If you are not familiar with the whole-child approach, we wanted to share some some information that might answer some of your initial questions. Always contact us at email@example.com
"The whole child approach gives children the foundation they need to become wellrounded, healthy individuals, equipped with a solid education and important life skills to help them reach their full potential."
Education for the Whole Child
By Rebecca Bauer & Helen Westmoreland
The whole child approach to education has been around for several decades but has grown in popularity in recent years. As families have different levels of familiarity with the topic—and with the overwhelming range of terminology—several misconceptions around the whole child approach have emerged. The whole child approach gives children the foundation they need to become wellrounded, healthy individuals, equipped with a solid education and important life skills to help them reach their full potential. 2 Center for Family Engagement • National PTA® 11/19 Whole Child Education
MYTH: If my child’s school takes a whole child approach to education, they have less time to focus on academic content.
FACT: While it does take time to intentionally build students’ life skills, and create a sense of community in the classroom, it does not require sacrificing academics. In fact, research has shown that building students’ social and emotional skills is associated with significant academic gains. 5 Whole child education is not adding an additional subject area, but rather changing the way teachers teach and students learn.5 By creating a sense of belonging and empowering students to take ownership of their learning, a whole child approach enables students to thrive academically, while also developing other important life skills.
MYTH: My child will only benefit from the whole child approach during the early childhood and elementary years.
FACT: Creating an environment where children can learn and grow is important at every stage of their development. While many think whole child development is for kindergartners, as middle and high school students begin to face challenging decisions and develop new life skills—like self-awareness, self management and relationship-building—it is more essential than ever. Social and emotional learning interventions are associated with outcomes that are particularly relevant for young adults, such as increased high school and college graduation rates, a decreased likelihood of getting arrested and lower rates of sexually transmitted infections.6 A whole child approach offers older students essential opportunities to practice taking risks, making decisions and taking ownership of their learning—all skills they will need in high school and beyond.
MYTH: My child should be learning social and emotional and other life skills through specific programs and experts.
FACT: When it comes to whole child education, there is not one curriculum or program that fits all circumstances. Schools should choose their approach based on their community’s needs. Research asserts that there are many components that can help children learn social and emotional skills including explicit instruction, family engagement and opportunities for children to apply what they’ve learned.7 Rather than relying solely on lesson plans specific to develop certain traits—like respect or responsibility—teachers and families should also demonstrate what these traits look like in their everyday actions, and provide opportunities for students to practice these skills. In a school that is committed to the development of the whole child, a school counselor will not be the only person working to develop students’ life skills. Instead, whole child development will be an ongoing part of all adults’ work with students.