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Effect of Rural Urban Cultural Differences

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 3652 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Multiple intelligence is a new concept devised by Gardener. . To replace the narrow view of intelligence, the emergence of multiple inelegance theory make us feel that every individual has multiple talents. Focus these days is on designing educational experiences for the students that demonstrate and explore that ‘how smart’ they are in the synergistic environment of a community of learner as they move in the new century. And as described earlier the collaboration between ecological factors and MI can build a new theory in the area of psychology and education. Every one living in this world is having its unique qualities. Psychology calls its Individual Difference and Philosophy calls it Natural Endowments. Every learner has its pace, speed, likings, disliking in course of development. A person learns best when taught in the way he or she can best perceive the things to be learned. A person can be most successful in a profession when the same is according to his or her abilities and interest .Each student has the capabilities to activate all the eight identified intelligence but these intelligences may be developed in different degrees within each individual.(Elliot et al 1999).

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As humans, our life is determined and influenced by various dimensions: a biological inheritance and physical appearance that distinguish us from other living beings; a psychological make-up which determines our mental, emotional, linguistic, behavioral and moral aspects; a social need which affects all aspects of our existence and lifestyle; and a spiritual dimension which helps us to distinguish right and wrong. (Motah, 2006) The most important and most prized possession is intelligence, yet it is a concept that evens the most intelligent people has not been able to agree on (Santrock, 2000).

An individual’s spheres of knowledge are not developed within an internal cognitive vacuum, untouched by the objects, persons and events in one’s environment. The different domains and disciplines valued by different cultures exert a tremendous influence over how one’s intelligences develop, and to what extent they are mobilized.

Gardner defines intelligence not in terms of raw capacity or mastery, but as”the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings”(2004, xxiv).

Each cultural setting in its interactions with the individual tries to promote the individuals ability in its preferred domain. By contrast, environmental settings can also shape the individual concepts and attitudes in an active controlling way. (Goodnow 1990)

Environment exerts a great influence on the cognitive abilities of a person. Intelligence will flourish in an individual’s life as the result of a dynamic interaction between his or her biology (genes), psychology (family environment) and cultural context (favorable or unfavorable historical epoch). Intelligence begins and develops in a socio-cultural context. Vygotsky (1978) believed that all higher cognitive processes develop out of social interaction. Due to social, cultural and economic differences there are differences in developmental traits among individuals .Environment is considered to be a vital point in MI theory. Gardener defines intelligence not in terms of raw capacity or mastery, but as the ability to solve problems or to create products that are valued within one or more culture settings.

There is a major difference between rural and urban environment, although the basic developmental principles are universal and follow consistent course. Human ecological perspective stresses the importance of understanding relationship between many aspects of socio-cultural world. In his theory environment is considered as a series of compact structures that extend beyond the home, school and neighborhood setting in which the individuals spend their day life.

Most of the population (70%) is still residing in rural India. There is lot of socio-cultural differences between exposure, facilities, instructional activities, etc., among rural and urban setting. Society’s culture, tradition and value system infiltrates to influence through interactions with the environment of the environment is regarded as having a powerful impact on the development. Society is a web of human relationship. We interact with others, meet so many people, behave according to social norms and social environment and this social environment either it is rural or urban affects intelligence of any human being. The social setting in which the growth of a child takes place, type of surroundings, culture, habits, exposure, etc., all these have a direct or indirect influence upon one’s emerging abilities. Society’s culture, tradition and value system infiltrates to influence through interactions with the environment. In this way, the environment serves as “Cultural Amplifier” (Bruner, 1960), amplifying cultural practices (like written language) and values (like appreciation of art). Thus, effect is amplified when a person actually uses tools supplied by culture (Cole and Griffin, 1980). Such experiences can evoke resonance (Kornhaber et al., 1990) in the child, reinforcing his emerging abilities. Gardner (1983) environments can give children selective exposure to different domains. The Mexican children born to potter families have substantial exposure to clay and related activities

