Research confirms that students do better in school when they are emotionally and physically healthy. They miss fewer classes, are less likely to engage in risky or antisocial behavior, concentrate more, and achieve higher test scores. Unfortunately, too many students go to class in less than optimal health.
Schools and communities committed to educating the whole child create an environment that promotes the learning and practice of healthy lifestyles. This includes healthy menus at school, regular recess, physical and health education, school counseling, and intramural programs. Schools and communities collaborate to increase access to health care for children and their families.
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 healthy indicators (PDF).
From the Whole Child Blog
This spring, ASCD is launching its inaugural Whole Child Symposium, a series of discussions to tackle these important questions. Through a town hall discussion, a live event, and a series of virtual panels, the symposium aims to push and expand conversations about effective education and education systems around the world. The 2014 theme is "Choosing Your Tomorrow Today," in which we explore how what we decide today regarding education policies, processes, and practices influences our children, societies, and economies tomorrow.
Whole Child Examples
High School Example
This school has made efforts to attend to the health needs of teachers and students by designating health topics to focus on each year to strengthen the curriculum and develp life skills in students.