In addition to improving students' academic performance, research shows that supportive schools also help prevent a host of negative consequences, including isolation, violent behavior, dropping out of school, and suicide. Central to a supportive school are teachers, administrators, and other caring adults who take a personal interest in each student and in the success of each student.
School and communities committed to educating the whole child connect students with caring adults throughout a student's school career through a variety of positive relationships. These relationships reinforce academic achievement and social, civic, ethical, and emotional development.
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 supported indicators (PDF).
From the Whole Child Blog
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.
- 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?
Whole Child Examples
Anansi Charter School’s mission is to provide a nurturing and supportive environment where children of all races, creeds, religions, and special needs develop a love of learning and acquire a strong foundation on which to build a lifetime of knowledge.