Researches over the last few decades have shown that human development is a process of interaction between biological and environmental factors. The ecology of human development involves scientific study of the progressive and mutual accommodation between an active growing human being and the changing properties of the immediate setting in which the developing person lives, as this process is affected by relations between the setting and by the large contents in which the settings are embedded Brofenbrenner, 1979). Initially, most theories of intelligence whether singular or multiple have assumed that intelligences are simply biological entities or potentials, which exist “in the head” and “in the brain” and can be measured reliably independent of content. These days’ concepts of multiple intelligence are one approach around which educators have begun to focus their efforts. Gardner proposed the theory of Multiple Intelligence and challenged old beliefs about what it means to be smart. It’s now how smart you are, its how you are smart? Gardner (1999) defined intelligence as bio psychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture. Multiple intelligence theory feels us that every individual has multiple talents. Focus these days is on designing educational experiences for students that demonstrate and explore how they are smart in the synergistic environment of a community of learners. Gardner argues that intelligence is not some static reality fixed at birth and measured well by standardized testing. Instead, intelligence is a dynamic, ever growing reality that can be expanded in one’s life through eyelid intelligences: (1) linguistic (words), (2) logical mathematical (numbers), (3) spatial (pictures), (4) musical (musical photometric), (5) bodily-pin esthetic (movement), (6) interpersonal (people), (7) intrapersonal (self), (8) naturalistic (flora & fauna). Multiple Intelligence incorporates the broad spectrum of human abilities into eight-fold system that can make any person a winner in life.

Now it is a debate on this specific issue that is there any significant effect of socio cultural setting on different dimensions of multiple intelligence. Rural youth is in doubts where he stands. So this is the time when society should recognize their strong multiple intelligence and factors which influence their multiple intelligence, to learn new things in his or her own way and pursue interest and choose future profession which required that particular intelligence considering the importance of multiple intelligence, an idea was conceptualized to find out multiple intelligence among school going children of 12-14 years old in rural and urban area of Haryana with the objective of comparing the multiple intelligence among children in rural and urban areas. When we talk about adolescents, early adolescence is very crucial period of life, whether it is physical, socio-emotional, psychological or educational development, all are on the peak during this phase. This is the time when foundations of future professional settlement are laid. A person can be most successful in a profession when the profession is according to his or her abilities and interests.

Review of Literature

Alkhateeb and Jumaa (2002) investigated the effect of cooperative learning on eighth grade student’s performance in algebra. Boys in the cooperative setting improved significantly on the performance test compared with boys in the traditional setting. Chong (2004) investigated the exposures to the instructional activities, involving socio-cognitive techniques, showed a positive impact on the self-efficacy and self-regulation in the academic domain but not on aspects of self-concept, social efficacy and social regulation, suggesting that socio-cultural variables may be more amenable to change. Manocha (2003) also found that micro, meso and exo levels are significantly correlated with the concept development among rural children. Furnham et al. (1999) reported that there were both significant cultural and sex difference in the estimation of overall own MI scores. Furnham et al. (2002) found clear cultural and gender differences in degrees of multiple intelligence of people with all the participants rating their father’s and brother’s numerical intelligence higher and verbal intelligence lower than that of their mothers and sisters .Ramanathan (1994) indicated that the mean IQ scores declined consistently with increase of birth order in rural as well as urban areas. Brofenbrenner (1989) stated that people in a particular culture or subculture often share broad based beliefs that are different from other cultures. For example, values and attitudes of children growing in an urban setting differ from those of rural setting. RICCIUTI et al. (1990) found that the interaction effects of low birth weight ( LBW) and social risk associated with father’s absence increased the likelihood of cognitive impairment in the early years of life.

