Blog Posts

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 28, No 1

August 1, 2018

Greetings, MI Fans! Welcome back! What happened to U.S. schools starting after Labor Day?!? On the chance that you are looking for an amazing book to read, I highly, highly recommend Educated by Tara Westover. It is a gripping story! Westover recounts being raised by fundamentalist Mormons in Idaho,with no birth certificate, never seeing a doctor, and not attending school until age 18. Her journey is fascinating and frustrating, and […]

Looking for ‘Solutions’ in the Face of Staff Conflict

July 9, 2018

Tom was featured as a response in this EdWeek Blog post called “Response: Looking for ‘Solutions’ in the Face of Conflict” by Larry Ferlazzo. Read Tom’s response below. What are your suggestions on how to resolve teacher-to-teacher and/or principal-to-teacher conflicts? I led schools for 37 years and taught for years before that, so let me begin by sharing my bias: conflicts are inevitable when people come together. That’s true at […]

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 26, No 7

June 1, 2018

Greetings MI Fans, These are exciting times! More and more, the traditional and regimented approach to intelligence – that there is ONE intelligence and it can be assessed on a paper & pencil test – is being questioned. Howard Gardner exploded this notion in 1983 when he wrote Frames of Mind, and his insight has continued to echo. To be fair, an appreciation of Multiple Intelligences fell upon hard times […]

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 26, No 6

May 21, 2018

Hi MI Fans, Last month featured a really interesting presentation at the ASCD Annual Conference, “MI After 35 Years.” Yes, it’s been 35 years since Howard Gardner’s book, Frames Of Mind, changed how we view intelligence. Recognizing that intelligence is problem-solving, Garner identified the many different ways – the multiple intelligences – that people use to solve problems. Real-world problems, Gardner knew, are not limited to multiple-choice questions. Philosophically, understanding […]

Transformative Principal Podcast: Who You Are is More Important

April 29, 2018

In April, Tom was on the podcast Transformative Principal with Jethro Jones.   Listen Now Here are some bullet points from the interview: 14 years principal connection column in Educational Leadership. The principal job is so hard. There’s always more to be done, no matter how good we do it. Who you are is more important than what you know. Prepare kids for success in life, not just success in […]

Grace-St. Luke’s School Visit

February 12, 2018

Tom visited Grace-St.Luke’s School in Memphis, Tennessee in September to give an initial presentation on The Formative Five and meet with administrators. In February, he returned to meet the faculty and facilitated a sharing session, met with administrators, and presented an evening parent session. Tom believes the school is doing some very impressive activities on character development and The Formative Five. In this photo, Tom is sharing with faculty members […]

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 26, No 5

February 6, 2018

Greetings! I hope that the beginning of 2018 has started in fine fashion for you. As you think about your classroom and school, remember that life-long learning begins with student engagement and student success. None of us want to continue to beat our head against the wall. With that in mind, I often talk about a school’s “smile quotient.” When I visit a school, I hope to see kids and […]

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 26, No 4

January 12, 2018

Happy New Year, MI Fans, The question posed in the last issue, “Who was the smartest person in your high school graduation class?” generated some fun discussions. Too often we view intelligence as an abstraction, a two- or three-digit number that indicates one’s ability to solve problems. It’s understandable that we might think like that; after all, the curriculum, instruction, and assessments in most educational institutions are designed around that […]

Springfield Guidance Counselors

January 10, 2018

Last year, Tom presented The Formative Five to all of the school guidance counselors in the Springfield, MO public schools. Can you identify him in the picture?          

PEAC Conference in Manila

January 5, 2018

In October, Tom spoke at the PEAC Conference in Manila and presented a keynote address to 3,300 educators. The conference was primarily for non-public teachers and principals, and they were very eager to hear how the Formative Five could be included in a school’s curriculum and classroom instruction. In the afternoon, he continued the focus on the Formative Five with a two-hour workshop that included specific strategies and thoughts on […]


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