Sean Slade

Arne Duncan and a Whole Child Approach

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said some phrases and words that could have come directly from ASCD's Whole Child Initiative talking points while headlining the Bullying Prevention Summit yesterday in Washington, D.C. The phrasing bodes well as we look to ensure our students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Key phrases around positive climate included:

  • "a positive school climate is foundational" and
  • "schools need to develop a culture of respect" and a "culture of trust"

Duncan highlighted that, to make a difference, "every adult at that school that interacts with the kids is part of the solution" and that "school leadership matters" in improving school climate. He talked of the "broken window" that can symbolize kids no one cares about or has taken ownership of in the school.

Throughout the summit, Duncan spoke of the need for kids to learn and grow and, in doing so, he started the conversation that school is about more than just learning content. All in all, a very whole child talk, and one we are very happy to hear and be part of.

Comments (1)


August 13, 2010

Thanks for the article. Hopefully, most of us in education are already trying to see that our students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. I am particularly interested in school-home-community relationships. You can’t beat the synergy when working as a team. Getting everyone to agree on some things is another discussion.

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