Whole Child Education
The Leader in Me and Whole-Child Education
Many schools around the world see education as teaching students basic academic skills such as reading, writing, and math. Schools have largely focused on teaching students subjects that can be measured through testing, and a student’s success is routinely determined by his or her performance on these tests. Unfortunately, government policies of the past have done little to encourage schools to educate the “whole child.” Many students are disengaged and their potential is untapped.
The Importance of Whole-Child Education
“Whole child” education goes well beyond the skills measured by end-of-year tests, and represents the holistic growth and development of students. Although important, basic education in subjects such as math, language arts, and science do not lay the complete foundation necessary to prepare a child to succeed in the future.
What Experts Are Saying
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)—a leading U.S.-based education organization—recently released this statement about the power of a “whole-child” education:
“The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare students for college, career, and citizenship. 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 by addressing students' comprehensive needs through the shared responsibility of students, families, schools, and communities …
"A whole-child approach, which ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success.”
Whole-Child Education and Leader in Me
Leader in Me equips schools with tools that meet the needs of the whole child, and has produced encouraging results.
In his book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, author Stephen R. Covey shares the “Whole-Person Paradigm.” This paradigm represents the four major needs of humans represented by the four parts of the person.
- The body represents the need for health and safety.
- The heart represents the need for relationships and community.
- The mind represents the need for learning and development.
- The spirit represents the need to contribute and make a difference.
Leader In Me actively creates a culture where every child is treated as a whole person and the needs of the body, heart, mind, and spirit are strategically met. Student success is manifested in a variety of areas such as physical and emotional health, collaboration, productivity, feelings of belonging and connection, and the development of unique gifts and talents that can better the world.