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
Assessment is about more than numbers. It's about discerning where students are and planning accordingly. The March 2014 issue of Educational Leadership explores the many ways teachers can use assessments to help students learn. Articles in this issue look at how educators can use assessments thoughtfully to help students move forward.
In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes that it's not a revelation that teachers' daily assessment practices improve learning more than standardized tests. She writes
From building relationships to delivering a lesson that is challenging, engaging, and, sometimes, entertaining, teaching is very much a performance art that must be practiced on one's feet. Formative assessment presents another challenge—and requires sophisticated but quieter skills: observation, questioning, reflection. Teachers' daily ongoing practice puts the pieces together—and this practice has more potential to improve learning than all the high-stakes tests put together. It's no revelation, but something we have known all along.
Whole Child Examples
High School Example
This school aspires to develop students to their full potential—to teach them the right values, create a mindset for excellence, and nurture them to be responsible and caring citizens.