How to analyze and implement holistic education in schools

In this article, I am discussing some important points about holistic education. Every child can learn in a joyful manner and also retain information for a longer period. Is it implemented in an effective way in schools is discussed here.

If you recall the old days you spent in school, you can never forget about your exams conducted in school. But can you recall all the chapters taught in school now? We probably can remember a few chapters from every subject, such as plants, environment, human body, water cycle in science, landforms, climate and weather, seasons, etc. in social science, etc. In mathematics, we can only remember some basic concepts that we use in our day-to-day lives. Why are we not able to remember so many chapters we learned through hardship then? Perhaps we only memorized the other chapters because we could not understand them easily. We simply memorized some difficult chapters because we could not emotionally integrate with the subject. On the other hand, we can never forget some interesting stories we learned in school, such as 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Hare and the Tortoise, 'Wizard and the Vox', etc. These stories were heart-touching, and we can often compare these stories with life's reality. If we have disobeyed our parents, we always remember the story 'Little Red Riding Hood'. Similarly, many people cannot recall concepts of electricity such as electromagnetic waves, direct current, alternating current, etc. However, if we had watched videos about the flow of electromagnetic waves or any form of current, then we would understand the theory of electromagnetic waves or electricity dynamism easily. So, holistic education is about integrating a student with a subject. It is a type of education that aims to stimulate the intellectual, emotional, psychomotor, and sensory senses of an individual.

What is holistic education

As the word holistic implies 'integration of different forces in our body such as physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual', so holistic education simply means the application of different intrinsic forces to study different subjects and chapters. So, schools providing holistic education to students focus on experiential learning to build a passion for learning. Such schools are also conducting activity-based programs to teach students different concepts. It simply means learning concepts subconsciously so we can never forget them throughout our lives.

How to implement holistic education in school effectively?

Good Infrastructure

A school should purchase some essential tools for learning, such as LCDs, computers, and smartboards, to teach some difficult concepts. Many students can easily grasp concepts through video demonstrations. They can provide plentiful toys to elementary-school students, such as magic slates, molding clays and shapes, building blocks to improve motor skills, etc. Playing such games, they can learn numeric concepts as they learn to count while playing joyfully. Using clay, they can learn to form letters and carve alphabets using shapes in the sand. Schools providing elementary education should preferably construct a sand pit. The school laboratories should be well-equipped with the best apparatus to demonstrate various experiments to the students.

Teachers' attitude

To teach students holistically, a teacher should be patient and show enthusiasm toward students. A teacher should not encourage rote learning by merely providing notes and insisting that the students study for the exams. The New Education Policy 2020 aims to provide holistic education to students, and the role of a teacher is significant. A teacher should always teach a student heartily, aiming to shower sacred knowledge upon the child. The role of a teacher is to use creativity and innovative ways of teaching and to encourage creativity among students. A teacher cannot always use tools to make teaching effective, but she should ensure a student is able to understand the concept. To teach concepts such as "saving our environment', the school can arrange for different activities. They can encourage students to plant trees on the premises and also explain how the plants can release oxygen into the atmosphere. They can also show how many vehicles can release harmful elements into the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, thus polluting the atmosphere. They can organize dramas by providing different role plays to the students to explain the ways to save the environment.

arent's attitude

Teachers cannot conduct many activities in school as they are overwhelmed with several responsibilities. So, parents should also share responsibilities with a teacher. As holistic education aims to stimulate the senses of an individual and not just memorize questions and answers, Every student learns the concepts at different paces. So, if your child is learning at a slower pace, then do take the initiative to teach your child. Use different innovative ways to teach your child, as you can best identify your child's learning pattern. Parents should encourage children to learn at their own pace.

Effective Communication

Teachers should openly communicate with students and parents, providing comprehensive feedback. The relationship between a teacher and parents should be cordial to discuss a child's progress at every step. The teacher should consider different points while providing feedback to the parents, such as level of comprehension, integrity towards the subject, application of knowledge in real life, etc. By identifying the problems, parents can accordingly take steps. Does the child require a special tutor to learn any subject?

