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Holistic Education and Teacher Training

  • Comenius-Institut, Muenster, Germany


The discussion about holistic education (HE) should focus on issues and consequences for teacher training. This is the red line of this chapter. If the paradigm of HE does not encourage and stimulate consequences in different fields of pedagogy and educational practice including teacher training, it is nothing more than a theoretical exercise. It should help to stimulate to change the perspective of teachers, their attitudes, their professional understanding, their understanding of learning and teaching towards the purpose of education that is to nurture human potential in as comprehensive sense. Standards of teacher training and quality of teaching are in the focus of the educational debate in many countries today. It is anew in discussion how school works, what basics of professional teaching are needed and what qualifications teachers should have. This chapter presents elements of holistic education that can be linked to teacher training. In the first part, some basic information about HE is presented. The second part introduces three main perspectives of approaches that include elements of HE represented by Parker Palmer and Paulo Freire, two well-know educators, and by Peter Senge who is known for his Fifth Discipline approach of organisational learning that has created great resonance also in the area of schooling. The chapter concludes with a summary and outlook.
Peter Schreiner
Educational Researcher
ICCS president
Finnish-Baltic Initiative – 2007
Holistic Education and Teacher Training
(revised version)
Paper delivered at Riga 3 October 2007
I. Introduction: Why do I deal with Holistic Education (HE)?
Introduction of myself
I work in an institute for educational research and development sponsored by
the Protestant churches in Germany, teacher associations as well as school
associations (Comenius-Institut, see: for more information).
Most of the projects I am involved with bring together European developments
in the fields of education, religious education, intercultural and interreligious
learning. There is increasing interest in comparative religious education as well
as in the influence of European developments and their impact for education
on the national or regional level. Existing European organizations and networks
for religious education and issues of church and education promote co-
operation and organize European exchange and dialogue through different
projects and activities. I like to mention among others the Intereuropean
Commission on Church and School and the Coordinating Group for Religion in
Education in Europe (see for more information). Other
projects deal with ecumenical learning as a main concern of church based
A holistic approach to education challenges practices and concepts that mainly
emphasize learning as a cognitive activity and policies that make economic
benefit the primary aim. This has been a concern and a starting process of a
holistic education study process of the World Council of Churches (1999-2005)
where I was involved. One of the outcomes of this project is a Holistic
Education Resource Book (Schreiner, Banev, Oxley, 2005).
The structure of my paper is:
1. Why holistic education?
2. Key terms of holistic education
3. Selected educational approaches
4. Perspectives for teacher training
A first reason for HE is because
We are creatures of both reason and emotion, mind and body, matter and
spirit (Riley-Taylor 2002, 67, italics in original).
This perspective is neglected by mainstream education that focuses primarily
on the cognitive dimension and on a narrow concept of rationality.
The Holistic Education Resource Book starts with an article that gives reasons
and answers why we need holistic education. The arguments can be summa-
rised as follows:
Because we need to engage the whole person.
Because we need to engage whole persons in community.
Because there are many ways of learning and knowing.
Because however specialized our knowledge may be we need to see it
in a whole context.
Because wholeness is the essence of Christian faith.
Because the work of the ecumenical movement is for wholeness.
Because we need to learn to live together in wholeness.
With my paper I try to give some substance to these statements.
HE is a movement of developing alternative educational theory and praxis on
the following background:
- Modern education inducts young people into the culture of modernity.
Holistic education questions some of the basic presupposition of mo-
- The debate about holistic education takes place in a world where
knowledge and ways of knowing become increasingly fragmented.
- It takes place in a world where education is demanded by economy and
politics to prepare labour force and citizens that fit into the needs of a
more and more globalized world. In a world where employment
becomes more and more a luxury and where working places are cut off
even when earnings of multinationals become very high. Those who
defend this ridiculous development often use the argument of the
dynamics of international competition to give reason for that kind of
policy. This puts also high pressure on education. Education and
training should serve the needs of economy. Life opportunities, seen
from an economic perspective, are created by knowing a lot about a
small area of knowledge.
- Education concentrates on a particular form of intellectual knowledge,
however many national curricula promote the development of the
whole person, mention personal, spiritual and religious concerns
In summarizing HE is about:
1. a critique of modern education;
2. promoting a comprehensive understanding of knowing, teaching and
3. affirming spirituality as being the core of life and hence central to
When we look through the number of books about HE we recognize the
following titles:
Holistic Education is about
Seeking wholeness (Miller, 2000)
Educating the soul (Palmer, 1993, 1998)
Nourishing spirituality (Riley-Taylor, 2004)
Pedagogy of universal love (Nava, 2001)
Yearning for whole communities (Oldenski & Carlson, 2002)
A journey for a more holistic understanding of education (Palmer, 1993,
These are ambitious titles and approaches to education. A common charac-
teristic of all these approaches is that they are more process or journey oriented
than to reach a specific objective.
