To learn at their best, students must be engaged and motivated. Substantial research shows that students who feel both valued by adults and a part of their schools perform better academically and also have more positive social attitudes, values, and behavior. Plus, they are less likely to engage in drug use, violence, or sexual activity. After-school programs can promote academic achievement, but their success requires targeted investment, stakeholder commitments, focused academic support, quality programming, and a process of continual improvement.
Schools and communities committed to educating the whole child engage students in the learning process and provide opportunities that connect them to the community. Students who are engaged and connected to their schools demonstrate increased academic achievement, attendance rates, and participation in activities.
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 engaged indicators (PDF).
From the Whole Child Blog
Repeated refrains of the 2013 ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference, held just two weeks ago, were the importance to form relationships with students, develop a personalized approach to teaching, and enhance learning. These concepts are all around us in education today:
Whole Child Examples
High School Example
Milwaukie High School's staff works tirelessly to improve their students’ academic, social, and emotional growth; to expand their educational practices; and sharpen the administration’s focus on staff professional development.