Educating the Whole Child: Top 5 Strategies for Educators
In a teleseminar recorded earlier this week, Molly McCloskey, managing director of ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, was interviewed by ASCD author and Rutgers University professor Maurice J. Elias. McCloskey shared information about specific initiatives and examples of how a whole child approach ensures that each child, in each community, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Listen to the interview. [Right-Click to Save]
In your role, whether you’re a teacher, administrator, counselor, school nurse, etc., there are five strategies you can start using now to support the whole child and begin closing the “believing-doing” gap.
- Know your kids. You need to know them developmentally and relationally. You have to understand that 8-year-olds are very different than 9-year-olds, for example, and know and be able to make decisions based on that.
- Listen to your kids—they are the great truth tellers.
- Ask the right questions and be willing to explore the answers.
- Be data-driven about all factors affecting the whole child, not just what is collected on achievement tests.
- Teach and model across all five Whole Child Tenets: healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Children not only can, but also do learn every day by watching the adults around them.
The teleseminar is part of a series of monthly meetings of the Improving School Climate for Academic and Life Success project at Rutgers, designed to support social-emotional character development (SECD) and antibullying initiatives in schools. In the Rutgers University Center for Applied Psychology, Elias serves as director of Social and Emotional Learning Lab and is the academic director of the Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships program. He is also the coordinator of the Expert Advisory Group to the New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention and writes an Edutopia blog on SECD for the George Lucas Educational Foundation.