An effective education is so much more than grammar and algebra. Education is meant to prepare children for the future challenges that they’ll confront in their lives. In such a rapidly-shifting world, it can be hard to know exactly what will be useful to students in the future. Children need to be flexible, lifelong learners. That’s why modern educators are calling for a shift that in our system that educates the whole child.
Educating the Whole Child
What does that mean? It means that instead of focusing on just one or a few aspects of intelligence and metrics, we need to look at the whole picture, and come up with creative ways to empower our students to confront the challenges facing them today…. And the ones that will come up tomorrow.
Our education model is outdated. Today’s children need to know how to be flexible and lifelong learners. They need general knowledge and highly adaptable skill sets. They’ll have to sort and evaluate massive amounts of information and communicate effectively across a wide spectrum of mediums.
The Tenets of an Effective Learning Environment
Effectively measuring your child’s education is about more than grades. It’s about more than math and spelling awards. It’s about helping children be engaged. It’s about letting them know that they matter and that we care about more than numbers. Here are some of the tenets of the “whole child” philosophy promoted by The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
- Every child should enter education feeling healthy and ready to learn
- Every child should learn in an environment that feels physically and emotionally safe
- Each child should be engaged in their own learning and connected in the community of the school
- Each child should feel supported in personalized learning
- Each child should be challenged in things that interest them and will prepare them for the future
The Case for Physical Education
Your child goes to English class to learn about reading and grammar, they go to Bio to learn about mitosis. But if your child isn’t healthy, doesn’t feel safe, and is disengaged from other students and from the school at large, chances are pretty good that they won’t internalize much.
Nearly one-third of America’s children are overweight, and over 17 percent are obese. This threatens children’s health. Of course, it also threatens their education. Students who are overweight are more likely to miss a lot of school, to have a hard time focusing, and to be isolated from their peers, which makes it a less safe and comfortable place to learn and grow.
Want to give your child the advantages of an effective learning environment? Make sure that physical education doesn’t fall by the wayside.