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“Individual difference and educational implications- thinking, intelligence and attitude”


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The differences among individuals, that distinguish or separate them from one another and make one as an unique individual in oneself, may be termed as individual differences. …

The differences among individuals, that distinguish or separate them from one another and make one as an unique individual in oneself, may be termed as individual differences.
Learning is most effective when differences in learner’s language, cultural, and social behaviour are taken into account.

A teacher should be sensitive to individual differences.

A teacher’s challenge is to acknowledge and celebrate the differences among children and work to maximize the growth in each child.

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  • 1. “Individual difference and educational implicationsthinking, intelligence and attitude” Presentation by Shrooti Shah M.Sc. Nursing Batch 2011
  • 2. Contents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Introduction Definition of individual difference Nature of individual difference Types of individual difference Factors affecting individual difference Individual difference and intelligence Individual difference and attitude Individual difference and thinking Educational implications of individual difference Role of schools in meeting the individual differences Conclusion References
  • 3. Individual difference Introduction • We, in spite of belonging to a common species known as human beings, have our own individuality which contributes towards the variation and differences found in us. • It is these differences that are entitled as „individual differences” in the languages of sociology and psychology.
  • 4. Introduction… • The differences among individuals, that distinguish or separate them from one another and make one as an unique individual in oneself, may be termed as individual differences. • The psychology of individual differences is concerned with the systematic study of intelligence and abilities associated with personality of learner, learning styles and needs and interests of learner.
  • 5. Introduction… • Learning is most effective when differences in learner‟s language, cultural, and social behaviour are taken into account. • A teacher should be sensitive to individual differences. • A teacher‟s challenge is to acknowledge and celebrate the differences among children and work to maximize the growth in each child.
  • 6. Definition of individual difference • Individual differences stand for the variations or deviations among individuals in regard to a single characteristic or a number of characteristics -Carter B. Good • Individual differences stand for “those differences which in their totality, distinguish one individual from another.
  • 7. Nature of Individual Differences 1. Inter-personal differences 2. Intra-personal differences 3. Inter-group differences 4. Intra-group differences
  • 8. Types or varieties of individual differences • Physical or physiological differences • Psychological differences
  • 9. Types or varieties of individual differences • Physical differences: individual differ in height, weight, colour of skin, colour of eyes and hair, size of hands and heads, arms, feet, mouth and nose, length of waistline, structure and functioning of internal organs, facial expression, mannerisms of speech and walk, and other such native or acquired physical characteristics.
  • 10. Mental differences • People differ in intellectual abilities and capacities like reasoning and thinking, power of imagination, creative expression, concentration etc. • On the basis of these differences they are usually classified as idiot, imbecile, moron, border line, normal, very superior and genius
  • 11. Difference in motor ability • There exist wide differences in motor abilities such as reacting time, speed of action, steadiness, rate of muscular moment, manual dexterity and resistance to fatigue etc.
  • 12. Difference in achievement Differences exist in achievement and in knowledge even among individuals who have almost the same amount of intelligence and have been subjected to equal amount of schooling and experience.
  • 13. Emotional differences • In some individuals, positive emotions like love, affection and amusement and the like are prominent whereas, in some negative emotions are more powerful. • Individuals also differ in the manner they express their emotions. Some are emotionally stable and mature, while others are emotionally unstable and immature.
  • 14. Differences in interests and aptitudes • Variations occur among the individuals in relation to the specific tastes and interests. • In a similar way, people are found to have different aptitudes. Some have mechanical aptitude, while the others have scholastic, musical or artistic aptitudes.
  • 15. Differences in self-concept • Self concept reflects the images, considerations or judgement about one‟s abilities and limitations usually held by an individual not only projecting himself before others but also for estimating his self in his own eyes. • Students must be made to form proper and real concept about their self so that they may be helped in their progress and development by maximizing their potentials after getting rid of evils and negative things detrimental to progress.
  • 16. Learning differences • Some learn more easily and are able to make use of their learning more comfortably than others. • For some, one method of learning or memorization is more suitable, while for others, a different method suits.
  • 17. Differences in study habits
  • 18. Differences in social and moral development • Some are found to be adjusted properly in the social situations and lead a happy social life while others are socially handicapped, unsocial or antisocial. • Similarly, people are found to differ in respect of ethical and moral sense.
  • 19. Factors Effecting Individual Differences 1. Heredity (What occurs naturally as a function of the genes) 2. Environment (What is learned and communicated in different cultures or other social groups) includes Family, Socio-economic status, Culture, Previous knowledge, experience and gender differences.
  • 20. Individual difference and intelligence • The concept of intelligence is complex, abstract, and broad. • Plato talked about individual differences in intelligence. • Early theories of intelligence viewed it as the ability to learn, adjust in the environment, acquire knowledge, and solve problems.
