Many consider John Dewey, the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century philosopher and advocate of progressivism to be the father of student-centered learning. Dewey championed the idea that schools should address a broad spectrum of student needs, rather than drill rote memorization of facts into students’ heads. The addition of school counselors, special education programs, advanced courses for the gifted, and student support services like positive behavior interventions would all fall under the realm of whole-child educational programs that schools throughout the nation have implemented for quite some time. According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, whole-child education should encompass the following:
- Every child comes to school healthy and is supported in his or her pursuit of good mental and physical health through physical education, health, and wellness classes and activities that enrich their lives.
- Every child learns in an environment that is free from discrimination, upholds the tenets of social justice and equality, and provides opportunities for students to feel valued and respected.
- Every child is actively engaged in their learning, which is facilitated by hands-on and project-based learning, community service, extracurricular activities, and other programs that extend learning beyond the classroom.
- Every child participates in personalized learning programs that meet their unique academic, . . . read more
- Practices: Students master investigative behaviors that are key to scientific exploration and theory development about the natural world. These include, but are not limited to, the steps of the Scientific Method and their associated practices.
- Crosscutting Concepts: Students learn concepts that are applicable to all disciplines of science, using common ideas such as patterns, cause and effect, stability, and change. Using this framework provides an organizational structure in which children can relate knowledge from one scientific field to another.
- Core Ideas: Seminal concepts within science focus the curriculum on ideas that have broad applicability, provide key tools for understanding ideas and solving problems, relate to social or personal concerns, and are learnable over the course of multiple grades at increasingly deep levels of rigor.
However, this is just one component of the modern-day school-to-prison pipeline, in which students are forced out of school by Draconian policies that land them in the criminal justice system.