Expert Article

How to Promote Holistic Development in Children

  • 20 April 2022

A child’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative, and spiritual potential unfolds with a holistic perspective in education. A holistic approach encourages personal and collective responsibility by engaging students in the teaching and learning process. This approach let students engage in projects that apply critical-thinking skills toward solving real-world problems. In line with this, educational models and teacher strategies are integral to promote holistic development in children such as:

Hands-on Experience: Schools focused on experiential learning provide hands-on educational experiences. Students work in groups exploring different learning styles to determine which styles are most effective for them. Holistic, experiential techniques often include problem-solving exercises to address community problems or create innovative products.

Self – Guided Learning: Teachers allow students to learn at their own pace in the style that best suits them. The self-guided culture allows for personalization to mitigate the inadequacies of one learning model. Curriculum’s content and pace are regulated by low stakes assessments. Classrooms may be smaller and contain students of different ages and ability levels.

Schools as community: Schools are based on the idea that people find meaning through connections with their surroundings. Teachers partner with community members, including families, residents, organizations, and officials, to provide integrated support and expanded learning opportunities. Schools are a hub of the community bringing together academic, social, development, and engagement activities.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Cognitive growth is improved when multiple subjects are addressed together. Some schools are creating integrated programs where teachers from different disciplines come together to teach thematic courses that address issues from multiple perspectives. Coursework might also include independent research, travel, fieldwork, and internships.

Strong Student-Teacher Bond: When teachers are able to form strong bonds with students, performance and engagement is positively impacted. Allowing students to help develop classroom rules and take on leadership roles helps encourage trust and communication among students and enhances their motivation to succeed.

Encouraging Self-Confidence: Students need to believe that they belong at school and have the ability to succeed. Teachers must recognize students’ unique strengths and treat all students equally. Student motivation can be enhanced by making sure that lessons are relevant to students’ lives and focus on realistic issues.

Incorporating Emotional Reflection: As a teacher, it’s not always easy to look beyond academic performance to nurture the mental and emotional well-being of a child. Lessons to teach empathy could focus on effective listening and observation techniques or literature that presents varying perspectives on social issues.

With the changing times, we look for holistic and effective development of skills and talents along with academic excellence. A holistic curriculum enables teachers to recognize students’ unique strengths and treats them all equally. It provides a supportive learning environment and caters to individual learning styles. Students have a better chance of emerging with self-awareness, confidence, and a sense of social responsibility. Students are taught to reflect on their actions and how they impact the global and local community and thus contributing positively to the future of the world.

Being one of the best IB schools in Bengaluru, Oakridge provides these educational models and teaching strategies  for its students.

Ms.Radha,

Language & Literature Facilitator – MYP

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