The Whole Child Podcast: Changing the Conversation About Education seeks to inform and engage educators, parents, community members -- and you -- about what works in today's schools. Guests include educational leaders, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and students from around the globe who share their insights about sound education policies and practices that ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Guests: 2017 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award-winning School Butterield Trail Middle School, Van Buren, Arkansas - Recorded live at ASCD Empower17 in Anaheim, California, ASCD recognizes the school's tremendous dedication and many accomplishments through a discusion around the importance of relationships, culture, healthy and safe environment, and community involvement.
Guests: Jason Flom, Ross Hall, and Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year - The skills needed in society today are not the skills that have dominated education for the past half-century. They are the skills that utilize and synthesize knowledge and require us to act in concert with each other, develop relationships, and take ownership. These skills are founded in empowering individuals—requiring voice and ensuring meaning—as they navigate their unique educational paths. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, host Sean Slade, director of outreach and whole child at ASCD, and our panelists discuss why empowerment is important in education.
Guests: Nancie Atwell and Michael Soskil - Although much has been written about the achievement gap, less has been said about redirecting our focus to student engagement in learning. And focusing on engagement may be the closest thing we have to ensuring effective learning is taking place. On this episode, host Sean Slade, director of outreach and whole child at ASCD, and the inaugural winner and a 2016 finalist of the Varkey Foundation's Global Teacher Prize discuss how we can make our schools and classrooms all-engaging environments. Why is engagement important? What do we mean by engagement, and what does it look like?
Guests: Christine Brandt, Krystal Keller, Sharice Madison, Ryan Prosser, Danielle Shumate - Jason Lee Middle School, a high-poverty school in Tacoma, Washington, serves 584 students from grades 6 through 8. The success of the school—which was removed from Washington’s low-performing school priority list last year—begins with a clear vision and mission, aligned to the district strategic plan, to help students realize their potential by providing rigorous academics, equitable opportunities, and programs that allow for student creativity in a diverse community where all are accepted, valued, and supported. For its tremendous dedication and many accomplishments, Jason Lee Middle School is the 2016 winner of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award! This episode of the Whole Child Podcast was taped live at ASCDls 71st Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Atlanta, Georgia.
Guests: Richard Curwin, Brenda Mendoza, Laurie A. Namey - Classrooms today educate increasingly diverse students who live in a globalized and interconnected world. To ensure our children are prepared to thrive in this environment, we must deliver each of them the quality education they deserve―one that focuses on the whole child and ensures access to quality teachers, provides use of quality learning tools and professional development for their educators, and establishes safe and supportive learning environments. On this episode, we ask our panelists how they define an all-inclusive learning environment.
Guests: Emily Davis, Aman Dhanda, Jane Hill, and Adam Holman - Our schools are responsible for meeting the educational needs of an increasingly diverse student population, including those who are learning the English language. These English learners represent nearly 10 percent of the total K–12 student population and are the fastest growing segment in U.S. public schools, yet they are almost twice as likely as their native-English-speaking classmates to drop out of school. On this episode, we explore how educators can create equitable educational settings that utilize the skills and knowledge of English learners as they navigate multiple languages and cultures.
Guests: Fred Ende, Maddie Fennell, and Bryan Goodwin - Teacher leadership is not a new topic in education, but it is one that has continued to grow in importance. When teachers are empowered to lead in their schools, they experience greater job satisfaction and are empowered to make a greater impact—and students benefit by having the best teachers in the classroom. On this episode, you'll hear a range of perspectives on teacher leadership that will address many key concerns, such as how administrators and teachers both benefit from empowered teacher leaders, how they can work together to develop a solid structure, and how such a structure benefits the whole child.
Guests: Peter Anderson, Jeffrey Bradbury, and Gordon Stokes - We may wish for teacher collaboration, by itself, to improve learning, but the reality is more complex. What does team teaching look like in today's schools? Do teachers have the skills and supports they need to make such collaboration work? How are teachers transforming their practice by working together? On this episode we explore the benefits and challenges of educators working together to plan and deliver instruction.
Guests: Marc Brackett, Anthony Cody, and Joshua P. Starr - Data, data, and more data. Educators are asked to gather and interpret student data to guide improvement, measure student learning, and track efforts to engage and support learners. On this episode we explore the data schools and districts collect and how to translate them into meaningful action.
Guests: Jeffrey Benson, Giacomo Bono, Laurie A. Namey - How educators respond to students' emotions and emotional behaviors can have lifelong effects—on students' academic growth, on the way they see themselves as people, and on the well-being of all the other students. In this episode, we explore how we all can help develop kids who are emotionally healthy and resilient.
