Holistic development refers to a philosophy of education. The philosophy calls for an expansion of modern education to include emotional and spiritual aspects. It has a focus on overcoming obstacles and forming self-confidence. Holistic educators hope to prepare children to face the challenges of the modern world. The philosophy may help children to learn academics more quickly and with more interest.
Since public schooling began, there have been a number of concerned parties who have expressed feelings of disappointment with public education. One of those concerned parties was Johann Pestalozzi, a Swiss humanitarian known as one of the fathers of holistic education. His philosophies suggested a reform in education to include spirituality and psychological development. In the 1970s, holism became known as a new perspective with a significant following. In 1988, John P. Miller published a book titled “The Holistic Curriculum.”
A few things that young children need to learn, according to Holistic-Education.net, include emotional literacy and resilience. Holistic-Education.net says proper development of these aspects help children with health and self-esteem. Holistic education focuses on developing a child’s sense of self and ability to form and maintain relationships.
Holistic education involves the cultivating of a child’s sense of wonder about the world. Holistic-Education.net says holistic educators believe children will find personal identity through connections with the community, nature and moral principles. The curriculum focuses on interacting with the environment and exploring the sense that you are “whole” with the universe.
Holistic educators hope to capture a child’s attention and hold it through appealing to their sense of awe. They believe traditional forms of education lie at the roots of modern problems. Through holistic education, children learn more than simple academic subjects. They develop social skills, explore who they are and learn a respect for the earth.
Many diverse learning techniques are applied. Flexible pacing allows children to learn at their own speed. Holistic educators realize each child learns differently, and try to mold educational efforts to each child’s needs.
Michaelyn Erickson has been writing since 2005 and has been published regularly in a variety of northwest publications. She has written a science fiction novel and is now working on a children's book series. Michaelyn attends Evergreen State College where she is pursuing a degree in sustainable living.