About the Whole Schooling Consortium

The Whole Schooling Consortium is an international network of schools, teachers, administrators, parents, and faculty members dedicated to creating schools that have great learning experiences for ALL children learning well together! Whole Schooling is based on 8 principles each of which has many research-based practices. This website has many resources related to using the principles of Whole Schooling to improve teaching and learning: an overview of the principles of Whole Schooling; a tool kit for staff dialogue, planning, and professional development; the International Journal of Whole Schooling that has high quality articles from all over the English speaking world; video illustrations of Whole Schooling in practice. The link for "Inclusive Teaching" will take you to a separate website for a book based on Whole Schooling.

Dr. Michael Peterson is the Director of the Whole Schooling Consortium, a program of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He, in collaboration with many other individuals, has been developed the concepts and materials related to Whole Schooling that are featured on this website. Initially, the Consortium operated as a loose network. For a few years, a non-profit organization was formed to organize the work of the Consortium. In 2007, the Consortium became a program of the College of Education at Wayne State University.

Beginning in 1998, the Consortium has involved a network of schools, teachers, parents, administrators, university faculty and community members in countries throughout the world in numerous research, professional development, training, and dissemination projects and intiatives. Following is information about specific projects of the Whole Schooling Consortium from 1999 to the present.

School Improvement.

Whole Schooling principles and practices have been utilized in a wide range of school improvement efforts in numerous schools. Click HERE to see a list of many of the schools with which the Consortium has been involved and the specific initiatives undertaken. The Eastside Detroit Whole Schooling Cluster was a project that provided support and assistance to 3 elementary schools from 1999 to 2002 (Bellevue, Howe, and Hutchinson Elementarty in Detroit Public Schools) in developing and implementing a plan for comprehensive school reform and obtaining funding through the 21st Century Schools Initiative through the Detroit Public Schools. The Neighborhood Transition Project sought to link students with disabilities to resources in their schools and communities. The Neighborhood-based Personal Supports Project (NBPS) similarly sought to build circles of support and link individuals with disabilities to community resources and connections in their own neighborhood.


Several research studies have been implemented.

Whole Schooling Research Project In this federally funded research project, we studied seven schools in Michigan and eight in Wisconsin who were seeking to implement inclusive education in the context of other exemplary practices associated with Whole Schooling. The final report of this project is now available: Learning well together: Lessons about connecting inclusive education to whole school improvement. 2002.

Other research studies include: (1) an international study of attitudes towards inclusive education; (2) assessment of teacher skills related to inclusive education in Egypt; (3) development of a teacher self-assessment tool related to whole schooling entitled Quality Teaching for All. This involved field-testing in the United States and Australia. (4) Study of classroom practices in schools implementing inclusive education.

Action Networks.

The Consortium has been active in organizing efforts among schools and individuals to improve practices. We have worked to support development of local Whole Schooling Consortia in communities throughout the world. In Michigan, the Consortium has been active in the following efforts:

Michigan Network for Inclusive Schooling (Mi-NIS). In 2001 some 12 schools came together to form the Michigan Network for Inclusive Schooling. The goals of the Network are three: (1) promote inclusive schooling in Michigan; (2) use Whole Schooling as a frame work so that inclusive schooling becomes part of the culture of the school and an integral part of school improvement.; and (3) learn together by linking schools, teachers, principals, parents, and others. We invite schools and individual teachers, administrators, parents, and university faculty, to join the work of this network.

Michigan policy action. A coalition of teachers, parents, students, university faculty, and others sponsored collaboratively by the Whole Schooling Consortium and the Rouge Forum has particularly focussed on two issues: (1) the MEAP and its harm to children; and (2) inclusive education, particularly supporting parents trying to have their children with special needs included in regular classes. This group has engaged in numbers of efforts to address these issues -- conferences, providing information on our website about the impact of the MEAP, developed a paper critiquing the MEAP and making alternative policy recommendations, and more.

The Consortium developed collaborative work with a range of individuals in schools spread throughout the world that have included Northern Ireland, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, Australia, and India.

Information Dissemination. Several efforts have been implemented to disseminate information.

Journal of Whole Schooling. An online journal that debuted in the Winter of 2004 edited by a team including: Tim Loreman , Editor. Concordia University College of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Donna McGhie-Richmond, Co-Editor. Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia; Billie Jo Clausen, Co-Editor. Early Childhood Special Specialist; and Richard Laszlo, Assistant Editor.

Online Whole Schooling Press: free publications available on this website.

Professional Development.

The Consortium has been active in conducting professional development in a wide range of situations. These include:

Conferences. International conferences were organized and implemented in 2000, 2005, and 2006. In 2000 the Whole Schooling Consortium, the Rouge Forum, and the Whole Language Umbrella collaborated in sponsoring a major international conference - an Education Summit - that drew progressive educators together representing a wide range of views. This event provides a template for future conferences being planned: program, report.

Whole Schooling: Raising the Standard for ALL April 2005. Held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, this conference built on the Education Summit in Detroit in 2000 and linked themes of raising high learning for all students, inclusive schooling, citizenship, and community. The conference engaged participants in learning, sharing, and action plannin with presentations by thinkers and masters of their craft. See feedback from participants. This comment was representative: "I’m a person in my 50’s. I have gone to scores and scores of conferences over 3 decades. This is a conference that rises above the rest. The spirit was welcoming; the presentations contained both scholarly pieces as well as practical strategies. I feel rich, full and I don’t want to leave!!"

WHOLE SCHOOLING: Changing the World One School at a Time. May 12-13, 2006: Portland Oregon. The conference this year was co-sponsored with the Parkrose School District in Portland, a district working to implement the Six Principles of Whole Schooling including movement to become a fully inclusive district. The conference included opportunities for site visits to exemplary classrooms in Parkrose schools. The conference itself occured in Parkrose High School, a new state-of-the-art facility designed as a community resource.