The Whole Child Podcast

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Critical Role of the Arts Throughout a Whole Child Education

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

The arts play an essential role in providing each student with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. Although classes strictly focused on music, visual arts, drama, dance, and art history are critical, integrating the arts across the curriculum is also key to ensuring that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. How can we provide students with a well-rounded education that includes learning through and about the arts? How can policy and practice support the integration of arts across the curriculum?

Download this episode of the Whole Child Podcast to learn how the arts can increase students' college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness in all subjects as well as keep them engaged in school and contribute to their social and emotional health. You'll hear from

  • Peter Yarrow, recording artist and founder of Operation Respect and United Voices for Education, who will share the importance and joy of integrating the arts throughout the curriculum to support a respectful, safe, and compassionate climate.
  • Mike Blakeslee, senior deputy executive director and chief operating officer of (Whole Child Partner) MENC: The National Association for Music Education, who will share how policy and practice can support the inclusion and integration of the arts throughout a well-rounded education.
  • Vanessa Lopez, an exceptional arts educator from Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Md., who will share how she is working to integrate the arts throughout the curriculum and the effect that it is having on students.

How are you or how is your school integrating the arts throughout the curriculum? What are the benefits to students?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

A Whole Child Approach to Addressing Bullying

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

A school and community that do not address bullying cannot ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Bullying influences each critical dimension of a whole child approach to education because it compromises students’ physical and emotional health and safety; affects their relationships with peers and adults in the school; creates barriers that prevent them from engaging in learning and connecting to the school and broader community; and affects their academic performance. When bullying goes unaddressed, it can create a negative school culture and organizational patterns that shape students’ learning and development.

Download this episode of the Whole Child Podcast to learn how we can address bullying locally and nationally so that all students learn in a positive school climate that ensures they are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. You’ll hear from these experts:

  • Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education, who will talk about what works in addressing bullying in schools and how the department plans to help schools and communities combat bullying and create healthy, safe, and supportive school climates.
  • Penny Bisignano, Olweus coordinator for the state of Iowa, will share her work supporting over 30 Olweus consultants and trainers across the state to deliver this comprehensive, schoolwide program to reduce bullying among children; improve the social climate of classrooms; and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy.
  • Rachel Cole Lawson, high school guidance counselor at Malcolm Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Cedar Falls, Iowa (winner of the first-ever Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award), who will share how and why PLS created a bullying prevention program—Be a Buddy, Not a Bully!—for its elementary students. The program has since been adopted by schools worldwide.

Are your school and community talking about bullying and its effect on students? Do you feel your school and community know how to appropriately address bullying and create a healthy, safe, and supportive environment?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

The Whole Child Needs a Whole Teacher

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

With August just around the corner, educators, students, and parents are all beginning to gear up for the year ahead. Just as students return to school with a range of emotions, so too do educators. Some may be looking forward to returning to school; others may be a little bit apprehensive about how they'll meet so many challenges throughout the year.

Educators who start off the year with energy and enthusiasm often find that it fades gradually or dramatically. Teaching is one of the more stressful professions, and it can be one of the most rewarding when educators are able to strike a balance and schools create the conditions that allow them to thrive.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn how educators and schools can work to create the conditions that allow teachers, and subsequently students, to thrive. You'll hear from

Educators, are you struggling to manage stress, meet your basic needs, and find time for your own learning and development? What strategies have helped you to maintain your enthusiasm and balance between work and life?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Summer Learning and Development

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

Download the Summer 2010 Whole Child Podcast to learn how schools and communities are working to ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged throughout the summer and why it's so critical. Our guests discuss summer learning research, policies, and practices that expand the traditional conversation about "summer school" to encompass the kind of summer activities and programs that ignite a passion for learning and prevent learning loss. You'll hear from

How are tight budgets affecting summer programs in your community? Are your school and community partnering to provide summer learning opportunities?

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Developing Principals to Lead a Whole Child School

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

Download the May Whole Child Podcast to learn more about building the capacity of principals to lead effective and systemic school reform. Our guests discuss what kind of principal development leads to results for students, the current landscape of principal leadership, and future directions of leadership development. You'll hear from

What skills and abilities are critical to effective principal leadership? What are the most effective strategies for developing and supporting successful principals? Share your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Future Directions: Examining the Blueprint for Reauthorizing ESEA

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

The federal government recently released the blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This document broadly outlines the Obama administration's vision for changes to the legislation and the federal government's role in education. Decisions about the reauthorization of ESEA will have serious implications for educational policy and practice at all levels and will set the course for the national approach to education. Will it be a whole child approach to education?

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn more about the direction of the ESEA Blueprint and what it means for the whole child, educators, and families. You'll hear from ASCD's public policy director, David Griffith, and two practitioners from Newport News (Va.) Public Schools: elementary school principal Brian Nichols and 5th grade teacher Christine Steigleman.

