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
PISA assesses the extent to which 15-year-old students have acquired key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. The results should be used as one measure of a country's overall evaluation of its education system and not serve as a league table. Yet information and greater understanding are there if we care to look and discuss the results honestly.
Whole Child Examples
Middle Grades Example
The mission of Reading Middle School, an active and caring community, is to guarantee the development of all students as successful, lifelong learners who become contributing citizens after graduation.
All Engaged Examples
Middle Grades Example
High School Example
In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss the importance of early childhood education and the specific social, cognitive, and emotional needs these learners have that are different from those of older learners.