Whole Schooling is an approach to developing schools in which all children flourish in the inclusive classroom. Dr. Tim Loreman (Professor at Concordia University College) and Dr. Michael Peterson (Professor at Wayne State University) are the co-directors of the Whole Schooling Consortium. This resource supports the development of the whole child by using the 8 principles of whole school: creating learning spaces for all, empower citizens for democracy, include all in learning together, build a caring community, support learning, partner with families and the community, teach using authentic multi-level instruction, and assess students to promote learning.
Since our classrooms are so diverse, I thought this resource would be a great introduction to help us begin how the Circle of Courage may look like in our classrooms. Children learn better in environments where their social and emotional needs are being met; we also know that children learn better when experiences and activities are part of the learning process and that social interaction reinforces learning. Although the Circle of Courage is based on traditional values from cultures of people who cherish children and treat them with respect, current research in education and youth development show that these practices are in alignment with what children need to do well.
The Circle of Courage can also be used to analyze what opportunities to develop or experience these qualities a particular environment offers and whether there is a healthy balance of all the necessary qualities within the environment. Whole Schooling carries out the intentions of the Circle of Courage in its philosophies and methods. Chapter one from the PDF document focuses on the principles of the Circle of Courage, while the rest of the document focuses on how to implement the 8 principles of Whole Schooling in schools and classrooms and their relationship with the qualities of the Circle of Courage.
PDF Document: http://www.wholeschooling.net/WS/WSPress/WS & C of C.pdf
Below is a Ted Talk by Moe Carolin Anderson, who speaks about supporting the whole child for the whole world. Many of the points she brings up in her speech follows the 8 principles of Whole Schooling.
Learning Matters featured a video of the Circle of Courage being used to transform classrooms in New Orleans. This video tells the dramatic story of what may be the greatest experiment in the history of American public education: the transformation of New Orleans’ public schools after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, from a dysfunctional, scandal-plagued monolith into a greatly improved “system of schools,” nearly all of them publicly funded but privately-operated charter schools.
New Orleans charter high school Sci Academy has made impressive academic gains; however, retaining students have been a struggle. In 2011, the school brought n an intervention program called “Circle of Courage Mentoring” to try to help students most at risk of dropping out of getting expelled. This video is raw footage from a meeting that took place six weeks into the program, just after nearly half of the group had been suspended. The students were very appreciative of how much the teachers of the program cared for them. It was more than just bringing home a paycheck.
Attached is a video clip of students in the ‘Circle of Courage Mentoring Program’ at Sci Academy, where they describe their experiences and thoughts about the charter school’s disciplinary system.
Additionally, I stumbled upon The “Circle of Courage Song” written by L. Olafson, C. Slomp and the students of Westminister Elementary School in Lethbridge, Alberta. This Video celebrates the Circle of Courage.