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What Does Holistic Education Mean & Why is it Important for Children?

“Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein.

COVID-19 has surely brought in a major transformation in the educational landscape across the world. But even before the pandemic brought in the changes, educationists globally had already begun to transition towards a different, more inclusive form of knowledge impartation. The focus here is more on the holistic development of young minds and not merely on their academic development.

In fact, if you see, the way the competition is rising in almost every sphere of life, it won’t be possible for the kids to stand out from the crowd on the basis of merely their theoretical know-how. They would instead need a lot more in terms of problem-solving ability, decision-making ability, leadership skills, etc., to thrive and grow. This is why holistic education that not only teaches children academic lessons but also how to think is indeed the need of the hour.

For us at The Navyandhra School, one of the top ten schools in Gurgaon, ‘Beyond Academics’ has always been an integral part of our vision for children. We believe that only when we extend learning outside of classrooms and books and give it a framework of holistic education, we provide children the platform to grow into critical thinkers and well-rounded humans.

So today, let us take a closer insight into what exactly holistic education is all about and why you should indeed consider this for your child.

What is Holistic Education?

Holistic education aims at prepping up the young minds to address their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. It is built on the principles of wholeness and is a framework that fosters inter-connected learning.

At the core, it is experiential learning, i.e., learning by examples and activity, and imparts knowledge beyond books and the classroom itself.  Unlike traditional education that focuses on facts and knowledge alone, holistic education prepares children to tackle all kinds of worldly issues.

As one of the top ten schools in Gurgaon, we, at The Navyandhra School, focus on imparting our students with self-awareness, empathy, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and much more as a part of our holistic education framework. And we feel proud of the fact that our holistic education framework has benefitted our pupils in more ways than one by helping them grow well-balanced – mentally, socially, emotionally, and of course, academically.

How does the holistic education framework benefit the learners?

Book-based learning can get you good grades, but it is not enough to make you prudent citizens. How a child sees himself and the world around him starts very early in his life. While traditional, assessment-centric education doesn’t leave this aspect out completely, the focus is more on grades. With holistic learning, it is a completely different scenario. Some of the most significant benefits of holistic learning are –

  • Fosters connection between all aspects of life

As mentioned, holistic learning sees a student as a whole individual with emotional, mental, societal, and physical enrichment needs.  As such, challenging even one aspect of their lives may lead to major developmental issues going forward. This is where holistic education plays a pivotal role by employing innovative pedagogy to exercise a child’s body, mind, and soul.

As a result, children who study according to the holistic learning framework are better equipped to face different challenges that come their way after finishing school. Since this framework involves physical activities, children enjoy learning more and retain information longer. No wonder, leading schools across the world, including ours, lay special emphasis on integrating sports, extra-curricular activities, and hands-on learning into the academic curriculum to ensure the all-round enrichment of children.

  • Enables children to find relevance between learning and their personal experiences

For all kids who do not like a particular subject, the most common reason is that they cannot visualize or find its relevance in their own lives and thus get bored. Holistic learning addresses this concern wonderfully by creating unique and personalized learning experiences so that a child understands a concept and not just memorizes the facts. When children are able to relate the concepts they are taught at school with something they have seen or experienced, they naturally attain a better understanding of things, and this ultimately leads to improved academics.

  • Creates a conduit between home and school

Studies reveal that children spend over 13% of their time awake in schools, making it more like their second home. However, for effective learning, there should be a synchronization between home and school. If parents are not actively involved in their child’s education, they cannot provide the guidance their children need. Holistic education encourages active involvement by not just parents but the entire community. In addition, the holistic learning framework takes education outside the classroom and into the everyday lives of students, which makes it even more engaging and hands-on for the children to learn and grow.

  • Encourages metacognitive thinking, creativity, and curiosity

Holistic learning strategies encourage children to think and not just memorize. When children learn via practical sessions, art and craft, sports, and other fun activities, they naturally learn more. That’s because experiential learning removes chances of brain fatigue and instills curiosity and critical thinking in children. Besides, it has been seen that children who receive holistic education become emotionally more secure, happy, and positive. They are better able to exercise logic and reasoning in everyday situations.

How does the ‘Beyond Academics’ framework at The Navyandhra School encourage holistic development of children?

  • It provides ample opportunities for the all-round development of our students, which is not limited to but is rather far beyond academics.
  • Our state-of-the-art extra-curricular facilities like dance rooms, music rooms, debate clubs, etc., make learning fun and engaging for children.
  • Our unique after-school clubs encourage children to hone their other soft skills like communication, logical thinking, teamwork, etc.
  • Our regular teacher training programs help keep our faculty at the top of their game and at par with international holistic learning frameworks.
  • As part of the framework, we encourage parents to be active participants in the learning process of their kids.

Summing Up

Amidst all the chaos and the worries of COVID-19, one thing that came out very strong is that a person’s character and willpower help determine how he/she reacts to situations. And ideally, character-building starts early in life and is as important as getting good grades. It, in fact, is the core of holistic development, which helps to ensure that children grow strong not only academically but also morally, physically, and intellectually. This is exactly the aim of the education framework and pedagogy that we, at The Navyandhra School, one among the top ten schools in Gurgaon, have adopted and implemented for grooming the young buds at our school, and it has been fetching us excellent results in terms of better student outcomes.

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