Educating the Whole Child is a relatively new approach to education that centers on the education environment and its influence on children’s overall development, including mental and physical health and emotional and social aspects. Whole Child Education is focused on designing and implementing changes to the learning environment that will ensure the children’s overall development rather than academic scores. This essay will explain what it means for me to educate the whole child.
In my opinion, the Whole Child approach in education represents a significant step in progress from the nature perspective to nurturing processes. While earlier genetics were prioritized over environmental influence in children’s development and adult behavior, the introduction of the Whole Child approach supports nurture over nature in developmental psychology theories. On the other hand, as opposed to the nature perspective, empiricism theory suggests that the environment influences the changes in chemical components of the human body and brain structure. Therefore, the children’s environment should also be considered part of the development process.
Whole child education includes a system of measures focused on improving the external environment for children’s development processes. In my opinion, the most important part of Whole Child Education is measures geared towards providing a positive, welcoming climate. With the growing influence of technology, many adolescents nowadays experience troubles with personal communication and establishing trustful relationships. Moreover, with newly emerging cyberbullying issues, the mental health of the younger is in great danger. According to Twenge (2020), adolescents’ mental health issues, including depression, self-harm, and suicide attempts, have increased dramatically since 2010. Therefore, ensuring emotional and social development at a younger age in an educational environment can sufficiently improve the quality of communication between peers in adolescence.
In conclusion, the Whole Child approach to education for me presents a logical continuation of the nurturing perspective of human development. In addition to being an informative source of knowledge, the education system should present a reliable place for development with a friendly environment. Protecting a child’s mental health and emotional development should be one of the education system’s goals, as not all parents show equally active participation in nurturing process.
Twenge, J. M. (2020). Increases in depression, self‐harm, and suicide among U.S. adolescents after 2012 and links to technology use: Possible mechanisms. Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice, 2(1), 19-25. Web.