What is the Whole Child Approach?

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Encourage students to grow in every area of learning using the Whole Child Approach. This teaching strategy uses social emotional learning to help students create the best learning outcomes.

What is the Whole Child Approach?

A student’s learning is influenced by their social emotional state. For example, a student coping with divorce or one who is constantly teased by their classmates may not be able to concentrate or perform well in class. For optimal learning to occur, the emotional and social well-being of the students should also be considered and addressed; and this forms the Whole Child Approach.

The objective of the Whole Child Approach is not just to improve students’ academic performances, but also contribute to their overall development. This approach aims to provide students with the assistance and structure for attaining long-term success in all areas of their life. When students are healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, students are then able to learn to the best of their ability.

Application of the Whole Child Approach in the classroom

The teacher’s role in the Whole Child Approach is to encourage students to grow in every area. A whole child is curious, creative, caring, empathetic, and confident.

The main statues to applying the Whole Child Approach are making sure the students are healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged. The following are ways to apply these concepts in the classroom:


It is crucial to educate students on the importance of making healthy decisions such as eating the right foods, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, engaging in regular exercise etc. A healthy body can help create a healthy mind.


Bullying, harassment, abuse and neglect can threaten the safety and concentration of a student. Teachers can create safe classrooms by implementing strict anti bullying rules, various conflict resolution strategies, and safe reporting procedures.


Students need to be able to trust their teacher. They should be encouraged to contribute to the overall development of the classroom. Students should feel positive and accepted within the classroom by the teacher and the other students.


Students can become engaged in learning by the use of interactive projects, creative lessons, and the use of media. Increased interest and motivation help enhance student engagement and participation, which are key factors to improving learning in the classroom.


Assessment strategies can be modified to challenge students to do their best. These assessments can be creative and fun for the students. Students should be encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge in an inspired and productive way.

The whole child approach to learning requires one to modify the educational experience and the classroom environment so that the social emotional learning of the students is addressed and enhanced, in turn creating a future of confident and holistically developed students.


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