II. Key terms of Holistic Education
(1) Interconnectedness or the human search for connectedness.
The broader context of HE is based on the philosophical and epistemological
concept of holism. Holism is an alternative, critical worldview that sees all
phenomena, all existence as intrinsically interrelated.
The butterfly effect is well known: The wing beat of a butterfly in China (or
elsewhere) can create a thunderstorm in Europe. (Edward Lorenz 1963). What
has been stated for phenomena in metereology has been used to characterize
effects of complex systems concerning to chaos theory. In different academic
disciplines, theories and approaches, the search for a more holistic or inte-
grated view can be found as a new and recent initiative. Examples: physical
science, systems theory, ecology, depth psychology and philosophy have given
new ways to express the awesome wholeness of reality (Ron Miller).
A holistic understanding has been expressed in the language of religion and
theology until the mid-twentieth century. And the yearning for wholeness is
still a central image of religions that aim to transform reality.
Interconnectedness can refer to the whole person, wholeness in community, in
society or in the world.
(2) Spirituality affirming spirituality as being the core of life and hence
central to education.
Holistic Educators take account of an inner core that lies beyond the physical,
social, and other sources of personality. This can be called the spiritual. One
example is the research of David Hay & Rebecca Nye about spirituality of
children. They speak of Relational Consciousness to characterize that young
children have an unusual level of awareness or perceptiveness. Their spiritual
talk referred to how children related to reality; either to God, other people,
themselves or the material world.
Theories and approaches Spirituality can be seen from very different
perspectives. It should not be taken as an utterly mystical or other-world
We should be aware of the different potentially conflicting spiritual traditions
that range from an autonomous self-spirituality focused on shared human
believes to spirituality that is the developing relationship of the individual,
within community and tradition, to that which is of ultimate concern, ultimate
value and ultimate truth (cf. Andrew Wright).
(3) From either/or thinking to both/and thinking
The either/or thinking, a dualistic perception of reality is dominant in what we
call the western thinking based on Aristotles logic and Descartes
subject/object split
(1) An example in social science is the approach of Ulrich Beck, a well known
German sociologist, who has developed an approach to sociology that analyses
developments in the so called second or reflective modernity. Main elements
are the theory of risk society, forced individualization and multi-dimensional
globalization. Beck sees these phenomenons combined as a radical form or
dynamic of modernity that no longer can be described by a logic of either-or
when it comes to society and politics. His approach aims to overcome the
dominant binary thinking, the exclusive either-or-logic and substitute it by an
inclusive both-and-logic that overcomes the chains of national oriented
thinking. He names his approach the cosmopolitan view that acknowledges the
otherness of the other but also of us (Beck, 2004a, 2000b, 2007).
(2) Helmut Reich (physicist and social scientist) has developed a theory of
Relational and Contextual Reasoning as a way of thinking. His approach offers a
solution of a cognitive conflict when one seeks to bring together two or more
competing theories. Reichs empirical studies show that we are able to connect
two or more competing theories about the same phenomenon (Reich 2002).
We are able to think in a complementary way f.e. combining a religious and a
scientific world view. Instead of a binary logic either or, Reich speaks of a way
of thinking that elucidates the relations of the partial theories with the
explanandum and with each other as well as the details of the context
dependence. He speaks of a trivalent logic of relational and contextual reason-
ing: two statements about the same explanandum are either compatible (both
true concurrently), incompatible (never both true simultaneously) or non-
compatible (not compatible simultaneously, but one is true in one context
respectively at one point in time, the other is true in a different context or in a
different time.) RCR is situated, if one may say so, between dialectical and
analogical thinking and shares some features with each.
Reichs theory illustrates what Niels Bohr (1885 1962), physicist and Nobel
Prize winner, one of the giants in the development of Quantum Mechanics, has
stated the principle of complementarity:
The opposite of a true statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a
profound truth can be another profound truth.
This quote defines a concept that is essential to thinking the world together
the concept of paradox. If we want to know what is essential, we must stop
thinking the world into pieces and start thinking it together again.
Holistic education aims to see the dimensions of the world interconnected.
Bringing things together: the Four quadrants of Ken Wilber
Let me introduce to you briefly another perspective that supports inter-
connectedness of things. The American philosopher Ken Wilber has developed
an integral approach that he named A Theory of Everything. A theory of
human consciousness and its evolution.
With spirit Wilber names the animating and unifying force and intelligence of
the universe that humans may know in many ways, for instance, through love,
recognition of the commonality of the other, or through mystical experience.
As part of his approach Wilber provides a model for an integral orientation to
the various fields of human knowledge. This is called the 4 quadrants approach,
it can be named also as four kinds of truth. Wilber differentiates four areas:
Exterior-Individual empirical investigation and explanation of what is out
there; observation and measurement; the objective world
Exterior- social considering interacting systems out there
Interior- individual awareness is turned inward, we find the world of
subjective experience, consciousness, and meaning.
