Beyond Academics: What a Holistic Approach to Learning Could Look Like

Katrina Schwartz
July 7, 2015
From a child's perspective, school, extracurricular activities and home are part of the continuous experience of life. From the perspective of teachers, coaches and parents, those experiences may seem more differentiated and are thus treated separately. However, if the adults in a child's life approach his or her growth as a collaboration following a clear developmental path, every child will have a better chance at a life filled with choices and the skills to achieve goals.

Katrina Shwartz provides a summary in KQED News of a recently published report by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR). In addition to calling for better integrating aspects of a child's development using a compilation of developmental psychology, neuroscience, sociology and education research perspectives, the report identifies three key factors that young people need to be successful: agency, integrated identity and competencies.

The focus on testing and accountability in school undermines educators' ability to provide developmental experiences by creating incentives for educators to focus only on academic content. The report shows clear ways that educators can incorporate a more holistic view.


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