Students learn best when they are engaged in what they are learning and why they are learning it. In this episode, we explore what makes questions essential, how they are used to engage learners in thoughtful "meaning making," and how they help develop and deepen understanding of important ideas and processes.
Educators often mention engaging families and the broader community as the ideal -- not only in terms of achievement but also in establishing effective communication and a support structure for all students. Forming these relationships allows schools to access the wide range of resources across the community and also help build a culture for success that is inclusive of everyone. On this episode, teachers share their stories and favorite tips and strategies to engage parents and families in their children's learning.
How well are we, as a nation, supporting the whole child? On this episode, we explore ASCD's Whole Child Snapshots and how they can be used to prompt conversations about how well states support the whole child, where they need to improve, and what strategies can help them meet the comprehensive needs of children.
Recorded live at the 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Houston, Tex., this episode features teachers and administrators from Magnolia Elementary, the 2015 Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award-winning school.
Students enter the classroom with their own specific learning needs, styles, abilities, and preferences. They also bring with them their own cultures, backgrounds, and personal histories. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we explore what it means to empower students, how to create a positive classroom learning community, and what supports teachers need to serve their diverse students.
Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching in which educators actively plan and adjust for students' differences so that instruction suits and supports all students' strengths and needs. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we explore what differentiated instruction is, what the necessary components of a differentiated learning environment are, and how real teachers are applying differentiation principles and strategies to respond to the needs of all learners.
From specialty schools to courses and programs of study within larger school offerings, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education is an interdisciplinary approach where academic learning is matched with authentic projects. Engaging students in these practical, kid-centered projects develops critical thinking and problem solving skills, fosters creativity, and inspires innovation.
Talking and listening are indispensable for learning, but they are also crucial for development and our growth as individuals. Whether developing understanding, conveying meaning, sharing thoughts, sparking new ideas, forming friendships, developing empathy, or even learning how to collaborate and cooperate, the ability to communicate effectively and skillfully is fundamental.
Learning and health are symbiotic—what boosts one boosts the other. In this episode, we discuss the potential for education to utilize the benefits inherent in a healthy learning environment and how unifying the fields of education and health in the school and community setting aid the growth, development, and learning of the child.
In this episode, ASCD's Sean Slade speaks one-on-one with author and veteran educator Baruti Kafele about how knowing your students, intentionally creating a positive school climate and culture, and making learning relevant sets the stage for students to be motivated to succeed.
Teachers know that engaging and inspiring students initially requires building positive relationships and creating relevant learning experiences. In this episode, our guests take a look at how teachers can spark inner motivation in all students and create meaningful connections that get students excited about learning.
Ask educators why they went into teaching, and the majority will respond that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people. In this episode, our guests will share what led them to teaching, what inspires them, and how they make a difference in their students' lives and learning.
In this era of school reform, turn around, and educational change, it is easy to overlook the basics of why we educate and what we want for our children. What are the fundamental elements and habits that bring us together and set the stage for lasting, comprehensive school improvement?
The decisions we make today -- for our systems, our schools, and our classrooms -- will affect what all of our tomorrows will look like tomorrow. This month ASCD launches its inaugural Whole Child Symposium -- a conversation about the future of education comprising three events over eight weeks that includes not only some of the leading educators and thinkers, but also you and your voice.
School cultures should support, reinforce, and reflect the well-being of everyone in it, ensuring that students and adults feel valued, respected, and cared for and are motivated to learn, lead, and teach. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we take a look at how we build school morale so that administrators, teachers, students, and parents are energized and positive about learning.
How do we help each student succeed? One promising way is to personalize learning and put each student at the center of her learning experience. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we take a look at personalizing learning on the ground and in schools and the importance of relationships in activating students to take charge of their learning.
How do we help each student succeed? One promising way is to personalize learning and put each student at the center of her learning experience. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, host Sean Slade, director of ASCD's Whole Child Programs, speaks one-on-one with professor and author Yong Zhao.
The standards are not a curriculum. Standards are targets for what students should know and be able to do. Curricula are the instructional plans and strategies that educators use to help their students reach those expectations. A whole child approach to education is essential to realizing the promise of the standards. Only when students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged will they be able to meet our highest expectations and realize their fullest potential.