Limitations of holistic education

Schools in rural areas

Some schools located in rural areas do not have the infrastructure to provide proper training to their students. Even students are not provided with proper benches and desks. They cannot teach students through video demonstrations or by providing any tools.

All parents are not educated

Even parents play an important role in every step of a student's life. They cannot understand the meaning of holistic education and, hence, cannot provide effective guidance to the student. If a student is not able to understand a particular concept, then they should know how to employ the five senses to teach effectively.

Teachers may be pressurized

The role of a teacher is enormous in implementing better holistic practices in school. A teacher may not be able to provide such in-depth attention to more than fifty students in the class.

Ways to overcome barriers

Teachers and parents to change attitude

Every school cannot provide the best infrastructure for its students. If a teacher is strong-willed and aims to provide quality education to every child, then they can surely implement best practices. Even without tools, teachers can use the best methods to teach students. For example, if you remember your early days, your grannies taught you to count the number of days of the month using your knuckles. The first month is January, and you should consider your pinky finger's knuckle to be 31 days. Similarly, February is counted as the depression, and it is 28 days. Then, consequently, count from March to December. The knuckles are considered 31 and the depressions are considered 30. Some nursery rhymes, such as 'Five Little Ducks' or 'Five Little Monkeys," etc., teach us to count backward. So, even parents should have a strong will to teach children using the best methods.

Good sense of organization

A teacher may not be able to provide attention to fifty pupils at once. So, if a teacher is organizing games for teaching, then they can choose 25 pupils in a day.


Author: Arvind Kuril20 May 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 9

My Opinion On 'Analyzing and Implementing Holistic Education in Schools'.

Holistic education aims to nurture the overall development of students, encompassing their intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and creative aspects. It goes beyond traditional academic subjects and focuses on cultivating well-rounded individuals equipped with essential life skills. Analyzing and implementing holistic education in schools requires a comprehensive approach that considers various factors. Here is my opinion on the matter, supported by real examples:

Curriculum Design:

Schools need to re-evaluate their curriculum to ensure a holistic approach. This includes incorporating subjects like arts, physical education and life skills alongside core academic disciplines. For instance, a school could introduce project-based learning, where students work collaboratively on real-world problems, integrating multiple subjects. This encourages critical thinking, creativity and teamwork.

Real Example: The Waldorf Education system follows a holistic approach by emphasizing artistic expression, outdoor activities and practical skills alongside academic subjects.

Individualized Learning:

Recognizing that each student is unique, schools should adopt individualized learning strategies. This involves understanding students' strengths, interests and learning styles to tailor instruction accordingly. By providing personalized learning opportunities, schools can address the specific needs and aspirations of students.

Real Example: Montessori education emphasizes individualized learning, allowing students to learn at their own pace and follow their interests. This approach promotes self-motivation, independence, and a love for learning.

Holistic Assessment:

Moving away from purely exam-oriented assessments, schools should implement a variety of assessment methods to evaluate different aspects of students' development. Assessments could include portfolios, presentations, projects and self-reflection activities, which assess not only academic knowledge but also skills, character development, and emotional intelligence.

Real Example: High Tech High in San Diego, USA, focuses on project-based assessments where students present their work to a panel of experts, encouraging real-world application of knowledge and skills.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL):

This can be achieved through dedicated SEL programs, mindfulness practices, and fostering a positive and inclusive school culture.

Real Example: The RULER approach developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence equips students with emotional intelligence skills, supporting their overall well-being and interpersonal relationships.

Community Engagement:

Holistic education extends beyond the school premises. Schools should actively involve parents, local communities, and organizations to create a supportive learning ecosystem. Collaborations with community partners can provide students with practical experiences, mentorship, and exposure to diverse perspectives.

Real Example: The Big Picture Learning model partners with local businesses and organizations to provide internships, apprenticeships, and real-world learning experiences.

In conclusion, analyzing and implementing holistic education in schools requires a shift in mindset, curriculum design, assessment methods and community engagement.

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