We want to hear from you! What do you think of the ESEA Blueprint, and what would the proposed changes to the legislation mean for students, educators, and families in your school and community? Share your reactions and questions in the comments.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Putting Vision into Action for the Whole Child

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

This episode of the Whole Child Podcast was recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 7, 2010, and features the winning school of the first-ever Vision in Action: The Whole Child Award, the University of Northern Iowa’s Malcolm Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The award recognizes schools that move beyond a narrow focus on academic achievement to take action for the whole child, creating learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.

PLS, a prekindergarten through 12th grade public school with a diverse population of 369 students, is located on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). As part of UNI's College of Education, the school is a setting for clinical teacher education and research at the prekindergarten through high school levels and conducts professional development for its own faculty and for faculty at schools across the state. PLS was selected as ASCD's first Vision in Action award winner because it has demonstrated significant success in each area of educating the whole child.

You'll hear PLS director Bridgette Wagoner and guidance counselor Clare Struck share the practices, programs, and policies that transformed the conditions of teaching and learning at PLS, such as the following:

  • All K–10 students at PLS participate in daily physical education classes and a weekly health program that ultimately prepares juniors and seniors for a Healthy Active Lifestyles course that empowers them to take responsibility for their own health and fitness via real-world experiences.
  • PLS's comprehensive school counseling program has created a physically and emotionally safe environment for its students with an emphasis on character education. Students are deliberately taught about their right to be who they are and their responsibility to respect others. The school's counselors have instituted a bully prevention program—Be a Buddy, Not a Bully!—for its elementary students that has been adopted by schools worldwide.
  • Price Laboratory School recently began engaging its students through project-based learning that allows them to focus on topics of their choosing. During the January term, 11th grade projects included hosting a radio talk show, participating in service learning, investigating string theory, and job shadowing.
  • All 6–12 students at PLS participate in cooperative advisory groups that meet daily at the middle school level and at least twice a month at the high school level. Advisors function as "school parents" who advocate for and mentor their assigned students.
  • Every child at PLS participates in a college preparatory curriculum and is held to the highest expectations. To prepare students for postsecondary success, the school's Juniors/Seniors Options Program provides students with multiple pathways and flexible scheduling so they can personalize their curriculum and plan for the future. Some of the options students can choose from are dual enrollment university courses, individualized study, internships with local businesses, cadet teaching, and senior projects.

Congratulations to PLS and its students! Learn more.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

School Climate: Developing the Quality and Character of School Life

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

How can schools develop a positive school climate that fosters teaching, learning, and the development of the whole child? Research and common sense reaffirm that focusing on the social and educational atmosphere is critical to student success, yet many schools and districts do not assess climate or include it in school improvement plans.

In this episode, our guests Jonathan Cohen, president of the Center for Social and Emotional Education (CSEE) and cochair of the National School Climate Council, and Marvin Kreps, director of Curriculum and Instruction for Rhinebeck (N.Y.) Central School District, discuss how school climate standards can help educators and communities improve the quality and character of school life.

Use these resources to support your efforts to create and sustain a positive school climate:

Are educators talking about the importance of school climate and its impact on learning and teaching? Do we need national school climate standards? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Meeting Students Where They Are: Preparing Them for What's Next

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

Each student brings a unique set of interests, needs, strengths, and circumstances to school and teachers often struggle to connect with students, especially those facing the greatest challenges. Yet research and common sense tell us that educators positively impact student learning and achievement when they connect their students' lives outside of school to their learning and the larger school community.

On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we heard from two guests who shared strategies for meeting students where they are now, while preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

How do you connect students' lives to what they are learning? Share your ideas and questions with other educators committed to meeting students where they are. Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Rural Education: Challenges and Opportunities

Download Podcast Now [Right-Click to Save]

In December's Whole Child Podcast, we learned more about how we can work at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that each rural student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Rural schools are very diverse—ethnically, socioeconomically, and geographically—and often face a complex set of challenges. In the United States, about 15–20 percent of the rural population lives in poverty, which is 5 percent more than in urban areas. Not only is the rural poverty rate growing, but it has exceeded the urban rates since the 1960s.

Our guests shared their research and experience to help us understand the diversity of this population of ten million students, nearly one fifth of the U.S. student population. We heard from

Extend your learning with the Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities report and New Mexico Public Education Department Rural Education Initiative resources.

What are the challenges rural schools and communities in your state or territory face as they try to ensure a whole child education? What policies and practices have been effective in ensuring rural school children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged? Share your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.

Share |

Get The Podcast

Tune in to the Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education on the first Thursday of every month and listen to archived episodes. Learn more about how we can work at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Subscribe Now