The Whole Child Philosophy

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What is the "whole child" philosophy, and why do so many educators support it, including those at St. Jude's Academy? It is a fairly recent education model adapted from Lynn Stoddard's book: Educating for Human Greatness. Take a moment to consider that the average person spends approximately 15% of their entire life in school, from junior kindergarten to grade 12. The "whole child" philosophy recognizes the immense role schooling possesses during childhood, and that great responsibility requires more attention to a child's growth and development than just a fixation with their measurable qualities and skills, i.e. standardized test scores and knowledge retention. It's about understanding the value of encouraging qualities that will serve students as they grow into adulthood and become civic-minded world citizens, part of a global network that has been set in front of us due to twenty-first century globalization and the Digital Age.
 
It is not prudent to ignore the inseparable social role schools occupy in addition to their educational role as centers of learning. Through the "whole child" approach, participating schools utilize holistic teaching models to augment and support children's "multiple intelligences" by tailoring lessons and instruction to focus on:
 
- cognitive-intellectual activity
- creative-intuitive activity (the arts) 
- structured physical movement and unstructured (self-directed play) 
- community involvement
 
Parents and university admission committees often cite "well-roundedness" as an ideal character attribute for students; yet how can a child become a well-rounded individual if they do not receive a well-rounded education? This is what the "whole child" philosophy seeks to rectify. When Lynn Stoddard surveyed parents for his book, he discovered that almost all parents believe that an education should provide character development for their children, not just an education strictly by the books. In today's school climate, the deciding factor for making the switch to private school is often cited by parents as the necessity for finding a school that provides equal support to developing a child's emotional and social needs in addition to their academic requirements. 
 
Reference:http://www.educatethewholechild.org/what-is-it/


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