Whole Child Virtual Conference

What Was Your Favorite Quote from #WCVC12?

2012 ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference

Was it from Pasi Sahlberg or Daniel Kropf? Deborah Wortham or the kids at Quest Early College High School? Maurice Elias, Charles Haynes, or Mike Rulon? Maybe it was from authors Mike Anderson, Michael Opitz, Bob Sullo, or Peter DeWitt? Or from one of our school sites (Byrne Creek Secondary School, Iroquois Ridge High School, Batesville Community School Corporation, or LeConte Elementary School)?

Everyone mentioned (and more) were part of the 2012 ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference held two weeks ago. The 7-day conference of 24 sessions was a full, rich, and compelling week of learning. And if you weren't able to participate, don't worry! All sessions have been archived for you to view and share.

A number of sessions were live-tweeted on the @wholechildadv Twitter feed and using the #WCVC12 hashtag. Here is a sampling of our favorite quotes and tweets:

The Whole Child Around The World (Pasi Sahlberg, Daniel Kropf, and Katarzyna Kubacka)

  • Sahlberg: From Finnish point of view, role of edu has been/should be equalizer of inequalities and diversities in our societies.
  • Kropf: Issue of partnership—should not precisely define responsibilities of community vs. school, systems are interdependent.
  • Kubacka says that this isn't "zero sum game," schools are responsible for teaching social and academic skills.
  • Kropf says it's clear that you need to help child understand who he/she is in relation to others, teach the individual.
  • "If we want to really change, we must change assessment." - Finnish delegate, international summit on teaching profession
  • Kropf: People behave the way they are measured. If we want to change education, we need to measure what is really important.
  • Sahlberg: Best thing we can share with colleagues—take the child's well-being seriously. Put well-being & happiness in place first.

What Is a Whole Child Education? (Sean Slade)

  • "We believe success of each learner can only be achieved through a whole child approach to learning and teaching" - Dr. Gene Carter
  • Slade: End goal in mind is to think of a child important to you. Imagine them at 25-yrs-old. How do you want to describe them?
  • Slade wants teachers to shift to believing that they're teaching children/individuals not just content or passing down knowledge.
  • To really create change in education we have to close the knowing-doing gap. Great phrase!
  • Great question: "If the student were truly at the center of the system, what could be achieved?"

The Well-Balanced Teacher (Mike Anderson)

  • "To be an effective teacher, we have to take care of ourselves. We need to be 'whole' as well, to be great educators."
  • Anderson says: "Teaching is often in isolation. It's hard to get feedback at times. But we rely on that feedback to feel competent."
  • "We often forget that teaching and learning should be fun. It should be meaningful and exciting, too."
  • "If your school culture doesn't share positive aspects, find a trusted colleague and invite them in to observe your class."
  • "People's perceptions of teachers stress them out. We need to share with the outside world when great things are happening."

Vision in Action: Quest Early College High School (Kim Klepcyk, Barbara Yeatman, Micaela Canales, Caitlyn Floyd, Sam Paz, Amen Mesfin, and James Kerfoot)

  • Safe: At Quest, the school is like a 2nd family: the students feel they always have someone to talk to.
  • "Teachers know the students, and adjust instruction to their learning styles." - Quest Students are #Supported
  • A whole child is an articulate child: The student panel from Quest Early College HS told some great stories straight from the heart!

School Improvement for the Whole Child (Deborah Wortham)

  • Wortham says,"When you look at the framework of Whole Child, it shows you what you want every child to have in their toolbox."
  • To build connections, Wortham says you have to understand that Whole Child is not something additional...
  • "Teachers need to be Whole as well. As a school, you should have a shared mission so staff can be part of the initiative."
  • Wortham: "The grad rate in my district jumped more than 12 points in 1 year, and almost 20 points in 2 after implementing WC."

The ABCs of Educating the Whole Child (Jim Roberts)

  • Jim Roberts: "We start conversations with what's best for kids and end each conversation with did we meet that need."
  • Jim Roberts: "our Upstanders program mentors students to stand up for others when they encounter bullying."
  • Jim Roberts: "My visibility and my involvement makes the difference in building our community partnerships."

Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students (Peter DeWitt)

  • Peter DeWitt: "There was a shift in the 90s that brought GLBT into the mainstream. More kids started coming out in school."
  • Peter DeWitt: "GLBT teens are an at-risk population. Society is more open-minded but not every individual is."
  • Peter DeWitt: "This isn't just an LGBT issue....it's about kids not being safe."
  • Peter DeWitt: "Leaders must show empathy. The building climate is hugely important in how you spend your school day."
  • Peter DeWitt: "You don't have to do everything, but you have to do something."

