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Alexandria, VA (10/13/11)—October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and ASCD advocates for a whole child approach to education as the way to create safe and supportive school climates in which each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. ASCD is the global leader in providing programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner.
In a school that supports the whole child, teachers emphasize and model mutual respect for everyone in their classrooms. They apply clear routines, rules, and behavior expectations, and reinforce prosocial behavior. If bullying or other misbehavior happens, teachers assess the misbehavior to determine the cause and the purpose and then intervene based on that assessment. These reforms, as outlined by the Healthy School Report Card, 2nd Edition, enable school leaders to create a supportive school climate where bullying is not part of the school’s culture.
"Bullying often is the unacceptable result of an unhealthy school climate," said Molly McCloskey, managing director of ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative. "A whole child approach to education builds a positive school climate, which in turn reduces bullying and improves student attendance, engagement, empowerment, ownership, teaching, and learning. We are very pleased to make resources supporting the whole child approach the education available to educators worldwide."
ASCD’s whole child indicators also serve as a guide for what a good school climate looks like. These indicators may serve as a needs assessment, a set of strategic goals and outcomes, a framework for decision making, or the definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires.
In addition to the report card and indicators, ASCD offers resources for teachers and leaders looking to create healthy school environments on all levels, from the classroom to the school district.
The Whole Child Blog covered the issue of bullying in schools. The round-up post shares a wealth of resources from the blog, and the associated podcast features Kevin Jennings, former assistant deputy secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education; Penny Bisignano, Olweus coordinator for the Iowa Department of Education; and Rachel Cole Lawson, former high school counselor at Malcolm Price Laboratory School (the winner of the first-ever Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award) in Cedar Falls, Iowa
The e-book Keeping the Whole Child Healthy and Safe: Reflections on Best Practices in Learning, Teaching, and Leadership outlines a whole child approach to learning, teaching, and community engagement. The e-book answers the question, "What if decisions about education policy were made by first asking, 'What works best for children?'"
The Healthy School Communities monograph Aligning Health and Education in the School Setting (PDF) outlines steps schools can take to promote and develop safety and well-being as part of the school improvement process.
Educational Leadership, ASCD’s flagship magazine, recently published an issue with the theme "Promoting Respectful Schools." ASCD members can access an article featuring young people who have been bullied sharing how educators and peers can help, titled "What Students Say About Bullying" by Stan Davis and Charisse Nixon, as well as a research synthesis titled "Bullying—and the Power of Peers," which explores who bullies, why they bully, and what educators and children can do to prevent it.
For more information about ASCD and all of our programs, products, and services, or to join, visit www.ascd.org.
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