  • 21. Intelligence… • In a symposium on intelligence in 1986, 24 psychologists presented 24 different theories of intelligence (Sternberg, 1986). • In 1912, William Stern created the concept of IQ • Intelligence is normally distributed in the population • There are crystallized and fluid intelligence • A teacher should be aware of the concept of IQ • Aware of the students having multiple intelligence • Aware of the students having low IQ
  • 22. Multiple Intelligence Theories • Recent psychologists viewed intelligence as multiple abilities. • It is necessary for a teacher to have a thorough understanding of intellectual abilities of students.
  • 23. Sternberg’s Theory of Intelligence (2000) • According to him, intelligence comes into three forms that are analytical, creative, and practical. 1. Analytical ability: The ability to analyze, evaluate, judge, compare, and contrast. 2. Creative ability: The ability to create, design, invent, and originate. 3. Practical ability: the ability to use, apply, manipulate, and implement.
  • 24. Gardener’s Eight Types of Intelligence (Frames of Mind) 1. Verbal skills--------authors, journalists, speaker 2.Mathematical skills------scientists, engineers, accountants 3.Spatial ability---------three dimensional thinking, architects, sailors 4.Bodily-kinaesthetic skills----manipulate objects, surgeons, dancers, athletes 5.Musical skills------sensitivity to pitch, melody, composers, sensitive listeners 6.Intrapersonal-------understand oneself, psychologists, theologians 7. Interpersonal-------interact with others 8.Naturalistic skills-----understand nature and human made systems, farmers, ecologists, landscapers
  • 25. Learning and Social Intelligence • Learning is influenced by social intelligence which is the ability to establish interpersonal relationships with others. Socially intelligent person can easily interact and communicate with others. He can reduce his/her stress level by sharing it with his/her support group. • Learning can be enhanced when students have the opportunities to interact and collaborate with others on instructional tasks.
  • 26. Learning and Social Intelligence… • Learning situations that allow for and respect diversity encourage flexible thinking, social competence, and moral development. • Learning and self-esteem are heightened when learners are in respected and caring relationship with others who see their potential, appreciate their unique talent, and respect them as individuals.
  • 27. Emotional Intelligence • Emotionally intelligent means having emotional self-awareness, managing one‟s emotions, reading emotions, and handling relationships. • Learners having emotional intelligence are less vulnerable to stress. • It is a new concept in psychology and different from the traditional IQ.
  • 28. Emotional intelligence… • Slovery and Mayer (1990) defined emotional intelligence as the ability to monitor one‟s own and others feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide thinking and actions. There are four aspects of emotional intelligence 1. Emotional perception 2. Emotional integration 3. Emotional understanding 4. Emotional management
  • 29. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Teachers and students having emotional intelligence can improve their relationship: By understanding the causes of their feelings Being good at managing one‟s own anger Being good at listening to what other people are saying Being motivated to share and cooperate Deal with stressful situations with tactful manner
  • 30. Individual difference and intelligence • Gardner‟s perspective presents the possibility that most, and quite possibly all, of our students may be QUITE intelligent in one way or another. • The debate continues…however, many educators have embraced multiple intelligences because of its optimistic view of human potential, and encourages us to use many different teaching methods.
  • 31. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” -Winston Churchill
  • 32. Attitude “An attitude is a particular feeling about something. It therefore, involves a tendency to behave in a certain way in situations which involves that something, whether person, idea or object. It is partially rational and partially emotional and is acquired, not inherent in and individual.”
  • 33. Components of attitude a. Cognitive - our thoughts, beliefs, and ideas about something. When a human being is the object of an attitude, the cognitive component is frequently a stereotype. b. Affective - feelings or emotions that something evokes. e.g. fear, sympathy, hate. c. Conative, or behavioral - tendency or disposition to act in certain ways toward something. Emphasis is on the tendency to act, not the actual acting; what we intend and what we do may be quite different.
  • 34. Attitudes can be acquired through social learning • Classical conditioning: This is learning based on association when one stimulus regularly precedes another. The one that occurs first may soon become a signal for the one that occurs second. • Instrumental conditioning: here a child plays an active role in the learning process, which ranges from receiving selective rewards or punishments to learning to hold the right views. • Modeling: this is learning that take place when a child witness examples and models her behaviour accordingly.
  • 35. Individual difference and attitude Some of the main influences on attitude formation are: 1. Teacher 2. Friends/peer group 3. Parents 4. Teaching method 5. The language itself
  • 36. Difference in attitude • Attitude is one of the important attributes of our behaviour. • Individuals are found to possess varying attitude towards different people, groups, objects and ideas. • Their attitude may be positive, negative or of somewhat indifferent nature. Similarly they differ in respect of beliefs, opinions and ideas. • Some are conservative and rigid while the others are progressive, liberal and dynamic.
  • 37. Thinking The great philosopher Descartes had said, “I think, so I exist”, implying that thought is the very essence of human existence.
  • 38. Concept of Thinking • Thinking is a complex process which involves manipulation of information as we form concepts. It also engages in problem solving, reasoning and making decisions. • Thinking is a higher cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes is part of cognitive psychology. • Thinking is a pattern of behaviour in which we make use of internal representations (symbols, signs etc.) of things and events for the solution of some specific, purposeful problem.