Silver et al. (2000) in the face of increasing cultural diversity, educators need new ways of understanding how children think. Educators at all grade levels and in all content areas should implement a holistic learning programme that seamlessly integrates learning styles and multiple intelligences into instruction, curriculum and assessment. Teachers should help students become more reflective and self-aware learners. There is a strong cultural bias that undervalues sewing and relegates it to ‘handedness’ instead of the loffier ‘headedness’. Cheng (1999) more often, creativity is discussed in the literature as if it is culture free. Only in the recent years has the cultural aspect of creativity been studied explicitly of late, cultural difference in creativity has not only been expressed through conceptual discourse but also investigated empirically. Li and Shallcross (1992) compared the creative problem solving behavior of Chinese and American elementary and high school students and reported differences in approach to the nine-dot problem. Evidently, researches are now more consciously aware that culture can and does play a role in the development of creativity. Pearson (1998) multiple intelligences theory endorses a group of propositions many teachers have always believed. We are not all the same; we do not have the same kinds of minds; and education works most effectively if these differences are taken into account rather than denied or ignored.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that there is a great need to study different socio-cultural, rural-urban setting as mentioned in the review that IQ scores are influenced by rural-urban set-up.

Research Methodology

Sample size Two schools from each district i.e. Sirsa and Hisar were selected. From each school, 40 respondents were taken purposively to meet the sample size of 160 respondents. Age was considered 12-14 years as per requirement of the standardized scale used in study.

Exploratory cum Descriptive design is used

Research Instruments A well developed and modified standardized Multiple Intelligence Assessment Tool by Gurpreet Kaur and Chhikara (2006) was used. Minor modifications were done before the use of scale.

Objectives: The very objective of the research paper is to compare the different types multiple intelligence among school going children in rural and urban area


There is no significant difference in linguistic intelligence of rural urban children.

There is no significant difference in logical mathematical intelligence of rural urban children.

There is no significant difference in musical intelligence of rural urban children.

There is no significant difference in bodily kinesthetic intelligence of rural urban children.

There is no significant difference in Visual spatial intelligence of rural urban children.

There is no significant difference in interpersonal intelligence of rural urban children.

There is no significant difference in naturalistic intelligence of rural urban children.

There is no significant difference in intrapersonal intelligence of rural urban children.

Results and Discussions

Linguistic intelligence: – Linguistic intelligence is the intelligence of words. This is the intelligence of journalists, storytellers, poet, lawyer, etc.

The significance of differences between mean scores of rural and urban area was tested by the T test. Table shows that significant differences were observed in the mean scores of rural and urban area’s adolescents in linguistic (t=2.48*),

Language plays a major role in manifestation of educational status. Language is used both as a means of expression as well as communication (Choudhary, 2005).

The surrounding world furthermore in our rural Haryana when insisting the children meet daily responsibilities, mothers of sons more often pair control with autonomy granting Whereas in urban areas situation is far better. No gender discrimination as compared to rural area was found, and this is the factor which leads in linguistic intelligence of urban area adolescents than rural area. Significant results were obtained.

Logical mathematical intelligence: – – Logical mathematical intelligence is the intelligence of numbers and logic. This is the intelligence of the scientist, accountant, computer programmer, etc.

Results depicted in the table showed rural adolescents higher mean scores on logical mathematical intelligence as compared to urban adolescents. Non-significant association was observed by adolescents, an overall difference in mathematical abilities in rural and urban area exists (Bielinski and Davison, 1998; Lin and Hyde, 1989). A study conducted to check achievement in mathematical and language shows students were better in maths and language in a multigrade school (Chandrasekhar and Santosh Kumari, 2006). Musical intelligence: – Musical intelligence is the capacity to perceive, appreciate and produce rhythms and melodies. This is the intelligence of musicians or singers, music teacher, musical copyist, instrument maker, lyricist, etc.

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Musical intelligence was slightly higher in urban area than rural area adolescents. This was due to interest taken by parents and facilities provided by parents of urban areas. Often in urban area reading, spelling art and music are regarded as more important for children especially for girls whereas in rural area mathematics, atheletics and mechanical skills are considered more important (Eccles et al., 1990; Jacobs and Weisz, 1994.For music girls are usually found to be more interested in music than boys and are seen discussing about music in their free time with their friends. In our rural society, music and dance are considered more to be feminist traits, although girls are also not encouraged to take it as a profession (Andre et al., 1999; Freedman-Doan et al., 2000). bodily kinesthetic: – Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the intelligence of the physical self. It includes talent in controlling one’s body movement and also in handling objects skillfully. This is the intelligence of athletes, crafts people, mechanics, surgeons, etc.

