Credit: Photo by Katerina Holmes:

Education nonprofit Gradient Learning has released results from a national survey, indicating that 91% of teachers believe students perform better when schools prioritize whole child learning.

Conducted in partnership with Project Tomorrow, the Gradient Learning Poll surveyed 1,418 teachers, of grades 4-12, across the country to better understand their views on the state of education. Participants span the national education landscape with 42% of responding teachers supporting suburban communities, 30% in rural communities, and 28% in urban communities.   

Now more than ever, educators, families, and caregivers are calling for a broader focus on students’ social and emotional needs as well as the development of future-ready skills. Reports indicate the past two years of the pandemic widened the skills gap, and many schools are responding to this demand by providing a whole child approach to education. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development defines whole child learning as policies, practices, and relationships that ensure each child, in each school, in each community, is engaged, supported, and challenged.

In addition to agreeing that students perform better with whole child learning:

  • 88% said they believe schools need to adopt a broader definition of student success to include both academic and non- academic skills
  • 62% shared that students are more comfortable asking for help with a whole child approach
  • Nearly two-thirds report their students take more ownership of their learning as a direct result of adopting a whole child approach

As one Colorado district leader shared, “students don’t just come to school to take a test. They come to school to learn, work as a team, and build life skills. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re meeting the needs of all your students.” 

Explore the full results of the Gradient Learning Poll: Educating the Whole Child.

The Gradient Learning Poll is a survey of teachers across the nation, measuring sentiment on topics of importance to students and educators alike. As part of its commitment to rebuilding education Gradient Learning has embarked on this initiative to listen to educators, understand their feedback, and provide actionable solutions to meet their needs.

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