What is a “whole person?”

A whole person is one who is nurtured and supported in all areas—physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual or said in another way: body, head, heart, and oneness, respectively.

Who is responsible for educating the new humanity?

Everyone. Children, youth, parents, educators, businesses, communities—all of society—have the civic and educational responsibility and privilege of educating the new humanity by addressing the needs of the whole child, whole person, and whole world thus making a positive contribution to society.

How has education responded?

The education sector has embraced a focus on “The Whole Child.”

What does a  “focus on the whole child” mean?

A focus on the whole child means focusing on all aspects of a child and providing them with the developmentally appropriate opportunities to reach their full potential in all areas: the body, head, heart, and oneness. Education in our homes and schools has always focused on the head. Physical education programs and sports have focused on the body. Today we are witnessing a break-through in social-emotional learning strategies and tools to support the development of the heart of students. Yet many questions still exist about addressing the “oneness” of students.

How can we address oneness with our children and youth?

Liz Mills offers a way to help awaken and nurture the oneness of the whole child. She talks about providing children with windows, mirrors, and doors [1]. Although her work pertains to children, it is applicable to all individuals of any age.

Provide children, youth, and adults opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways; to wonder about the life’s “Wows” (things that are amazing) and “Ows” (things that bring us up short). In this, children, youth, and adults are learning about life in all its fullness.

Provide children, youth, and adults opportunities to reflect on their experiences: to meditate on life’s big questions and to consider some possible answers. This way, they are learning from life by exploring their own insights and perspectives and those of others.

Provide children, youth, and adults the opportunities to respond to all of this; to do something creative as a means of expressing, applying. and further developing their thoughts and convictions. In this they are learning to live by putting into action what they are coming to believe and value.

[1] Liz Mills, Opening Windows (2002)