The Child at the Center

Welcome to the Total Learning Digital Blog! This space will be used as a journal for reflections on the broad ideas underlying Total Learning, and to bring you up to date on new developments.  Rather that creating constraints during this first year, there may be a range of formats and topics.  Please let me know when something resonates!

We see visual symbols all around us.

The Total Learning Digital logo is a visual symbol.  In Total Learning, focus is on the child.  Decisions are made based on what is right for the child. Total Learning provides child-centered and developmentally appropriate pedagogy designed as a delivery system for all curricula, to nurture the whole child.

Around this child are overlapping circles that represent the multiple contexts or systems that impact her or his ability to learn:  mental and physical health, family or home supports, quality of the school environment and curriculum, and community services.  These, together, comprise the necessary components for educating whole, thoughtful, prepared children to be successful in school and in life.  Our research and that of others* has shown that none of these, alone, is sufficient.  If we focus our decisions on what is right for the children, and surround them with the necessary elements to succeed, they will become engaged participants in their learning, and eventually in our democracy, because from the very outset their voices will be heard.


Context and Related Literature:

*Michael Cohen Group, Bridgeport Total Learning summative assessment, 2012.

*J.Lawrence Aber, Ph.D. and others, 2006. Child Development and Social Policy:  Knowledge in Action.  APA Books.

*Conversations with Ed. Zigler, Father of Head Start, at the Edward Zigler Center in Social Policy and Child Development, Yale University.

*A related and supporting global perspective, in preparation for creating an early human development index, is at