Original Research

Activating whole brain® innovation: A means of nourishing multiple intelligence in higher education

Ann-Louise De Boer, Pieter du Toit, Theo Bothma
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 11, No 2 | a78 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v11i2.78 | © 2015 Ann-Louise De Boer, Pieter du Toit, Theo Bothma | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2016 | Published: 01 November 2015

About the author(s)

Ann-Louise De Boer, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Pieter du Toit, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Theo Bothma, University of Pretoria,, South Africa

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The interconnectedness of the constructs ‘whole brain® thinking’ and ‘multiple intelligence’ forms the epicentre of this article. We depart from the premise that when whole brain® thinking is activated multiple intelligence can be nourished. When this becomes evident in a higher education practice it can be claimed that such a practice is innovative. Whole brain® thinking that informs intelligence and vice versa is inevitable when it comes to facilitating learning with a view to promoting quality learning in the context of higher education. If higher education is concerned about the expectations of industry and the world of work there is no other option as to prepare students in such a way that they develo as holistic – whole brained and intelligent – employers, employees and entrepreneurs who take responsibility for maximising their full potential. Becoming a self-regulated professional and being reflexive are some of the attributes of the 21st century which should be cultivated in all students. Research on whole brain® thinking and multiple intelligence shows that these human attributes form an integral part of one’s interaction with life – one’s environment and especially people as integral part of the environment. This focus on people highlights the need for developing soft skills within every curriculum. The epistemological underpinning of our reporting of experience in practice and research of the application of the principals of the constructs is meta- reflective in nature. Instead of a typical traditional stance to research we do not report on the numerous sets of data obtained over a period of more than 15 years. Our approach is that of a meta-reflective narrative as most of the studies we were involved in and still are, are reflective as it is most often than not action research-driven. And action research is a reflective process. We report on evidence-based practice that includes fields of specialisation such as health sciences, engineering, academic staff development, financial sciences, teacher education and higher education. Important aspects of any higher education practice, such as curriculum development, facilitating of learning and assessment are addressed. Practice-based evidence of each, where applicable, is offered as claims of innovation.


action research; higher education; meta-reflection; multiple intelligence; whole brain® thinking


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