Challenged

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).

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From the Whole Child Blog

Talking, Listening, Growing

Talking and listening are indispensable for learning, but they are also crucial for development and our growth as individuals. Whether developing understanding, conveying meaning, sharing thoughts, sparking new ideas, forming friendships, developing empathy, or even learning how to collaborate and cooperate, the ability to communicate effectively and skillfully is fundamental. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we'll explore how the ability to communicate is being cultivated in the school and classroom.

Listen to the episode below or download.

Whole Child PodcastPanelists

  • Annie Huynh is a 4th grade teacher and literacy coordinator at Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School in Philadelphia, Pa. She is a member of ASCD's 2014 Emerging Leaders program and is the author of the ASCD Express article "Four Ways to Amplify Student Voice."
  • Erik Palmer is a professional speaker and education consultant from Denver, Colo., whose passion for speaking has been a part of each of his careers. He spent 21 years in the classroom in the Cherry Creek School District in Englewood, Colo., primarily as an English teacher but also as a teacher of math, science, and civics. Palmer is the author of the 2014 ASCD book Teaching the Core Skills of Listening and Speaking and is a featured author in this month’s Educational Leadership
  • Kevin Scott is a strategic advisor for constituent programs at ASCD, where he facilitates programs and initiatives for younger educators, such as the Emerging Leaders and ASCD Student Chapter He also provides services and consultation to ASCD affiliates. Scott previously spent seven years teaching 7th grade history in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, and he has served as education director for other associations.

How do we teach talking and listening skills? Is there a gap between how they are currently being taught and how they should be taught?

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Whole Child Examples

Community Example

The Number One Rule: Be: Kind

Lusher Charter School is one of the most sought-after public schools in the city of New Orleans. 

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Get Your Results Now

Designed for use in schools and districts around the world, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment. Based on your unique results, the tool points you to professional development resources that can help immediately address school-wide challenges.

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About ASCD

ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.