It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult.
The word holistic is very often used today especially in the context of school education, in most schools, you will find this word as one of the main aims of the school-“to develop a holistic personality in the child.”
What exactly does this word mean? What do schools mean by holistic development?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word “holistic” means relating to the whole of something instead of just its parts. So holistic development of a child pertains to the all-around development of the child. In other words a comprehensive, all-encompassing building up of a child’s skills and abilities.
Today’s parents want their child to be –
Can this be achieved and if so, how? It is possible to develop all these in a child, provided the correct options are given for growth and for acquiring new skills, But the question also arises –Are all these talents & skills very necessary or should parents focus on what is really important for the child?
When we talk of Holistic Development it has 5 important aspects, namely – Physical, Emotional, Social, Spiritual, and Intellectual.
In other words, children are taught to be physically strong & healthy to be emotionally well balanced, to accept and meet challenges in life with confidence, to develop skills in all areas and to be academically bright.
Let’s look into each of these aspects.
Intellectual ability is the learning they acquire in a school, how to gather facts and information, how to develop abstract thinking, critical –thinking, problem–solving skills, how to comprehend written and verbal content. In other words becoming a scholar, a learner.
Physical ability is developing a fit and healthy body, development of gross motor and psycho-motor skills in younger kids and also developing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, team building etc.
Emotional ability is the development of intrapersonal and inter-personal skills, understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses, facing challenges of life with courage and equanimity.
Social ability is the development of co-operation, communication with others, understanding and building relationships, showing empathy & concern for others in the society.
What is the advantage of this kind of development?
The children who grow up to be competent individuals, with fewer behavioral problems, develop greater self-confidence are tough physically and mentally and can handle conflicts and life situations in a better manner.
How is this achieved?
Intellectual – by focusing on teaching the curriculum in a modern and wholesome manner.
Physical – by making the children participate in sports and games regularly.
Emotional – By arranging events, trips, discussions etc which call for showing greater inter-personal skills.
Social – by giving students and opportunity to plan, execute various cultural events and programs which call for empathy and concern for others.
Spiritual – by making them participate in celebrations and festivals, which helps them imbibe the spirit of tolerance and religious feeling.
Thus the word “holistic” is definitely a word that brings out the “wholesomeness’ of the child and is responsible for building up a child’s character and life.