Decades of research have demonstrated the need for education strategies that recognize the connections between children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development, as well as their physical and mental health.
A whole child education prioritizes the full scope of a child’s developmental needs to ensure that every child reaches their fullest potential. A whole child approach understands that students' education and life outcomes are dependent upon their access to safe and welcoming learning environments and rich learning experiences in and out of school.
Shifting toward a whole child education has far-reaching implications for the education system. Evidence-based whole child strategies include designing relationship-centered learning environments; developing curriculum, instruction, and assessments for deeper learning; providing integrated student supports; preparing educators for whole child practice; and shifting to a systemic approach to policymaking to support every child.