  • 39. Definitions of thinking • Ross: Thinking is a mental activity in its cognitive aspect. • Kolesnik: Thinking is the reorganization of concepts. • Woodworth:Thinking is mental exploration for finding out the solution of a problem.
  • 40. Types of Thinking a) b) c) d) e) Convergent Thinking Divergent Thinking Critical Thinking Reflective Thinking Lateral Thinking
  • 41. Types of thinking… 1.Convergent thinking: Convergent thinking proceeds on the assumption that there is one single best solution to any problem, and also that the solution can be arrived at on the basis of the existing knowledge.
  • 42. Types of thinking… 2. Divergent thinking: Divergent" thinking may start from existing knowledge, but it proceeds in different directions and are not limited or bound by existing knowledge
  • 43. Types of thinking… 3. Critical thinking • Critical thinking assesses the worth and validity of something existent. It involves precise, persistent, objective analysis. When teachers try to get several learners to think convergent, they try to help them develop common understanding. 4. Reflective thinking • Reflective thinking is normally a slow process. It takes considerable time to work on inferring and combining by reflecting upon what we have learnt. This is a higher form of thinking.
  • 44. Types of thinking… 5. Lateral thinking • Lateral thinking is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious and about ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. • Lateral thinking involves discarding the obvious, leaving behind traditional modes of thought, and throwing away preconceptions.
  • 45. Educational implications of individual differences 1. In any group there are individuals who deviate from the norms of the group. Along with the average, the presence of very superior and extremely dull is equally possible in a class. 2. Every teacher should try to have the desired knowledge of the abilities, capacities, interests, attitudes, aptitudes and other personality traits of his pupils and in the light of this knowledge should render individual guidance to children for the maximum utilization of their potentialities.
  • 46. Educational implications of individual differences… • It is wrong to expect uniformity in gaining proficiency or success in a particular field from a group of students. On account of their subnormal intelligence, previous background, lack of proper interest, aptitude and attitude etc. some students lag behind in one or the other area of achievement. • All students cannot be benefited by a particular method of instruction and a uniform and rigid curriculum.
  • 47. Role of schools in meeting the individual differences • “Since we supposedly are teaching individuals, not groups of individuals, it is the function of the school within its budgetary personnel and curricular limitations to provide adequate schooling for every learner no matter how much he differs from every other learner.” -crow and crow
  • 48. Role of school… 1. Proper knowledge of the individual’s potentialities • The first step in making provision for the individual differences is to know about the abilities, capacities, interests, aptitudes and other personality traits of individual pupils. • For this purpose, help from intelligence test, cumulative record card, interest inventories, attitude scales, aptitude tests and measures for assessing personality traits should be taken.
  • 49. Role of school… 2.Ability grouping • In the light of the results derived from various tests for knowing individual differences in terms of individual potentialities in various dimensions, the students in a class or area of activity can be divided into homogenous groups. • Such division can prove beneficial in adjusting instruction to varying individual differences.
  • 50. Role of school… 3. Adjusting the curriculum • The curriculum should be as flexible and differentiated as possible. • It should have the provision for a number of diversified courses and co-curricular experiences. • It should provide adjustment suiting the local requirements and potentialities of the students in different groups.
  • 51. Role of school… 4. Adjusting the method of teaching • Every teacher should be somewhat free to formulate his own plan and strategy and adopt instructional procedure which he finds most suited to the particular types of pupils under him. • He should try to follow a different procedure or method of instruction suiting the requirements of varying ability groups of his pupils.
  • 52. Role of school… 5.Adopting special programmes or methods for individualizing instruction • Schools may also adopt special programmes or method of teaching like Dalton plan, the Winnetka plan, the project method or use programmed learning material for enabling the students to learn their own individual pace.
  • 53. Other measures of individualizing instructions 1. The size of the class or section should be as small as possible. 2. The teacher should try to pay individual attention the group under instruction. 3. The teacher should keep in view the individual differences of his students while engaging them in drill or practice work in classroom or assigning home task 4. In case ability grouping is not possible and more specifically under the prevalent system of class teaching, special coaching and guidance programme for both the dull and gifted children is most helpful.
  • 54. Conclusion 1. Individual Differences in learning. 2. Learning and diversity. 3. Standard and assessment.
  • 55. References 1. Mangal SK. Essentials of educational psychology. New Delhi; Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd: 2007 2. Sharma RN, Sharma RK. Advanced Educational Psychology. New Delhi; Atlantic Publishers & Distributors : 2006. 3. Mangal SK. Advanced Educational psychology. Second edition. New Delhi; PHI learning private limited: 2002 4. Abbass M, Nadeem M, Naseem Z.Module II: LEARNER‟S PSYCHOLOGY . Professional Competency Enhancement Program for Teachers (PCEPT). NATIONAL ACADEMY OF HIGHER EDUCATION (NAHE). Learning Innovation Division Higher Education Commission (HEC).Islamabad 5. Education Psychology. Canadian association. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. 6. Ormrod J.E. Educational psychology : Developing learners. Fourth edition; Upper Saddle River. Merrill Prentice Hall: 2003 7. Retrieved from on 19th November 2013.