Whole Child ASCD
Since 2007 ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) a global educational leadership organization located just outside of Washington DC has been based around the philosophy of the Whole Child. They believe that each child, in each school and in each community deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. They also believe that education should be redefined to ensure that it develops the whole of the child - socially, emotionally, physically, civically as well as cognitively. These five key words are their tenets and along with the accompanying indicators provide the scaffold for developing the potential of each child.
Click here to see a video on the Whole Child and ASCD.
ASCD and the Whole Child
What will prepare each young person to work in careers that have not yet been invented; to think both critically and creatively; and to evaluate massive amounts of information, solve complex problems, and communicate well? Research, practice, and common sense confirm that a whole child approach to education will develop and prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow.
Every school, community, classroom, educator, student, and family has unique challenges and strengths, and has a role to play in ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Collectively we have the knowledge, skill, and ability to meet these challenges and share these strengths.
It is time to put the child at the center of the equation. As Gene Carter, ASCD Executive Director stated, “If decisions about education policy and practice started by asking what works for the child, how would resources—time, space, and human—be arrayed to ensure each child’s success? If the student were truly at the center of the system,what could we achieve?”
Topics and Child Well-being Initiatives
Caring is Essential: School Librarians' Roles in the Whole Child
In this Whole Child Blog,"Caring is Essential: School Librarians' Roles in the Whole Child," guest blogger Jami L. Jones, associate professor, Department of Library Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C. explains that the quintessential role of educators is to provide safe environments for children to flourish emotionally, academically, and physically. As she discusses safety in her blog, she says it is important to consider care—a magic bullet in this conversation.
More than 16 million children in the United States struggle with hunger, or one out of five kids. Teachers see this hunger firsthand in their classrooms. In a recent survey, three out of five K–8 public school teachers said they taught kids who regularly came to school hungry because they weren't getting enough to eat at home.
What if I told you that there was a solution? There is, and it's called school breakfast.
Three Strategies for Encouraging and Developing Student Voice
Even though student-centered learning is the foundation of student voice, the complexity and demands of teaching often make focusing on student voice yet another "add-on" for educators. However, as Toshalis and Nakkula (2012) assert, "student voice is the antithesis of depersonalized, standardized, and homogenized educational experiences because it begins and ends with the thoughts, feelings, visions, and actions of the students themselves" (p. 23). In this Whole Child Blog, education consultant, Dawn Imada Chan, suggests three action steps that educators can take to further incorporate student voice into their classrooms and schools.
Exceeding Needs Through a Partnership Perspective
As a coordinator of science for a number of districts in the northern suburbs of New York City, I have the opportunity to work with schools with a tremendous array of needs. For some, finances are the primary culprit in educational challenges faced. In others, high populations of language learners or mobile student populations make it difficult to provide for each and every student. In still other cases, a combination of factors cause meeting student needs to be an uphill battle.
In this Whole Child Blog, ASCD Emerging Leader, Fred Ende, asks, What's the common denominator? That every district, especially in today's educational climate, is facing drastic challenges. What's different is how districts and schools are dealing with those challenges. Are they embracing and working through them? Or are they brushed under the carpet, in hopes that "magical thinking" will take care of everything?
Giving Our Kids an Early Start to Success
Guest blogger, John Farden, the national director for programs and partnerships at Save the Children U.S.Programs, shares his thoughts on why reading is so important to young children. Read his blog here.
Student Voice: How a Community School Became an Oasis in South Central Los Angeles
In this Whole Child Blog, guest bloggers Martin J. Blank and Ryan Fox, from whole child partner, Coalition for Community Schools, describes how community school, John C. Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles, overcame barriers using partnerships and mechanisms to combat the challenges it faces.
The Evolution of School Health
For the past decade, ASCD has been working on strengthening the links between health and education. These two essential sectors must align and work collaboratively if we are to truly support students and their growth and learning. If we are serving the same students in the same location and for the same needs, it makes sense to work together.
In this Whole Child Blog, whole child director, Sean Slade, describes the evolution of school health through the first tenet of a whole child approach to education—healthy.
Whole Child Podcasts
Safety is and will always be a fundamental concern for schools. What is required for students and adults to have to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe in school? What is fundamental in achieving safety in school?
Mark Your Calendars
May 2-10, 2013
2013 Whole Child Virtual Conference
Moving from Implementation to Sustainability to Culture
Join ASCD for its third annual Whole Child Virtual Conference! This free, online event offers presentations from leading authors and experts and discussions on how you can improve and grow your schools.