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
What does it mean to master a subject? And how can schools help students get there? The December 2013/January 2014 issue of Educational Leadership focuses on how educators can help students achieve mastery as they learn. But what does mastery mean? And how can teachers be sure students have achieved it? Authors in this issue consider these questions from a variety of angles, offering definitions of mastery and discussing how a focus on mastery might transform classroom practices.
In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes that the concept of mastery is difficult to grasp, but that the concept of mastery learning is relatively straightforward. It's the idea of setting clear objectives, providing students with opportunities for practice, checking for understanding, reteaching in different and new ways if needed, and, finally, giving students more than one chance to demonstrate the attainment of the goal. Mastery learning puts students first.
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.