Core Education, LLC | March Issue Brief | Whole Child Approaches
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March 2020 Issue Brief: Whole Child Approaches

Educators have long known that focusing on academics alone is not enough. Children need support to develop academically, physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Whole child approaches attempt to integrate these needs into a coherent whole.

In this month’s issue brief, we explore whole child approaches, look at alternatives for defining student success, and review research findings related to the science of learning and child development that support attention to the whole child. We also begin to unpack the school culture and climate factors that contribute to holistic education. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts! How do you see whole child approaches playing out in your school/district? What policies, procedures and resources are needed to facilitate the blending of social, emotional, and academic competencies? How can barriers to whole child education be overcome? Please respond to our call for commentary. We'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for all you do to support and inspire great educators and engaging education.
Kim Fleming
President, Core Education LLC

Evidence for Student-Centered Learning
In a new report by Education Evolving, author Krista Kaput makes the case for student-centered learning, a schooling design that shifts the model from adult-centered and standardized to student-centric and individualized. Specifically, the learning is personalized to the students’ interests, learning styles, cultural identities, life experiences, and personal challenges.

A Nation at…. Hope

The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development has released a major national report, “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope,” calling on all sectors of society to accelerate efforts to ensure that all U.S. students have access to quality social and emotional learning (SEL).

Integrating Social, Emotional and Academic Development

Integrating Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD): An Action Guide for School Leadership Teams provides practical advice, curated resources, and action steps for school leaders to improve the student experience, calling out specific equity implications in every section.

How Schools Can Cultivate Courage in the Face of Fear

What if by understanding where fears stem from, educators could design the learning environment for optimal courage? Courage is not about avoiding fear. It’s about understanding it and moving forward in its presence. Recently in Getting Smart, Tyler Thigpen wrote a piece on fear in the classroom, offering educators some insight into the debilitating anxiety that some students experience.

Educating the Whole Child: Improving School Climate to Support Student Success

Research on human development shows that the effects of trauma can be mitigated when students learn in a positive school climate that offers long-term, secure relationships that supports academic, physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development – an approach known as “whole child” education.

Using Expanded Measures of Student Success for School Improvement
Nearly five years ago, in 2015, NSVF began investing in a national portfolio of innovative public schools that all embrace what they call an expanded definition of student success. So far, the organization has invested in more than 100 teams engaged in the planning and launch of new district and charter schools designed to help students develop the knowledge, mindsets, habits and skills associated with success in young adulthood.

Call for Commentary

How do you see whole child approaches playing out in your school/district? 

What policies, procedures and resources are needed to facilitate the blending of social, emotional, and academic competencies? 

How can barriers to whole child education be overcome?

Send your responses to these questions to
We thrive on the discussion!

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