About the Book

A shocking statistic in education reveals that 70% of K-12 teachers work under chronic stress. The research makes clear that a stressed-out teacher passes that stress to their students. What happens when a child experiences a stressed adult? It generates fear and they shut down.

This revolutionary new book explains the key to improving education across the globe may be as straight forward as reducing stress in the classroom and at home. Achieving that, however, is far a more daunting challenge.

WHOLE explains what administrators, teachers, parents, and communities can do to lower stress and improve the teacher-student connection to unleash learning.

For years, experts said “disengagement” was the crucial issue behind poor educational environments and results. Naturally, only massive reform could fix it. But what if the enormous restructuring and expenditures attacked the wrong problem? The authors build a strong case for this misdiagnosis. Decades of programs aimed at motivating teachers have essentially been wasted adding even more stress on educators.

MindShift, an organization that reframes tired and clogged conversations, pushed the old conclusions off the table and started fresh. They gathered diverse leaders in education, leadership, neuroscience, architecture, and wellness in working forums around the nation. These pivotal meetings produced WHOLE, a game-changing approach to education. This book captures the story and details of how the system can be remade for real and lasting benefits to everyone.

With the authors’ expertise, the book exposes the exhausted and antiquated thinking that led to the present crisis. But, WHOLE also proposes a new era of disruptive change that can produce happier, healthier, and more successful education for the 21st century. The book introduces the outliers, tells the stories, and presents the roadmaps to:

  • Why teachers should be seen as high-performance athletes, requiring time for recovery and preparation
  • How schools are becoming “field hospitals,” combining learning with healing
  • Why space matters, how redesigning and refurnishing schools can eliminate stress and produce learning environments that are more open and inviting
  • What the new design standards for a WELL school can do for children
  • Ways to properly integrate schools within communities, building honest relationships, increasing social capital, and achieving transparency that increases success

Packed with real-life examples, new research, and solutions that you can introduce to your own schools, students, and communities, WHOLE shows us how to move schools from the age of stress and insecurity to an age of true educational flourishing.

Videos About the Chapters

Chapter 1

Dying to Teach


Chapter 2

Schools are Killing More Than Creativity


Chapter 3

Fear is the Off Switch


Chapter 4

The Body Remembers


Chapter 5

Having the Stress Conversation at Your School


Chapter 6

To Change The Story


Chapter 7

The Early Childhood Challenge: Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later


Chapter 8

The Teacher Athlete


Chapter 9

Are Schools the New Field Hospitals?


Chapter 10

Shots Fired


Chapter 11

Do Healthy Buildings Improve Learning?


Chapter 12

The Heart and Head Connection: Managing the Emotions to Support the Brain


Chapter 13

Community Before Curriculum


Chapter 14

Waking the Dead: The Sleep Solution


Chapter 15

The Magic of Movement and Mini-Breaks


Chapter 16

Physical Education: The Gathering Storm


Chapter 17

How Small Changes Make Big Impacts


Chapter 18

Leading Change: From Compliance to Ownership


Chapter 19

What Teachers Really Need to Help Students Thrive