Nurturing the Whole Student: Five Dimensions of Teaching and Learning

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9781475800838: Nurturing the Whole Student: Five Dimensions of Teaching and Learning
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Nurturing the Whole Student: Five Dimensions of Teaching and Learning begins with the assumption that education is at its best—healthiest, most engaging, and most effective—when it is holistic. By holistic , the authors mean that the various dimensions of the teacher and student are honored and nurtured throughout the education process. These dimensions are organic, psychodynamic, cultural, academic, and existential. Nurturing the Whole Student contends that any truly humane educational theory or practice must celebrate and cultivate these facets of the student-teacher relationship. In readily-accessible theoretical terms—as well as in practical suggestions for classroom application—the authors demonstrate how holistic education is an antidote to the standardized approaches to education that breed failure, alienation, and discouragement in the classroom. Systematically broken down into five thematic chapters, this teacher's guide will help any educator foster the five dimensions of teaching and learning.

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About the Author:

Clifford Mayes, PhD, PsyD, is a professor of educational psychology at Brigham Young University. He is the author of seven books and over forty scholarly articles on educational psychology, curriculum theory, and multiculturalism.

Ellen Williams, PhD, is a former university professor and former co-director of Brigham Young University's Leadership Preparation Program and Principals Academy. She served as classroom teacher for twenty years, as elementary principal for seven years, and as a district administrator for five years before moving on to university work and consulting. She has published in scholarly journals such as Mentoring and Tutoring, UCEA Journal of Case Studies, and the International Journal of Leadership in Education.

Review:

In this highly interesting and useful book, Mayes and Williams present the best of holistic educational theory and practice. Mayes offers a powerful argument about why—especially in the current climate of standardized education—it is so crucial to nurture the various aspects of the student as a physical, psychological, cultural, cognitive and ethical being. Williams lays out a rich array of classroom activities across the grade levels to help the teacher translate theory into practice. It is suitable for undergraduate and graduate classes in curriculum and instruction and also for teacher development. I highly recommend it. (Joe Matthews, Ed.D., Associate Professor, School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Utah State University)

Mayes exposes the root cause of today's educational malaise. His view that the reform of education is really about reforming critical relationships between student and educator, educator and parent, and individual and society should serve as a shot across the bow. He urges us to recognize the necessary balance between education and psychology that moves the field of education closer to the humanities rather than into the hands of 'scientific' researchers hell bent on churning out a work force best suited for global competition. Mayes eloquently warns of the dangers of such misguided notions. Williams offers excellent and plentiful examples of how to put these ideas into classroom practice. As our children drop out through drugs, depression, and suicide, as our best teachers and administrators burn out and leave the field in record numbers, this book’s warnings and suggestions must be heeded sooner rather than later. (Kym Elder, MS. Ed., Executive Director, Island Village Montessori School; Montessori Live Educator Training Program)

Healthy development occurs when individuals are supported in expressing ideas and feelings, and are able to develop a sense of competence and forge a meaningful place for themselves in the world. In order to provide an image of healthy development within school settings, five dimensions for optimal development are introduced: the organic, the psychodynamic, the affiliative, the procedural, and the existential. If one area is not well tended, then the whole child will suffer. The organic dimension emphasizes the importance of individual interactions with the world through the senses. The psychodynamic dimension highlights the importance of affect in the lives of students and teachers within the classroom. The affiliative dimension focuses upon the multiple cultures and expectations that may coexist within a classroom and the importance of differing perspectives within educational practice. The procedural dimension stresses the role of teacher and student in developing a sense of competence through teaching and learning. The existential dimension underscores the importance of providing opportunity and supporting students and teachers in making meaning in and for their lives. Each chapter consists of a theoretical introduction to the specific dimension and practical ideas for the practicing teacher. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, and professionals. (CHOICE)

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