Embracing the ‘Whole Child’ Approach

Some policymakers and educators may be of the school of thought that teaching social and emotional skills aren’t under their educational domain. However, a growing number of educators are embracing a methodology that has been come to be known as educating the whole child.

How teachers respond to student’s emotional needs can hold profound, lifelong-effects: on the student’s academic performance, their self-esteem/confidence and the overall health of the culture within the school. Demonstrated throughout a number of studies, emotion and learning connect. Emotions affect our attention, decision-making processes, memory, concentration and physical health.

When we’re educating the ‘whole child’, we’re not strictly looking at their academic performance through the lens of pass or fail. We’re asking ourselves why a particular student may have performed poorly, and furthermore we’re giving an opportunity for that student to come to us and confide in us with what may be bothering them. It is offering a child a safe space to talk and to be themselves.

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