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A Guide to Holistic Development for Students

30 September,2022  |  By Brainwonders

"Our bodies and each system within should be treated as a whole, not as a collection of its parts. Holistic Health addresses the mind, body, and spirit.

 It searches for the underlying symptoms, rather than simply covering them up with medications, and it allows you to be HEALTHY".

~ Michael Adams

What Michael Adams said about holistic development is more relevant in the present era because most people consider working only on one or two aspects of their life, neglecting the rest.

Even for students, striving for academic excellence can no longer ensure success and happiness in life and career. The educational curriculum must emphasize in such a way that it helps every child to find their potential. For this, understanding and applying the concept of holistic development is of primary importance.

I have been continuously speaking about holistic development, and a flurry of questions, such as its meaning, importance in a student's life, etc., might be rushing through your mind. So, here is a comprehensive read that sounds up Holistic development in students, addressing all your concerns.

Let's start by understanding.

What is holistic development, and what is its importance in a student's life?

In the simplest terms, holistic development in English means a person's social, emotional, physical, mental, and intellectual growth. Fusing this term in education changes its meaning to focus on the complete development of a child's growth, not just academic advancements.

It aims at the development of abilities physically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. All these abilities are co-dependent on each other. For example, a child responds to a teacher's scolding by feeling the sensation (biological), understanding the motive (cognitive), and reacting accordingly (socio-emotional).

Physical abilities include:
  • Development of gross skills: Gross skills include movement of muscles which help in many fundamental movement patterns, such as walking, running, jumping, throwing, etc.
  • Development of psychomotor skills: Psychomotor skill involves the relationship between cognitive functions and physical movements in tasks such as driving a car, typing, playing the trombone, etc.

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Intellectual and Cognitive abilities include:
  • Development of abilities to learn from information and experience includes learning from previous data, etc.
  • Development of abstract thinking abilities: it involves understanding non-verbal concepts.
  • Development of comprehensive abilities: involves understanding of written and verbal information.
  • Developing critical thinking abilities: involves reasoning and examining concepts, ideas, problems, and issues.
  • Development of logical and analytical thinking abilities: involves analyzing reasons behind situations and understanding the causes behind an event or crisis.
  • Developing problem-solving abilities: involves solving problems using a wide range of concepts to find an accurate solution.
The emotional development of ability includes:
  • Developing intrapersonal abilities: involves understanding one's strengths, weaknesses, and self-belief.
  • Developing interpersonal skills: involves understanding other people's emotions, communicating, and building relations with them.
  • Development of empathy means identifying another person's thoughts, feelings, or emotional state.
  • Development of social competencies: involves interacting and coordinating with others while working on group projects.
Social development of ability includes:

It involves the skills of persuasion, active listening, delegation, and stewardship, among others. The person lacking this skill can cause awkwardness. 

Social skills facilitate interaction and communication with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication, such as speech, facial expressions, gestures, and body language.

Eight social skills which must be taught to kids either by their parents or by their teachers include:

  • Sharing
  • Listening
  • Following directions
  • Collaborating and cooperating
  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Respecting boundaries
  • Positivity

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Why is Holistic Development Important?

.Holistic development is essential because of the following reasons:

  • With holistic development in mind, a child can be seen as a whole, which means that no aspect of their learning and development goes unaddressed.
  • The holistic approach is child-oriented, as every child is born differently and acquires different skills throughout their lives. So, adults working with children should know the milestones set during the learning process.
  • The holistic approach supports and focuses on children's overall well-being. Practically it means that their social, emotional, physical, and intellectual Health is considered.
  • A focus on holistic development builds the child's confidence. 
  • A holistic education encourages children's active participation.
  • When their holistic development is considered, children come to understand big concepts instead of just minute details emphasizing holistic classroom development.
  • A holistic education motivates children because it combines playfulness and learning.
  • An education with holistic development in mind broadens children's worldview.
  • A holistic approach allows children to interact with others and understand their differences.
  • A holistic approach allows children to develop good quality.

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What is the best age for holistic development?

It has been proven that children learn quickly and adapt themselves faster to different conditions in their juvenile phase. Thus, early age is considered the best time to teach them about everything that will help them develop their personality.