What does "education" mean for our youngest learners? The first years of school are as important for an educated population as any other period, perhaps more. With the current focus on standards and academic achievement, is learning and testing coming too early? Curriculum and assessment should be based on the best knowledge of theory and research about how children develop and learn with attention given to individual children's needs and interests in a group in relation to program goals.
Resilience is more than a trait: it's a process that can and should be taught, learned, and required. Being resilient helps youth navigate the world around them, and schools and classrooms are becoming more attuned to providing the cognitive, emotional, and developmental supports needed for resilience to prosper and grow in each of us.
In today’s global economic state, many families and children face reduced circumstances. What are the implications of this new poverty for schools, many of which have seen drastic changes in the populations they serve and their communities?
Principals are the key players in developing the climate, culture, and processes in their schools. They are critical to implementing meaningful and lasting school change and in the ongoing school-improvement process. The role of a principal has changed dramatically in recent years and will likely change even more in the future.
Many schools have made great strides in addressing students' needs, but some schools have gone further. They have taken an issue that was initially a need and used it to enhance and improve what the school offers.
Students are a part of the school community and can play powerful roles as leaders in a positive school culture. In cultivating students as leaders, schools provide opportunities for personal engagement; skill development for future college, career, and citizenship; and a richer experience for all.
A positive school culture is the cornerstone of a good school and the foundation for school improvement. Fully embedding a whole child approach into the culture so that it becomes an integral part of what we do and who we are as schools and communities is key to ensuring that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for their future college, career, and civic lives. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, student leaders from Special Olympics National Youth Activation Committee discuss safe and positive school culture, student voice and leadership, and being agents of change for their communities and young people across the U.S.
A child's mental health is influenced by her biology, social and physical environment, and behavior, as well as the availability of services. Good emotional and behavioral health enhances a child's sense of well-being, supports satisfying social relationships at home and with peers, and facilitates achievement of full academic potential. But, being mentally healthy is not just about emotional and behavioral difficulties. It's also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. Just as one can be physically healthy or unhealthy, one can also be mentally healthy or unhealthy. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss the importance of each child, in each school and in each community, being socially, emotionally, and mentally healthy.
Essential to student success is access to personalized learning and support from qualified, caring adults -- whether those be teachers, principals, counselors, cafeteria staff, custodians, family members, coaches, ministers ... the list goes on and on. Students as learners are also students as people with social-emotional, physical, and mental health needs. Supportive education communities are places where school staff, community-based service providers, families, and all the adult stakeholders work together to identify and address kids' needs and provide a coordinated, whole child approach to their education and development.
Whether your school is in Berlin, Sydney, Ramallah, or Omaha, a whole child approach to education and community engagement -- in which each child in each school and each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged -- ensures student growth, learning, and development. In this episode, we explore schools and communities across the world that emphasize providing safe and supportive learning environments and experiences for students and talk with whole child partner organizations that are promoting and guiding their work.
Learning is active, engaging, and social. Students need to be engaged and motivated in their learning before they can apply higher-order creative thinking skills. They are most engaged when they themselves are part of constructing meaning, not when teachers do it for them. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine effective classroom instruction that embraces both high standards and accountability for students' learning. It can be project-based, focused on service and the community, experiential, cooperative, expeditionary ... the list goes on. These engaging learning strategies are grounded in instructional objectives, provide clear feedback, and enable students to thrive cognitively, socially, emotionally, and civically.
In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss the future of assessment and how the current accountability model must evolve from one that is punitive, prescriptive, and often overly bureaucratic to one that is truly learning-driven, informative, promotes supportive learning communities and cultures of continual improvement, and rewards achievement. The true measure of students' proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship has to be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable, multiple sources of information.
The true measure of students' proficiency and readiness for college, career, and citizenship must be based on more than just their scores on any state standardized reading and math assessments. It has to be based on valid, reliable information from multiple sources. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we look at the meaning and purpose of assessment; the different types, including formative and summative, standardized and subjective, and informal and formal; and how assessments are used to monitor student progress, provide timely feedback, and adjust teaching-learning activities to maximize student progress.
Research shows that kids who are physically active are not only healthier, but are also likely to perform better academically, and short activity breaks during the school day can improve concentration, behavior, and enhance learning. In short, school-based physical activity is valuable exercise -- it aids cognitive development, increases engagement and motivation, and is essential to a whole child approach to education. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss new ways to encourage movement and how schools are bringing physical activity out of the gym and into the classroom to maximize learning and well-being.
