MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES AND DIGITAL LITERACY SKILLS – A BLENDED MODEL FOR PREPARING THE 21ST CENTURY DIGITALLY NATIVE TEACHER CANDIDATE

R. Blankenship1, C. Davis2, D. White2, P. Paquette3

1Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (UNITED STATES)
2Florida A&M University (UNITED STATES)
3Troy University (UNITED STATES)
Three significant theoretical moments occurred at the turn of the 21st century resulting in an epistemological shift in how teaching pedagogic skills to pre-service teachers is now conceptualized in university teacher preparation programs.

These conceptual progressions include:
(1) Howard Gardner’s (1983) classification of multiple intelligences;
(2) Marc Prensky’s (2001) identification of the digital native; and
(3) Yoram Eshet-Alkalai’s (2004) conceptualization of different types of digital literacy.

While the instructional trend among 21st university teacher education programs is to emphasize the student-centered classroom, the actual practice has not changed to reflect the differentiated needs of the contemporary student. For most university faculty, face-to-face teaching is still viewed as the most educatively effective model, and students simply adapt to their instructor’s pre-determined pedagogic climate. Even in the wake of trending technologies and mandates by most universities for instructors to teach, at minimum, one online or hybrid course, nearly all faculty leave their course content unaltered when transferring it to a virtual platform such as a Moodle or Wiki. Part of this is reflective of the low digital literacy and resultant lack of motivation among university administrators and faculty that is currently preventing much of the technology changes essential for the much needed (and desired) differentiated instruction of the contemporary student population (Horizon Report, 2014; Stoltz-Loike, 2014). Accordingly, in this paper, we contend that digitally native pre-service teacher candidates would not seek to form “secret communities” (Kim, 2013) of instructional practice external to if instructors tailored course content to match preferred learning style (Multiple Intelligence) to digital literacy skill. We proffer the theory and offer a model to explicate the relationship between the multiple intelligence and the digital literacy skill and how the digitally native student applies said preferences to supplement preparation in university pre-service teacher candidate programs.