The Basics

The Basics / About the Healing Classrooms / Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being

Student well-being is a holistic vision of children and youth, based on an awareness of their many needs. The vision encompasses the physical, psychological, cognitive and social dimensions of the lives of children and youth. Again, the Healing Classrooms definition of the term student refers to any child or young person receiving instruction in any of these education interventions, be they child, youth or adult.

The IRC's Healing Classroom approaches are grounded in this broad-based view, with an emphasis on how learning, the learning environment and learning facilitators, such as teachers, can contribute to the well-being of children and youth.

From the pilot research, we have seen that a number of different elements related to the learning environment can positively affect student well-being. As a result this program was developed with an understanding that:

  • Learning spaces should be safe environments for children and youth, where they are not only protected from harm but also given the skills, knowledge, voice and capacity to protect themselves.

  • Being identified as a student in the community can contribute significantly to the well-being of children and youth affected by crises.

  • Going to school and learning well is highly important for children and youth.

  • Teachers play very important roles in the lives of these children and youth. Depending on the teachers’ actions and attitudes their influence can be either positive or negative.

  • School friends are very important to these children and youth in these contexts – and cause of both comfort and stress for them.

  • Providing youth with the skills and opportunities to support themselves and their families, participate in their civic and community affairs and make smooth life transitions reduces the feelings of hopelessness among conflict-affected youth.