Professional learning communities (PLCs) have emerged as perhaps the best, most agreed-on means of continual improvement in instruction and student performance. Whether it be in a single school or online, in study groups, action research teams, communities of practice, or conversation circles, educators working together with a shared focus on learning and accountability help all students learn at high levels. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we take a look at collaborative and collegial learning environments where staff members feel safe to express themselves, discuss, and take an active part in the school improvement process and the student success process.
Families are a central source of children's learning and development, and their influence cannot be ignored. Engaging with families can inform, complement, reinforce, and accelerate educators' efforts to educate the whole child. Without strategic and continual connections between families and educators, we cannot ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine research that overwhelmingly reinforces the need for family engagement, practices that create and sustain meaningful involvement, policies that can bring about systemic change, and barriers that we must overcome to achieve this vision.
Creating an inclusive environment where each student feels safe and supported in an engaging and appropriately challenging environment is rarely an easy feat, yet it is essential to educating the whole child. Regardless of strengths and challenges, each student needs and is deserving of full membership within the classroom and school community. While each student benefits from this inclusive environment, it is critically important and often challenging to ensure it for students with special needs. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we focus on creating inclusive learning environments that develop students at all levels.
Schools that take a whole child approach to education are conscious of the intersection between physical space and the academic, social, and emotional development of students. The learning environments we create -- the physical along with school climate -- can either help or hinder learning, development, teaching, and collaboration. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we look at what kind of school environments optimize the way students learn, teachers teach, and communities interact and hear from guests who are creating learning environments that facilitate the process of ensuring students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
There is much talk about the need for community involvement in educating the whole child. But, who is the community and what does sustainable community involvment look like? In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn what it means for communities to be involved in schools and how everyone has a role to play in ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged
The middle grades are a complex, challenging, and confusing time for adolescents and for adults to support and develop! Even so, more and more research points to the importance of this stage of childhood, when young people are grappling to figure out who they are. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we examine how to foster middle grades students' healthy development; create environments that facilitate learning throughout this transitional time; and support those who are working with these students in schools, in the community, and at home.
In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, host Molly McCloskey, managing director of Whole Child Programs at ASCD, and Jay Mathews, education columnist for The Washington Post and author, have a conversation about what it means to be college- and career-ready and the value of citizenship skills. Mathews answered questions from session attendees on a range of topics including the importance of teacher-student relationships, KIPP charter schools, and the responsibility of education journalists.
The demands of meeting all district, state, and national requirements often seem to leave no time for preparing students for anything else. Yet teaching solely to the test will leave students ill-equipped for college, careers, and citizenship. Recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 26, this episode of the Whole Child Podcast features an engaging conversation about powerfully preparing young people for the demands of the future.
Unfortunately, unchecked and unfocused use of technology can result in students disconnecting from the "why" of learning and from the real-time relationships that are key to their development and success. Alternatively, high-quality integration of technology has the potential to not only prepare young people for their futures, but also to enhance and expand learning and connectedness. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, our guests discuss specific ways you can overcome barriers to connecting digital learners and lead your school community in meaningful technology integration.
This episode of the Whole Child Podcast examines the research about the need for physical education in schools; explores some of the recent criticism; examines the relationship between physical activity and academic achievement, engagement, and social and emotional health and learning; and considers how physical activity can be expanded across the day. Our guests discuss ways that schools and communities can support physical activity throughout the day.
Developing successful learners who are prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and citizenship in a global environment requires us to think outside the box -- the cognitive box, that is. The science of learning and child development is rarely used in classrooms, and research has demonstrated that we can maximize learning when educators apply developmental principles effectively. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we explore the key principles of developmental science that can affect the way teachers teach and the way students learn.
The arts play an essential role in providing each student with a well-rounded education that meets the needs of the whole child. Although classes strictly focused on music, visual arts, drama, dance, and art history are critical, integrating the arts across the curriculum is also key to ensuring that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. How can we provide students with a well-rounded education that includes learning through and about the arts? How can policy and practice support the integration of arts across the curriculum?
A school and community that do not address bullying cannot ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Bullying influences each critical dimension of a whole child approach to education because it compromises students’ physical and emotional health and safety; affects their relationships with peers and adults in the school; creates barriers that prevent them from engaging in learning and connecting to the school and broader community; and affects their academic performance. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we learn how to address bullying locally and nationally so that all students learn in a positive school climate that ensures they are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
Educators who start off the year with energy and enthusiasm often find that it fades gradually or dramatically. Teaching is one of the more stressful professions, and it can be one of the most rewarding when educators are able to strike a balance and schools create the conditions that allow them to thrive. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn how educators and schools can work to create the conditions that allow teachers, and subsequently students, to thrive.
