A Whole Child Approach: The Key to Immigrant Origin Student Thriving
A Whole Child Approach: The Key to Immigrant Origin Student ThrivingBy Carola Suárez-Orozco
A whole child approach is child-centered and recognizes ALL domains of child development including academic, cognitive, physical, mental, social-emotional, and identity. A whole child approach recognizes that each of these domains of development are inter-related and that each need be addressed for children to thrive.
In the world of education, for immigrant origin (IO) students, identification, data, practice, and funding, have largely been focused on the domain of language learning. While English language acquisition is clearly linked to both cognitive and academic development, this narrow focus on English language development neglects all the other critical domains of whole child development. This constricted focus fails to recognize that language acquisition is deeply intertwined with many other domains of learning. Further, the language learning designation, neither accurately nor comprehensively captures the lived experiences that immigrant origin students bring with them to school.