ASCD’s Whole Child approach is an effort to transition from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long-term development and success of all children. Through this approach, ASCD supports educators, families, community members, and policymakers as they move from a vision about educating the whole child to sustainable, collaborative actions. ASCD is joined in this effort by Whole Child Partner organizations representing the education, arts, health, policy, and community sectors.
Promoting a whole child approach to education redefines a successful learner as one that is knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically inspired, engaged in the arts, and prepared for work and economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.
Using this framework moves us beyond a definition of success that is measured only by academic achievement and focuses on five tenets designed to measure how well your school is serving students:
- Healthy: Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
- Safe: Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
- Engaged: Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
- Supported: Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
- Challenged: Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.