In my book “Relationships Make the Difference” I talk about how to use the Moral Intelligences (Michele Borba, 2001) to develop acceptance and inclusion with our students. It opens many doors of opportunity when you help your students develop and use respect, kindness, empathy, fairness, self-control, tolerance, and conscience with themselves, their peers and community.
I worked in a school that decided their school goal would be to develop these intelligences as they connected us to the moral fiber of our school community. Parents, students and staff believed these were crucial intelligences and encouraged their use on a daily basis; we were all using the same language and students got to practice daily in class, at recess and at home with their families. Students began to understand their personal strengths and learned how to share these and better support others. Some children became leaders because their strengths were knowing how to support and help others; others benefited from this extra support and learned more. There was a positive carry over to their daily learning and students felt part of a caring community were their needs and talents mattered.
Children demonstrate social responsibility when they learn to respect and care for others. Instead of only thinking about themselves, students realize that everyone needs to be treated with respect and kindness; we need to walk in other people’s shoes to understand how they feel and then tolerate their differences; this belief should be apparent in our decisions.
By adding moral intelligences to student academic learning we are providing the opportunity to develop their social and emotional skills too. Children learn at a deeper level and continue to develop these skills into their adult lives.