The Byrne Creek Story (David Rawnsley and Lynn Archer)

  • @byrnecreekss gr 8-12 students represent more than 70 countries; 60% of students come from homes where English is a second language
  • Start from the heart and build from there, meeting the needs of each learner. -Rawnsley
  • Our code of conduct at @byrnecreekss--H: honesty, E: empathy, A: achievement, R: respect, T: teamwork. -Archer
  • We knew none of this would be sustainable if we were not able to grow together as professionals. -Archer
  • When you get the staff partnering with immigrant services and community, students and their families thrive and grow. -Rawnsley
  • We are committed to the idea that learning is without boundaries. -Archer

Bridging Religious and Cultural Divides: Empowering Students from Across the Globe to Learn With, From, and About One Another (Charles C. Haynes)

  • "We're not in the interest of faith formation in schools. We need to learn to live together as citizens. We are failing to do that."
  • "Failing to do so is costly. We should be asking how do we cover this? It's too important to ignore in a 21st century school."

FitLit: Connecting Fitness and Literacy (Michael F. Opitz)

  • Do your students know the difference between go, slow, & whoa foods?
  • Fitness & literacy activities share cognitive attributes -- persistent, purposeful, engaged critical decision-making, etc.
  • Kids w/ extra athletic class outperforming kids w/ extra academic class - don't let accountability mandates silence your playgrounds.

How to Make Classrooms Responsive to the Whole Child (Mike Rulon)

  • "Sometimes we miss the 'social' part of social studies"
  • There is no such thing as great teaching without evidence of learning.
  • Teach. Test. Move On. Not so Whole Child. Yup, it's time for a paradigm shift.
  • Assessment for learning IS inseparable from instruction.
  • It's a leap of faith: teaching kids to be critical thinkers leads to higher standardized test scores than teaching to the test.

School Climate Supporting the Whole Child (Maurice Elias)

  • Elias shares an important quote, "School is not a preparation for life. School is life."
  • Elias: We don't want students to just be smart and not have the character to use their knowledge for good in the community.
  • Why address the WHOLE CHILD? Because what happens at home DOES affect what happens at school!
  • The #schoolclimate Prepares students for the tests of life not a life of tests.
  • Elias: Understand that whole child initiative is absolutely essential for underpinning of academic success.

Engaging the Whole Child: The Missing Piece in the PD Puzzle (Bob Sullo)

  • Instructors know the 'what' (curriculum), the 'how' (instruction), but we're missing the "who"—the whole child.
  • Give up the quest to control, and replace it with the desire to engage, inspire, and collaborate.
  • Beware of the relationship trap: don't just develop a personal relationship w/ the student, build their relationship w/learning.
  • So basic, so necessary. "Create a shared vision of success with students."
  • Quote attributed! John C Maxwell, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
  • Education should not be something that just happens to kids, it should be something the teacher and the kids do together.


Comments (1)

Alejandra Del Fabro

May 26, 2012

Two examples of projects in which “the whole child” was CHALLENGED, ENGAGED AND SUPPORTED.

We participated in BAW, Dana Foundation.

Project 1:  Kindergarten, learning by doing “The Brain”

Kids made brain models to learn “what is it inside their heads?” We used the Multiple Intelligences approach to make sure everybody in class could get the whole new knowledge. The whole project took one month.
How did we do it? We took a large sheet of newspaper and made a ball. Now we had our first “part” (hemisphere) of the brain.
Then, we took another one and did the same thing. Now we had two “parts”, i.e. two hemispheres. We used some glue to paste the whole piece of art.
Kids were presented with a “Brain Puzzle”, published by DANA Foundation, and by using small pieces of paper, we made beginning and end meet! Great production!
We learned about the two parts of our brains and we discovered “they have different functions!”  So we concluded that as each part has its talents, the brain deserved a song to sing in class and to share at home. Do you feel like singing? If so, grab the “Yellow Submarine” tune and sing along!

In our head
There is a brain
And it has two parts
One is good at numbers
And the other at arts
Our brains are great machines, are great machines
Our brains are great machines, are great machine

Also, we discussed the important of healthy food for the brain to “think better”.

During the whole month we shared with parents what we were doing in class and provided them with very useful information about the brain.

Project 2 Secondary School, learning by investigating, doing, telling and sharing “Getting to know us: MIRROR NEURONS”

Two students, Pilar and Lara, volunteered to investigate about mirror neurons. They made a poster and a mind map to explain them. They did a great job which was shared with the whole school community at the local theatre. If you feel like peeping at their work, just have a look at the pictures!
They said, “When we first started to investigate the topic, we start testing it. It was great seeing a baby smile after our own smiles.”

Thank you, girls for the job you did and for sharing it!

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