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What Different Factors Are Considered In Holistic Education

The goal of holistic education is to cultivate a developing child's physical, emotional, intellectual, moral and psychological attributes; it is derived from Holistic Learning theory in philosophy

Simply put, childhood lays the foundation for a person’s development into adulthood and beyond. As a result, extensive research in fields such as economics and psychology has been conducted to understand, promote and implement holistic childhood development. While the home-life and community where children grow up heavily influence childhood development, these factors are often highly variable and require much more extensive effort to change. On the other hand, with roughly one third of the day spent in schools for all school-going children and schools being the epicenter of a student’s social life (and therefore social development), school curriculums (and by extension, holistic education) are crucial for a student’s holistic growth. The goal of holistic education is to cultivate a developing child's physical, emotional, intellectual, moral and psychological attributes. It is derived from Holistic Learning theory in philosophy.  

The categories of holistic education in an Indian schooling context are: academic, intellectual, extracurricular, athletic, psychological and social. 

Active academic engagement is the foremost aspect of holistic education. It requires students to engage with material by consuming it, researching further, examining their assumptions, testing their hypothesis, building on their knowledge base, cross-linking it with other closely related subject matters and finally, using the Feynman technique of simplification when they get stuck on subject matter problems . 

Proactive extracurricular engagement involves students engaging in co-curricular activities - both inside and outside the classroom - that build on their interests and curiosities. However, proactive extracurricular engagement involves taking it a step further and scaling the existing extracurricular involvement. For example, a student’s love for football may extend beyond just actively participating in the school football team and into organising football tournaments in her community. 

Intellectual development is a facet of holistic education that fundamentally lies at the nexus of academic and extracurricular engagement. Taking multiple forms, it essentially deeper exploration into one’s areas of interest with curiosity and a growth mindset. A student may approach the process with a bottom-up approach, conducting research on a specific topic, starting an organization to expand their interest, or fundraising for a cause that matters to them.

Finally, moral and psychological attributes involve students debating on the ethical considerations (if any) of the academic or extracurricular material they consume. They must consider their role in the promotion of any ideologies, developing self-awareness and critical thought about the person they wish to be and how their actions and plans are aligned with it. It helps them develop analytical skills and cultivate a level of introspection that will allow them to tackle their future challenges with a structured approach. 

From the New Education Policy 2020 to the college requirements for the US, Canada and several other countries - all gravitate around holistic education. Moreover, companies of all industries now seek candidates with more than just specialised technical skills. They want the whole package, which can only be filled by a whole education. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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