Exploring the Application of Multiple Intelligences Theory to Career Counseling (Articles)

This article demonstrates the practical value of applying H. Gardner’s (1993) theory of multiple intelligences (MI) to the practice of career counseling. An overview of H. Gardner’s MI theory is presented, and the ways in which educational and vocational planning can be augmented by the integration of MI theory in career counseling contexts are discussed. The Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (C. B. Shearer, 2007), a research based self-report measure of intellectual disposition, is introduced, and a case study illustrating the effective application of H. Gardner’s MI theory to career counseling is presented. For half a century, the field of career development has widely acknowledged the late adolescent years as a time of career exploration when–after a period of purposeful exploration–the primary career development tasks are to crystallize a vocational preference through the establishment of a vocational self-concept, to specify the preference, and to implement it (Super, 1957). As career development professionals have long recognized, an essential aspect in the prevention of a vocational identity crisis during the late adolescent/young adult period of development is the establishment of a vocational identity, which is “the possession of a clear and stable picture of one’s goals, interests, and talents” (Holland, Gottfredson, & Power, 1980, p. 1191). Adolescents and young adults who lack stable career goals and are undecided regarding their career choices are likely to display low self-esteem and inadequate educational self-efficacy (Hull-Blanks et al., 2005) and are at risk for dropping out of school prematurely (Noel, 1985).

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