For a brilliant, amusing, and inspiring talk on the broad issue of education reform, hear Sir Ken Robinson’s famous 2006 TED talk at:

The Whole Child Program of ASCD:

A teacher wanting to introduce children to nature, and to seek answers for the question “How can we become more receptive to the richness of the natural world?” will find stimulating ideas in “Educating for Sustainability: Holistic Approaches from Early Childhood Through University” recently issued by the Nature Institute:

For more on Lynn Stoddard’s Educating for Human Greatness:

The Responsive Classroom is another holistic approach that has had considerable success and has research to document why and how it succeeds, It is a program of the Northeast Foundation for Children.

Two educational alternatives that comprehensively attend to the whole child are Waldorf and Montessori. Although these approaches typically are found in independent schools, all educators can find in them valuable ideas and fresh insights. These sites can help:

Resources and examples of the Open Classroom approach so effectively portrayed in the film August to June can be found at the film’s website.

For an early childhood approach that is particularly nurturing and arts-based, Reggio Emilia has much to offer. Go to:

One of the founders of Educate the Whole Child, Howard Katzoff, has developed a site that provides good exposition on the whole-child approach, talking points for persuading parents and school boards to consider this approach, survey tools for determining how much of the school budget is going to testing and test prep, plus opportunities for discussion and exchange.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning:

The Parker Palmer–inspired Center for Courage and Renewal:

The Garrison Institute in Garrison, NY, provides another form of teacher renewal. In retreats and workshops it “explores the intersection of contemplation and engaged action” in order to build the inner strength needed to do whole child education:

Transcendental Meditation’s success in centering students and integrating learning is documented in considerable research.

For the Inner Resilience Program:

Antioch–New England University offers programs and degrees that balance cognitive and creative elements in teacher preparation.

A remarkably successful program called Writegirl illustrates one holistic approach to teaching writing in high school. Elements of their program could prove useful.

To suggest other links, email

With thanks for support and encouragement from The Myrin Institute and Orion magazine.