Developing the Whole Person
A student’s development is a journey. It’s not a number represented by grades or accomplishments, although that can be a reflection of the choices made along the journey. It’s hard to find a specific list of necessary aspects involved in educating the whole person and an even greater challenge to address even a short list. The bottom line is having a good connection between the educator and the student with a personalized focus for their journeys. This blog suggests a list that can help in the development of the whole person with examples of how to do it.
Cultivate Positive Well-Being
One important aspect of learning engagement for students is their positive well-being. Our goal is to create an environment of love, respect, and challenge. We also need to recognize what’s central to our children’s well-being taking into account their temperaments, preferences, strengths, learning styles¸ family dynamics, and circumstances.
Uplifting Education uses the "Well-Being Index (WBI)" found in our school platform. Thrively. This is a tool designed to help educators and parents collect well-being student data in the areas of physical, social, psychological and emotional. It's done systematically, directly, quickly, and in real time. Watch this video explaining the "Well-Being Index."
Education should also foster goodness, heart, and morality to foster good character and good citizenship. Schools would benefit from instilling in each student a sense of shared responsibility for creating a moral culture. The deepest motivation for moral striving arises from the heart—in particular; the heart is the source of the fundamental impulse for relatedness. It is what motivates a person to yearn for the joy of loving and being loved, the satisfaction of valuing and being valued.
Uplifting Education adopted the Discovering the Real Me curriculum that focuses on issues specifically addressed for each age group. High school youth look at the world in a more complex manner than they did in their younger years. The complexity of their developmental tasks can make these years challenging. The Discovering the Real Me curriculum presents stories and situations with themes of the development of virtues such as mutual respect, taking responsibility, developing empathy and compassion, and learning how to be productive citizens. Themes of leadership, communication and relationship skills, and preparing for life in society beyond high school are also explored.
Build Skills for Success
The Four Cs, which are communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, are developed in our project-based learning. Communication is about sharing thoughts, questions, ideas and solutions effectively. Collaboration is about working together for a common goal and is a major advantage in life. Critical Thinking is looking at things in new ways and problem solving. Creativity is trying new approaches to be able to get things done and it incorporates the skills of innovation and invention. Communication and collaboration promote confidence. Critical thinking skills increase motivation. Creativity provides a healthy emotional outlet. The projects each year encouraged by the advisory help build skills such as: planning, organizing, motivating, coordinating, evaluating, and strategizing.
In order to educate the whole child, Uplifting Education integrates social and emotional learning (SEL) in our advisory. SEL is the process through which people acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.
The Uplifting Education playlists help implement SEL competencies relative to the student such as: self-management. relationship skills, responsible decision-making, a growth mindset, an attitude of gratitude, and a heart of respect and empathy.
Student Agency and a Strength-Based Focus
Student agency implies the student can take an active role in their learning through voice and a choice in the process. Its best to allow students to choose when and what they do while encouraging their strengths and interests. Students can feel empowered in their learning through taking responsibility, gaining confidence, and setting goals.
In Uplifting Education Advisory, student agency is supported by reflective journaling, goal setting and tracking, and collecting a powerful digital portfolio along with competency badges, awards, and certificates.
Uplifting Education's strength-based journey has the development of the whole child and the discovery of passion and purpose as a priority. Our strength-based focus empowers students by highlighting their unique blend of top strengths. We personalize instruction based on strengths, interests, and learning styles. We expose students to potential career pathways and activate student agency with vital self-knowledge.