Maria Montessori and Kurt Hahn were right. Educators of a forgotten era, who live on as symbols; both railed against the idea of industrial education and posited the idea that the whole child or whole student needed to be developed as this was the highest purpose of education.
Many schools invoke their names, while others have adopted the language of the Whole Child or Whole Student, but only to keep up with the Jones’s, so that they appear to be holistic in their approach. Rarely, if ever do these schools center Whole Student as the core idea behind the purpose of their school. Even in the rare instances that schools engage in Whole Student education, they fail to realize how revolutionary this approach is in terms of inclusion. In a world peppered with schools trying to get students into the most competitive colleges–Whole Student education is seen as a dinosaur.
Whole Student is not limiting in terms of college options, but a school solely focused on college rarely takes care of the whole student. Maybe this is why schools are roiling from feedback that they truly are not places of inclusion. Sadly, the schools still doing Whole Student Education (and not just paying lip service to it) are part of a small cohort of schools seen as a dying breed, but these are the very schools championing a methodology for total inclusion, the very thing that the college preparatory bunch are now searching frantically for in the wake of critique of their exclusion.
Inclusion programs in most schools are often constructed as special interests that focus on one aspect of a person’s identity, or deal with it in pieces… serving BIPOC students, or the gender spectrum—but in these schools by only focusing on a facet/ facets of a student and not the student as a whole, the best efforts towards inclusion are basically Band-Aids for the exclusion felt towards one’s identity as opposed to a holistic approach of inclusion inherent to the core mission of the school that takes care of a student as a whole.
The key ingredient is the Whole Student Coefficient– in order to create Whole Student Inclusion.
#WholeStudent #WholeChild #WholeStudentMission #WholeChildEducation #WholeStudentEducation #WholeStudentInclusion #WholeStudentCoefficient #InclusionDashboard