On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we look at how schools and communities are working to ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged throughout the summer and why it's so critical. Our guests discuss summer learning research, policies, and practices that expand the traditional conversation about 'summer school' to encompass the kind of summer activities and programs that ignite a passion for learning and prevent learning loss.
Download the May Whole Child Podcast to learn more about building the capacity of principals to lead effective and systemic school reform. Our guests discuss what kind of principal development leads to results for students and discuss the current landscape of principal leadership and future directions of leadership development.
The federal government recently released the blueprint for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, learn more about the direction of the ESEA Blueprint and what it means for the whole child, educators, and families.
This episode of the Whole Child Podcast was recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 7, 2010, and features the winning school of the first-ever Vision in Action: The Whole Child Award, the University of Northern Iowa Malcolm Price Laboratory School. The award recognizes schools that move beyond a narrow focus on academic achievement to take action for the whole child, creating learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.
How can schools develop a positive school climate that fosters teaching, learning, and the development of the whole child? Research and common sense reaffirm that focusing on the social and educational atmosphere is critical to student success, yet many schools and districts do not assess climate or include it in school improvement plans.
Each student brings a unique set of interests, needs, strengths, and circumstances to school and teachers often struggle to connect with students, especially those facing the greatest challenges. On this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, our guests share strategies for meeting students where they are now, while preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.
Rural schools are very diverse -- ethnically, socioeconomically, and geographically -- and often face a complex set of challenges. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, our guests share their research and experience to help us understand the diversity of this population of ten million students, nearly one fifth of the U.S. student population.
How and why do schools and communities succeed when they focus on supporting students? Creating personalized learning environments where students are supported by qualified, caring adults is crucial to keeping kids from checking out and dropping out. Research and common sense reaffirm that not only educators, but communities must invest in supporting students to stay in school because we all pay the price when students drop out.
Join us as we explore how schools and communities are using community conversations to ensure that schools and communities are working together to support the whole child. Our guests share how community conversations have increased the understanding of the whole child approach to learning, improved decision making that is informed by community input, and created a shared commitment to pursue recommendations that focus on the whole child.
While research and common sense tell us that families are a powerful influence on children's attitudes about learning and their success in school, we also know that educators and families often struggle to find meaningful ways to partner together. In light of what we know and what we're committed to, how can we strategically transform family involvement in schools?
Collecting and interpreting data is essential to creating and sustaining meaningful school improvement and without it, we may not be able to address the obstacles that stand in the way of educating the whole child. July's Whole Child Podcast features an expert panel recorded live at the Healthy Schools Communities Conference. Panelists and audience members share varied and concrete examples and strategies for using data to drive meaningful school improvement.
We know that children grow physically, socially, emotionally, ethically, expressively, and intellectually within networks of families, schools, neighborhoods, communities, and our larger society. And we know schools alone can't meet the needs of each child. So why not bring everyone to the table?
This special edition of the Whole Child Podcast outlines the stimulus plan for education and describe how the funds can be used for school improvement activities, including capacity-building professional development. Our guests will help educators understand and take advantage of the unique opportunities available to them and their students.
Over the past 15 years, school districts across the United States have experienced explosive growth in the immigrant population. The increased enrollment has strained the resources of schools -- whether they've had experience with English language learners or not. And as school districts struggle to find additional funding and resources to support this diverse group, they also have to contend with the fact that English language learners fall behind in standardized tests and many are more socioeconomically disadvantaged than their peers.
This episode of the Whole Child Podcast was recorded live at ASCD's Annual Conference on March 14, 2009. Host Molly McCloskey tasked the two guests with providing advice on how to close the "believing, doing gap." In other words, how do we move from believing all children need to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, to actually making that happen?
President-Elect Barack Obama and his Education Secretary nominee, Arne Duncan, face a host of education issues, with the rewrite of NCLB at the top of the list. Complicating matters are the severe budget deficits that are forcing dramatic cuts in education programs and services. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, three guests will address what the Obama administration can do to support our public schools and secure our children's future in these uncertain times.
How can we hold schools accountable, while ensuring that students receive a rich education, graduate from high school, and are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century? This month on the whole child podcast, we hear from three experts.
In our increasingly interconnected global society and economy, it's imperative that students understand the world we live in. Three leaders in international education joined us for the second episode of "The Whole Child: Changing the Conversation About Education."