In bodily kinesthetic and visual spatial intelligence and intrapersonal urban area adolescents leaded whereas in interpersonal, naturalistic and logical-mathematical intelligence, rural area adolescents had slightly higher mean value.

Visual spatial intelligence: – Spatial intelligence involves thinking ink pictures and images and ability to perceive transform and recreate different aspects of visual spatial world. This is the intelligence of architect, photographers, artists, pilots, mechanical engineers, etc.

Visual spatial intelligence was higher in urban areas as compared to rural area. There is significant difference observed in the mean scores of rural and urban area’s adolescents in visual spatial (2.31*).In urban area there is much exposure in children due to mass media entertainment inputs and various modern facilities in the form of T.V, computers, internet and other electrical gadgets where visual spatial intelligence may achieve greater mean score in urban children.

Naturalistic intelligence

– Naturalistic intelligence is the intelligence of nature personal strong in this displays empathy, recognition, and understanding for the living and natural things (plants, animals, geology, etc.). It is the intelligence of a farmer, scientist and animal caretakers.

There is no significant difference was found in naturalistic intelligence in urban and rural area. Because nature has given us natural qualities which is crowned in every human being.

Interpersonal intelligence – Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand people. In particular, it requires a capacity to perceive and the responsiveness to the moods, temperaments, intensions and desires of the others. This is the intelligence of administrators, manager, school principal, psychologist, etc. There is significant difference was found

Intrapersonal intelligence – Intrapersonal intelligence is the intelligence of inner self. A person strong in this kind of intelligence can easily access his/her own feelings, discriminate between many different kinds of inner emotional status and uses his/her understanding to enrich and guide his/her life. This is the intelligence of a counselor, theologians, self-employed business people, etc.

The results from rural and urban Maharashtra revealed the level of emotional intelligence as low and independent irrespective of gender, area and age (Tyagi, 2004). Significant results were obtained in linguistic, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, visual special and interpersonal, whereas non-significant in logical mathematical, naturalistic and intrapersonal intelligence. The study revealed the difference among rural and urban multiple intelligence, so hypothesis is rejected. The significance of differences between mean scores of rural and urban area was tested by the T test. Table shows that significant differences were observed in the mean scores of rural and urban area’s adolescents in linguistic (t=2.48*), musical intelligence (-5.96**), logical mathematical (1.63NS) kinesthetic (2.7**), visual spatial (2.31*), interpersonal (5.50**) and in the intrapersonal (0.44NS

In case of multiple intelligence there is always need attention which requires special attention both by parents as well as teachers for adolescents belonging to rural and urban area. Adolescents who have more potential in particular aspect, if they are encouraged and motivated, they can be able to recognize their potential and can reach the stage of maximum ability of their talent in particular field.

Suggestions and Educational Implications

By finding people’s intelligence in different aspects, they can become famous people in their field like Dhoni (bodily kinesthetic), Abhijeet Sawant (musical intelligence), Mandira Bedi (interpersonal intelligence), Osho (intrapersonal intelligence), Vishwanathan Anand (logical mathematical intelligence), M.F. Hussain (visual spatial intelligence), Ayn Rand (linguistic intelligence) and Saleim Ali (Naturalistic intelligence).

Need is to educate parents and teachers about the multiple intelligence of adolescents irrespective of area. Because adolescence is the age when people start utilizing their talent and interest in particular field and start aspiring it as a career/profession. Thus this is the time when parents should identify talent of their children and should start planning for their education in the particular field. So that their adolescents can later enter into that particular career in field of their choice. Educating parents about multiple intelligence can be a key component of school success. It should be started in schools as student’s parents are not aware of multiple intelligence (Hoerr, 2002).


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