develop. Therefore, the research questions were changed into comparing the experiences between the analytical and creative groups, which received the analytical and creative teaching approaches, respectively. According to the multiple data sources (i.e. students’ reflection papers, interviews, diary writing, testing, etc.), the major findings included:

 The discrepancy in applying both analytical and creative teaching approaches from the above theory to teaching Chinese students;
 Both the potential of using the creative teaching approach in creative writing during the lessons and the strength of the analytical teaching approach in essay-writing near the end of the intervention to enhance the students’ learning motivation;
 The analytical group’s advantage of having self-study time in reducing the learning pressure arising from poor time management, and in facilitating better performances in learning attitudes, relevant disciplines and academic performance, including the language test. The creative group’s disadvantages of having no self-study time but having additional learning through creative writing, as a possible distraction from the novel, creative teaching approach.
 The students’ changed perspectives on English writing in both analytical and creative groups from the negative to the positive;
 A few students’ disinclination to engage intellectually, possibly due to the influence of the rote learning experienced during their secondary English education;
 The students’ changed perspective on learning English in Taiwan from both teaching approaches, the possibility of creative teaching approach to establish the students’ clearer awareness of the importance of the learning methods and the possibility of employing analytical teaching approach to identify with greater clarity the relevant intellectual development.

Along with these, the importance of: (1) classroom management, (2) the students’ time management, (3) workload considerations and (4) development in stages, and also the methodological changes via the self-inquiry process of the action research approach were also found to be prominent in this study.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:Action research, higher education, learning English as a foreign language, essay-writing, creative writing, problem-solving, analytical thinking, creative thinking, the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2009
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2009 14:27

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