Inspiring Hearts and Minds

Children born today may live to see the year 2100! What skills will they need to live, work and thrive in an interconnected, complex and exponentially changing world? We already know that today's high school graduates likely will average six to eight jobs over the course of their careers, many requiring skills that are yet unforeseen. What can we do to best prepare our children?

In the fall of 2007, CRPS launched Inspiring Hearts and Minds A Strategy for the Future of Public Education in the Bow Valley. Informally referred to as Futures Planning, we embarked on a series of year-long open forums and conversations with teachers, students, parents, administrators and school board trustees. While declining enrollment and shrinking resources first prompted many of these discussions, they soon became much deeper and more thoughtful. We challenged ourselves to think beyond present day practices and consider the possibilities for schooling and learning not just in two to three years, but in the generation ahead. We weren’t simply talking about implementing another new program or two into our schools – we were talking about looking at education through a much wider lens. Why? Because we all want to prepare our children to meet the challenges of the exponentially changing 21st century. How will we do this? By focusing on the WHOLE CHILD.

What is WHOLE CHILD education?

A comprehensive approach to learning recognizes that in order for young people to thrive in our rapidly changing world, we need to nurture their development in a number of different but interrelated areas:


Together, these elements support the development of a child who is:

  • Intellectually active
  • Physically, verbally, socially and academically competent
  • Empathetic, kind, caring and fair
  • Creative and curious
  • Disciplined, self-directed and goal oriented
  • A critical thinker
  • Confident
  • Cared for and valued
Source: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.