Blog Posts

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 32, No 2

November 20, 2022

Greetings MI Fans, This newsletter presents two perspectives on MI. First, I write about the hierarchy inherent in the terms “gifted” and “talented,” and argue that we need to expand how we think about “gifted” to include all of the intelligences. Special thanks to Megan Roegner, teacher of gifted students at Lindbergh High School (MO), for helping me ponder this issue. Any errors or misinterpretations, though, are mine. The second […]

For School Leaders, Empathy Isn’t Optional

November 16, 2022

Leading with empathy helps us become more effective supervisors. “Leading through empathy sounds wonderful,” the principal said to me, “but how do you do this while also being a good supervisor?” She was attending a workshop based on my book, The Principal as Chief Empathy Officer (ASCD, 2022), and her question inspired me to reflect on the pressures that cause tension between the need to give strong and directive supervision […]

How School Design Can Hinder Or Help Collaboration

October 20, 2022

If your school culture lacks energy, think about reworking physical spaces to encourage “creative collisions.” Do you remember hearing about the medieval tales of King Arthur and his knights of the square table? Well, most likely that’s not how you remember the tale. That’s because, beyond being strong enough to extract a sword, Excalibur, from a stone, Arthur was wise enough to convene his team around a round table, one […]

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 32, No 1

September 20, 2022

Greetings Fans of Multiple Intelligences, I hope that your school year has begun on a positive note. Covid hasn’t gone away but life seems getting back to normal in schools. However – and it’s a big however – our students’ scholastic progress slowed during Covid, and many educators have told me that there is a corresponding loss in students’ personal intelligences, their ability to manage themselves and relate to others. […]

Why Surveys Are a Key School Leadership Tool

August 26, 2022

If you want feedback, you have to ask for it. Principals, how effective was your back-to-school preservice this year? Did teachers gain knowledge and learn new skills? Sure, everyone enjoyed the donuts in the teachers’ lounge, but how did people feel about the professional development sessions that were offered? Were they effective? Did they meet teachers’ needs? The past couple of years have been especially tough for educators, and I […]

Podcast: No Silly Questions

July 3, 2022

What does it mean to be intelligent? On No Silly Questions – An Education Podcast for Parents, Tom explains that there are many other smarts, beyond the classic book smarts and street smarts. And enormous possibility can exist for kids when we recognize their unique aptitudes, in school and at home. Hopefully this episode expands the perception of what it means to be quote – “good at school.”   Listen […]

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 31, No 5

May 9, 2022

Greetings MI Fans, Spring has finally sprung in this section of the Northern Hemisphere (MO) and it feels good to be able to use the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence outside. It’s not nearly as much fun to walk on a treadmill as to be outside. That said, years ago Howard Gardner convened the group of us who had written for his book, MI Around the World, and an educator from Norway talked […]

Is Teacher Appreciation Week Really a Good Idea?

May 3, 2022

Let’s appreciate and recognize our teachers throughout the school year. When I was a principal, I lived close to the school that I led and often saw students’ caregivers at the grocery store, gas station, and local park. It was always a treat to run into them because, very often, they would smile and say, “Tom, we just love New City School.” Hearing those comments about my school made my […]

The School Smile Quotient

March 22, 2022

Let’s measure success by smiles, not test scores. As a school leader, how do you measure the quality of your school? It’s an important question to reflect on—and often. Take a moment to think of two or three indicators that determine success in your building. In my experience, enthusiasm for learning is key. As a former principal and current leadership consultant, I frequently hear questions about school quality posed by […]

Multiple Intelligences Newsletter, Vol 31, No 4

February 12, 2022

Dear MI Advocates, Here’s a belated Happy 2022! Let’s hope that life is a bit more boring than it was in 2021. But things aren’t boring in education at all. Beyond the debates and inequities that the pandemic has caused, we are seeing a reconsideration of the role of standardized tests, at least in college admissions decisions. The headlines* yell significance: “Harvard Has Dropped Its SAT and ACT Admissions Requirements […]


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