To be prepared to thrive in a complex, rapidly evolving, globally connected, highly technological, and environmentally fragile world, today’s learners need personalised support, safe environments, good health, and challenging learning opportunities.

Though schools and teachers are our first avenues of pushing education forward, the involvement of everyone, including parents, industries, and communities, are essential in ensuring the holistic growth of each child since learners are now being more exposed to the world more than ever due to the advent of the age of connectivity, everybody needs to play their role in the child’s development.

HOW DO WE
NURTURE WHOLE LEARNERS?

HEALTHY

CHALLENGED

ENGAGED

SUPPORTED

SAFE

whole_iconsWhole-School

IN SCHOOLS

In a recent research, we have found out that HOLISTIC CHILD DEVELOPMENT is a common goal for most schools, Education that encompasses both the Academic and Non-Academic Aspects of Learning.

INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Refers to mental skills (Critical thinking, discernment, good judgment, logical reasoning)

SOCIAL AWARENESS & INVOLVEMENT

  • Development of strong social skills and relationships
  • Extending the self to the environment / outside world (Being concerened about the current social and political events)

PSYCHO-EMOTIONAL & MORAL FORMATION

  • Refers to spiritual development, emotional intelligence (Developing good values and right conduct)

CULTIVATING SPECIAL INTERESTS

  • Honing special talents and skills
  • Foster creativity and artistic capability

CHALLENGES

Though the above are the common goals of schools, educators still face multiple challenges in fulfilling them given the changing academic landscape:

1.) Teachers seem unprepared and have yet to fully adjust with the newly implemented K-12 Curriculum

2.) Dynamics between teachers and students have become more complicated – From teacher-centered to student-centered

3.) More rampant migration of teachers (local to abroad or private to public)

4.) Given new academic demands, schools are forced to upgrade facilities which has triggered the increase in tuition fees (Leading to decreasing number of enrollees)

whole_iconsWhole-Community

IN THE GOVERNMENT

As the changing needs of each learner becomes more and more visible to all angles, the government continuously works hard to improve not just the academic excellence but the holistic development of each child in the 21st Century with different guidelines and programs. Here are some:
continuous education

Continuous Development of Educators:

DO 42, s. 2017 - National Adoption and Implementation of the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers was released to guide educators in being ready for 21st Century Education
bullied

Safety of Students

The Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 emphasized to address bullying in the school level
junk food

Health of Students

DO 13, s. 2017 - Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in Schools and in DepEd Office

WE STILL NEED IMPROVEMENT

Though a lot are being done to address Holistic Development, we are yet to witness the involvement of everyone.

SINGAPORE PUSHES WHOLE EDUCATION

In Singapore, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has outlined his ministry’s plans to create a holistic education system and one where no child is left behind. To prepare our students for the future, education must develop the whole person. [1]

How are they planning to do it?

Student Care Centres

Increase the number of student care centres located within schools from the current 57 to 70 by 2014. The centres provide structured care for students, whether it’s help with homework or with problems at home. Constant interaction between the centre’s staff and school teachers also means potential problems can be flagged quickly.

Learning Support Programs

The ministry also has learning support programmes in primary schools to pull up those weak in English and Maths. About 6,000 children have gone through the scheme, and another 2,200 will be included this year.

Addressing Parent Anxiety

Addressing the anxiety of parents over getting their child into a good school, Mr Heng outlined improvements made over the years, adding that his aim is to ensure that all schools are good schools.

Edusave Character Award

Recognise students who exhibit exemplary values, such as resilience and tenacity, integrity, care and respect, as well as civic responsibility.

“Developing the whole child must first begin with instilling the right character and values. We must adopt a student-centric, values-driven approach,”

– Singapore Education Minister Heng Swee Keat

ARE WE EDUCATING WHOLE PERSONS?

Though there is evidence that students academically challenged, feel engaged with their schoolwork, are healthy, feel, supported, and are safe –  are more likely to attend and succeed in school, survey from ASCD shows that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to achieve holistic development of each chid:

88%

of high school graduates would have worked harder if they’d been challenged more.

66%

of learners say they’re bored every day in school

83%

of learners do not get the recommended daily amount of exercise

67%

of 22 to 30 year old with college experience say their high school guidance councelors gave fair or poor college advice.

30%

of children report bullying a classmate, being bullied, or both.

Sources: ASCD Whole Child; NCES Indicators of Crime and Safety; Civic Enterprises; Silent Epidemic; Grad Nation, 2009, Achieve 2005

WHAT CAN WE DO NOW?

ASCD’s WHOLE CHILD FOR THE WHOLE WORLD INITIATIVE is an effort to transition from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long-term development and success of all children.  Through educators, families, community members and policymakers, the movement aims to help each stakeholder form a vision about educating the whole child to sustainable, collaborative action.

How about you? How can you contribute to each child’s long term success?

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REX Book Store is a Learning Solutions Provider in the Philippines that aims to develop Whole and Joyful Learners who are Ready to Contribute to Society. We do this by Engaging and Enabling our Partners in Education with our Symphony of Learning Solutions. Everything we do is for the Whole Child. Para Sa Bata.