To succeed in college, other postsecondary education, and the workplace, students need higher-level thinking, communications, and problem-solving skills as well as knowledge of the world and its people. These are all products of a curriculum that challenges students to work harder as they investigate a wide range of real-world subjects. What's more, our high school graduates who pursue college must be adequately prepared, yet too many are taking remedial courses, which raises deep concerns about the value of their high school diplomas.
Students engage in a broad spectrum of activities in and out of the classroom. Districts and communities committed to educating the whole child work together to prepare young people for success in higher education, employment, and civic life by providing meaningful learning experiences and opportunities to demonstrate achievement.
Ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged requires us to continually ask questions and examine evidence related to implementation. ASCD's indicators of a whole child approach provide a guide for continual school and community improvement and serve as a definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download the set of challenged indicators (PDF).
From the Whole Child Blog
Teachers know that engaging and inspiring students initially requires building positive relationships and creating relevant learning experiences. Students who are motivated and see meaning in what they learn progress faster and at high levels, even when they start with knowledge or skill gaps. In fact, focusing on motivation and meaning can be an underutilized tool for the classroom.
On the last episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we talked with author Richard Curwin and ASCD Emerging Leaders Ashanti Foster and John Hines about the building blocks of motivation—hope, meaning, and challenge. In this episode, host Sean Slade, director of ASCD's Whole Child Programs, speaks one-on-one with Baruti Kafele—veteran educator and nationally renowned speaker on the topic of motivating low-performing students—about how knowing your students, intentionally creating a positive school climate and culture, and making learning relevant sets the stage for students to be motivated to succeed.
As a middle and high school principal, Kafele led the transformation of four different schools, including Newark Tech High School, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to being recognized as one of the best high schools in the United States. He is the author of Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life and Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success, and has received more than 100 educational, professional, and community awards.
Listen to the episode below or download:
What are you doing to change your students' attitudes so that every day they walk into the classroom, they are fired up and ready to excel?
Whole Child Examples
Lusher Charter School is one of the most sought-after public schools in the city of New Orleans.