The ‘whole child’ approach to education

10 Feb

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.
  2. Society should support and foster strong families.
  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.
  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.

 

Sean Slade, director of Healthy School Communities, a program of the ASCD, an education leadership organization wrote the Washington Post article, Taking a stand for ‘the whole child’ approach to school reform.

A whole child approach to education enhances learning by addressing each student’s social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers. It is a move away from education policy that far too narrowly focuses on student standardized test scores as the key school accountability measure and that has resulted in the narrowing of curriculum as well as rigid teaching and learning environments.

The true measure of student success is much more than a test score, and ensuring that young people achieve in and out of school requires support well beyond effective academic instruction. The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare our nation’s youth for college, career, and citizenship.

Our last two Vision in Action Award Winners, Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Iowa and Quest Early College High School in Texas, exemplify what we mean. Both of these schools work to ensure that each child is healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, whether it is through foundation of daily physical education for all grades K-12; or the weekly health programs promoting empowerment, fresh and organic foods, as is the case at Price Lab; or yearlong personal wellness plans, and a focus on social/emotional as well as physical health at Quest

Lessons and projects extend outside the classroom walls and into the local community. They are adapted to engage students and reworked to provide for personal learning styles and interest. Advisory groups – or “families” as they are called at Quest – abound and are a crucial part in making each teacher, student and family feel respected. And in both schools all are expected to achieve and are provided the mechanisms to do so. They don’t just set the bar high. They provide the steps and supports to get over that bar.

Both schools have gone beyond just a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.

But this ideal should not be found only in the the occasional school. It should be found in all schools….

If you think a child’s worth is more than a test score, sign ASCD’s petition to create a President’s Council on the Whole Child.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/taking-a-stand-for-the-whole-child-approach-to-school-reform/2012/02/05/gIQARBcM0Q_blog.html

Many of the schools and neighborhoods facing challenges are where there are pockets of high unemployment and underemployment with high levels of family instability. Children in these neighborhoods face a myriad of challenges which require an more comprehensive approach to education. See, Christina Silva’s Huffington Post article, 1 in 5 U.S. Children Lives in Poverty

ASCD is promoting the Whole Child Initiative:

Explore resources and opportunities for action here and on www.wholechildeducation.org, and together we’ll change the face of education policy and practice. Find sets of indicators related to each tenet below. Taken together across all five tenets and the central necessities of collaboration, coordination, and integration, these indicators may serve as a needs assessment, set of strategic goals and outcomes, framework for decision making, or the definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download the indicators (PDF).

Whole Child Tenets

  • Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
  • Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
  • Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
  • Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
  • Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

http://www.ascd.org/whole-child.aspx

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

11 Responses to “The ‘whole child’ approach to education”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. KIPP charters try ‘blended learning’ « drwilda - August 15, 2012

    […] ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ […]

  2. What is the Indiana voucher program? « drwilda - August 26, 2012

    […] Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ The Indiana voucher program is an attempt to give parents the tools to meet the needs of their […]

  3. Responsive teaching « drwilda - September 18, 2012

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  4. Study: Bored students may be stressed rather than bored « drwilda - October 14, 2012

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  5. Helping troubled children: The ‘Reconnecting Youth Program’ « drwilda - October 30, 2012

    […] ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ […]

  6. Wisconsin study: Disruptive students disrupt the education process | drwilda - April 10, 2013

    […] Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ […]

  7. Important Miranda case involving schools: N.C. v. Kentucky, No. 2011-SC-000271 (Ky. Apr. 25, 2013) | drwilda - September 4, 2013

    […] to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach […]

  8. The socioemotional content of school is important | drwilda - October 5, 2013

    […] to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach […]

  9. drwilda - December 2, 2013

    […] Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ […]

  10. Social and emotional learning: What is ‘Open Circle.’ | drwilda - December 6, 2013

    […] Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ […]

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