Community Conversations

Get Started in Your Community

Today's educational practice and policy focuses overwhelmingly on academic achievement. This achievement, however, is but one element of student learning and development and only a part of any complete system of educational accountability. Communities, schools, and teachers must all support the development of a child who is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

To help answer these questions and inspire conversations, ASCD Whole Child Community Conversations allow all stakeholders to explore and discuss the best ways to support the whole child. Supporting these discussions is an advocacy tool your community can use to make the case for a whole child education.

This guide allows local communities to explore how to work together to support the whole child. Some communities may choose a more formal, community-wide event, while others may prefer smaller discussion groups. This guide is designed for those interested in more informal group conversations. It contains tips and guiding questions to initiate conversations among small groups representing a school, community, or neighborhood. Small-group discussions allow participants to discuss and weigh in on issues important to them. These conversations will help communities develop increased understanding about the whole child approach to learning to help inform their decision making and inspire a shared commitment to action.

A facilitator's guide designed specifically for high school students and another for preservice teachers are also available. For more information on the Whole Child Initiative and the community conversations project, please contact us.

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