“Education is bringing out the best in man-body, soul and spirit.”
In every pace of our life, we have heard from everyone saying children to study well, get good marks so that you can become a wealthy person. Is education all about making a person wealthy or it is about bringing the best in a person and developing the personality? To realize what we want from education is really important. Thus, holistic development plays a major role when it comes to education.
What is holistic development?
Holistic development means the overall development of a person that is body, mind and spirit. This includes physical development, mental development, emotional development and social development.
Mahatma Gandhi in his ideology of education also talks about holistic development. According to him, education is comprehensive. It is the process of bringing out best in child and man. He believed that education has a close connection with socio-economic development. And its main aim is the development of one’s personality which includes character-building, discipline, attainment of peace, self-sufficiency and self-reliance.
Why holistic development is important?
The holistic development of children is important for the following reasons:
- Children develop a good personality.
- They become innovative in their work.
- Know how to deal with their problems.
- Children develop how to communicate with the world.
- They grow healthy.
- Recognize, control their own feelings and understand other’s emotions.
- Children develop the values of what is correct and what is wrong. It also helps them to analyse things before reacting to any situation.
- It helps the children work in cooperation and coordination that is, teamwork.
What is the best age for holistic development?
Scientifically it is proven that children learn quickly and adapt things faster in their early years which then further stays with them throughout their life. Thus, early age is considered to be a crucial age. So, this is the best time for teaching them about everything which helps them to develop their personality.
This holistic development can be ensured with the help of parents and teachers in the primary school.
What are the Components of holistic development?
The holistic development of children can be understood through its components. They are as follows:
Physical development includes children movement and exercise. This is important for health. It will help in proper circulation of blood in the body which will help the child’s brain to work actively. It refers to gross motor development and fine motor development. Gross motor development indicates the movement and growth of muscle through walking, running, jumping, climbing etc. Fine motor skills indicate the precise movement of fingers and hands for tying knots, writing and drawing. This component of holistic development also includes sensory development. Sensory development refers to the senses of taste, sight, touch, smell, hearing and balance through which the brain receives information.
To ensure this:
- Parents can take their children to park every evening to play, go on a picnic, ask them about the taste of food or about the smell of different things, or can show pictures of fruits or vegetables or even family photo and ask them ‘who they are?’
- Teachers can teach them how to draw and colour, play games in the playground- teach them to climb in money poles, play hide and seek, teach them cursive writing and much more.
Cognitive development is related to the child’s brain development which includes the understanding of different concepts, thinking on the concept, analysing, problem-solving and being responsive about their thoughts. It also includes the language and speech development of the child.
To ensure this:
- Parents can teach their children the mother language or secondary language like English through talking. You can also teach them how to deal with the problems when they have any fight with their friends, buy toys which will enhance their thinking process like puzzle boxes, show them informative cartoon shows, let them asks you questions about anything and try not to ignore their questions.
- Teachers after teaching can ask children if they understood the concept, teach them to be innovative and creative by giving them certain concepts like mountains, river, sky, trees and ask them to draw something which includes all of them. Play games by dividing them into groups, taking them to museums and asking them to prepare a speech on a particular topic like ‘family.’
Emotional development refers to expressing and understanding of the emotions. This will help the child to know about the emotions and how they feel. This also helps them to understand how others are feeling. It teaches the child to control their emotions like anger and aggressiveness.
To ensure this development:
- Parents can stick or hang emotions chart on the wall of the house, teach them by showing faces of happiness, sadness, anger; take them to play outside so that they interact with other children and recognize the emotions and will develop the concept of control of emotions like anger and aggressiveness. Show them your love, care, trust and honesty. Don’t lie to them.
- Teachers in the classroom and playground can teach about trust, honesty and punctuality through teaching them concepts like “honesty is the best policy”, through narrating stories.
Social development refers to social relationships. This helps them to build confidence and curiosity. This helps them to know and respect about various cultures and religions. This allows them to face the world by making them strong mentally.
To ensure this development:
- Parents can go on a trip or picnic with relatives, or organize a get-together or take their children to parties where they will learn about how to socialize with people, know about different cultures, and how to present themselves before others. Thus, learning is the only process. Teach them how to talk to other people, how to greet others, as well as about different things happening in the world.
- Teachers can teach them how to talk when the child meets a person for the first time like “Hello, how are you?” Teach them to work as a team and about cooperation by giving them a task and dividing them into groups.
Moral development refers to the development of the understanding of what is good and what is bad. Basically, it refers to manners. This helps them to build their self-esteem and know their self-respect. This builds their character.
To ensure this development:
- Parents can teach them about hygiene and good manners like respecting others, how to eat, help others by asking for help from them at home like passing on certain things to you; to not fight.
- Teachers can organize moral value classes every day or once in a week, teach them values through playing games and narrating stories.
Thus, it can be stated that education is not merely about getting good marks and being the topper in a class. It is about the all-round development of the child. Today the trend of seeing marks and hiring a person for a job has lost its relevance. Nowadays the skills of a person are taken into account. So, holistic development can be achieved at home and at primary school. This can be ensured with teaching through play. Children learn quickly when they are interested in what they are doing. Hence, it is important to understand what makes a child attracted to a certain work and what makes them interested in it. If there is a teacher-parent relationship then the development of the child is seen to be enhanced. It makes the child confident, build self-esteem which helps them to face the world filled with challenges. Thus, holistic development ensures the saying “simple living and high thinking.”