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Incorporating Multiple Intelligences Into the School's Mission

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

More and more schools are carefully crafting mission statements that reflect their core values and guiding principles. This lesson discusses how you can create a mission statement that incorporates multiple intelligence.

The Purpose of the Mission Statement

Some of the teachers at Rolling Elementary have been hard at work crafting a new mission statement for their school. A mission statement is a clear, concise, and publicly available document that expresses the school's overarching philosophy, approach, purpose and value system.

Jan is on the committee to write her school's mission statement, and she has learned a lot from the process. One of Jan's hopes is that the new mission statement will reflect Rolling's commitment to multiple intelligences, the many different strengths and capacities that students can have.

Jan knows that many people perceive Rolling as a school that only values strong readers and mathematicians, but she thinks the mission statement can be a wonderful opportunity to explain that the school is more than that, and that children with a wide variety of learning styles and talents are valued and honored by the school community.

Teacher and Student Connections to Mission Statements

As Jan reflects on why the mission statement feels so important to her, she knows that it has to do with the different ways teachers and students can connect to a mission statement.

Teachers

Jan knows that her colleagues meet frequently to make decisions about curriculum, instructional practice, and school policy. She believes that a mission statement is an overarching values statement that can guide these conversations. For example, when teachers are meeting to think about how the school should approach homework, the mission statement can help them think about what policies and practices are best aligned with what Rolling is trying to accomplish overall as a school.

Furthermore, as someone who has served on multiple hiring committees, Jan knows that prospective teachers also look at the school's mission statement to think about whether they would be a good fit. A strong mission can help over time to create a school with teachers who have similar value systems.

Students

The students at Rolling are also becoming more connected to the idea of the mission statement, especially because Jan's committee has decided to display the mission statement in the front hallway and on a bulletin board in every classroom. Jan encourages her colleagues to talk openly with students about the school's mission and why it matters. Children benefit from seeing themselves, their strengths, and their goals as learners reflected in the mission of the school.

Mission Statements and Multiple Intelligences

Because multiple intelligences are so important to her, Jan does some research into how they can be reflected in a mission statement. She finds some examples to be particularly helpful. Sentences incorporating the multiple intelligences include:

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