4 Influential ways to develop a Holistic Development and Development function:

1. Create a learning and development strategy: 

Every process commences with setting a clearly defined and understood strategy, as it sets the mission and vision of the future. It establishes a charter that covers all areas of development, including the detail of the program set, which provides the training, who will manage the function, etc., and then communicates with the organization.

2. Enable continuous learning:

Providing an environment cultivates the mindset of students where they not only have a strong desire to become better but also share their achievements with their peers. Teachers and parents must develop behaviors of rewarding the students when they accomplish a task to motivate them for further achievements.

3. Align with talent management:

Learning and development must go hand in hand with talent management. Teachers must lay out a framework of training designed according to every student's demands, which will help them to advance in their lives.

4. Monitor and measure effectiveness:

 By measuring and evaluating, teachers can find out whether the set strategies are working for their students or if the curriculum needs some re-evaluation. For the analysis of changes, some checkpoints are used by the teachers, such as:

  1. Diagnostic testing (asking questions to find out what points the student knows and what points need more emphasis before starting the actual learning process)
  2. Formative testing ( gauging out information learned by students during the lessons to understand the retaining capacity of their mind), etc.
Critical elements in holistic development:

A child's holistic development is incomplete until every aspect of a child's personality development is not considered. Thus, targeting holistic development may require you to keep the following points in mind:

  1. Cognitive:

Cognitive development means how children think and figure things out. It is related to the development of the brain, which in other terms, means that it is the development of problem-solving skills and dispositions. Cognitive development begins as soon as the child is born and can distinguish various sounds at six months. As parents, you can promote the cognitive development of your child by interacting daily with them in the following ways;

  • Talking with baby and naming commonly used objects
  • Singing and reading storybooks to your baby.
  • Exposing your child to books and puzzles

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  1. Language:

Language development begins with sounds and gestures, followed by childish babbles, words, and sentences. Language development is an integral part of upbringing. Development of the brain takes place rapidly in children, so it becomes essential to teach them how they speak before they turn five years of age.

  1. Social-Emotional Development:

Social-emotional development of a child includes the expression and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive relations with others. Infants express, experience, and perceive emotions before they fully understand them. In an attempt to learn their feelings, children develop skills that connect them with their peers, teachers, and communities, which helps them to improve their interaction; they become capable of identifying their feelings and can accurately read what others feel and relate to them.

These childhood interactions lay the foundation of their future interactions, and those children who can effectively suppress their negative emotions, such as anger, stress, jealousy, etc., are bound to have better job opportunities in the future.

  1. Physical:

Physical development is one of the critical domains of everyone from the infant to adult stage. It relates to growth and skills in the body, including the brain, muscles, and senses. They are filled with beast energy which is necessary for neural connections, required for overall holistic growth. Parents, teachers, and caretakers must encourage toddlers to develop gross and fine motor skills, keeping their security in mind. When they feel secure, they can use their brains, muscles, and senses to explore the world around them. Moreover, the development of physical bodies keeps them healthy and fit and strengthens their immune system.

Sagacious competence in holistic development:

Sagacious competence means having the ability to sound good judgments. It encompasses the following points:

  • Freedom (in the psychological sense)
  • Good decision (self-governance)
  • Meta-learning (each student learns in their "own way")
  • Social ability (more than just learning social skills)
  • Refining Values (development of character)
  • Self-knowledge (emotional development)
Conclusion:

On encircling all the points, it can be concluded that holistic development far outweighs the single-sided approach toward academic excellence. An education system helps a child to understand his emotions simultaneously with the knowledge of building healthy and functional relationships with others. 

This type of system can boost the morale of students, which motivates them to achieve greater heights in the future.

Parents must seek expert guidance before subscribing to unclear methods of developing their children. Not all children respond to similar procedures, and even if it may prove beneficial for one aspect, others might end up getting harmed. 

So, having a specialist by your side is better than risking it all on a whim. You can find the best of all experts on one platform, i.e., Brainwonders, which has specialized counselors trained to provide you with the most helpful advice and unblock the mental barriers you have laid upon yourself. 

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