Interior- Cultural The subjective world of the individual exists within and is
influenced by culture.
Wilber favours a multidimensional approach to truth and tries the integration
of science and spirituality, including western as well as eastern theories and
philosophies, including the interior and the exterior.
Could we create an educational practice that regularly moves in and out of
these different perspectives? A multidimensional approach to truth tells us that
the world is not just a singular it to be measured, as scientism and reduc-
tionism have led us to believe, but that it also exists as a system and social
structure, as individual subjective experience, and as cultural patterns. (Hart,
2007, 61)
A holistic perspective means recognizing that no one view can take in the
whole picture. Multiple and integrated perspectives are essential in the
approach to knowledge.
In short Wilbers analysis of the history of science shows that in all these
quadrants, in all these four large camps major schools of thought and theories
have been developed. Each of these four quadrants has its own particular
type of truth or validity claim. Each of these quadrants is described in a
different language. The existence of these different subjective and objectivistic,
empirical, systems approaches is not the problem for Wilber.
The problem starts when it comes to any kind of reductionism or exclusivist
view. Wilbers critique deals especially with the aggressive attempt by modern
science to completely reduce the entire Cosmos to a bunch if its. That is, the
I and we domains have been almost entirely colonized by the it-domains,
by scientific materialism, positivism, behaviorism, empiricism, and objectivistic-
exterior approaches in general. (The Eye of Spirit, 1997, 21) He argues for a
comprehensive scientific approach that integrates intentional, behavioural,
cultural, and social aspects of the human being.
(4) Transformation (versus transmission)
Transformation is one of the major aims for holistic education. It is often used in
opposite to transmission.
In a pedagogical context the Dutch colleagues Wim Wardekker and Siebren
Miedema (2001) use these terms to characterize two models of education.
Foundational for the transmission concept is the existence of the ontological
subject-object split. There is an objective world of meanings and facts that the
developing pupils needs to master. The teacher is the mediator of the knowl-
edge that needs to be transferred to the pupils. It should enable them to take
part in society. The model rests on a specific view of knowledge as repre-
sentation. Those elements of culture that are more in the realm of emotions
and affects tend to be excluded from the curriculum as such.
In the transformative view of education, the acquisition of knowledge and
skills, and of norms and values as modes of being, knowing, feeling and acting
is not taken in the dualistic subject-object way but in a holistic or transactional
way. Learning is defined as the growing capacity or the growing competence
of students to participate in culturally structured practice. The idea of dialogue
and participation is fundamental. The core aspect of the learning process is not
the transmission of knowledge, skills, values and norms but rather the
transformation of these in to a heuristic base for acting.
III. Selected Educational Approaches
Paulo Freire Critical Dialogue
Brazilian educator (1921 1997), 10th anniversary of his death on 2nd of May this
year, well known all over the world, 27 honorary PhDs from universities all over
the world. Freire served also for ten years as an advisor of the Wold Council of
Churches education department. He is well known for his approach of
alphabetization and his sharp analysis of mainstream pedagogy.
Some of his books became very popular all over the world: Pedagogy of the
Oppressed, Education for Critical Consciousness and later on: Pedagogy of Hope
and Pedagogy of the Heart. It is important to mention that Paulo Freires
approach does not stand for a specific method. Freire was always critical
against any uncritical adaptation of his approach in a different context. He has
always encouraged educators that they look at themselves as a man or a
woman living and producing in a specific society. He invites learners to come
out of the apathy and the conformism akin to be dismissed from life, as they
often find themselves. Freire challenges them to understand that they are
themselves the makers of culture. This has led him to an approach to enable
learners to decode their reality, to find out about the general issues in their
context aiming at social transformation.
Freires broad and deep understanding of education, taking its political nature
at the core of its concerns, has been shaped by the following main principles:
1) Dialogue: One of his main principles of education. Dialogue is changing
teachers and learners. Teachers become teacher-learners and learners become
learner-teachers. Raising questions together becomes more important than to
share ready-made answers.
2) Praxis (spiralling of action and reflection). Freires approach has been
developed through praxis, action and reflection about action that leads to a
further development of action etc.
3) Conscientization. The development of consciousness is the central focus of
Freires pedagogy. The learner is seen as a subject with active meaning-making
capacities and the capacity to re-name his/her context. This brings in a radical
political dimension in education; Freire was committed to a pedagogy of
liberation from inhuman living conditions.
4) Lived experience is more important than theoretical thinking
5) Christian sources have influenced his approach but also other approaches
and philosophies like phenomenology, Marxism, and concepts of social
One of the well known images Freire has used to characterize mainstream
education is the banking concept of education. By banking concept Freire
means that the teacher puts deposits on an account (the learner) with the
hope that this will bear fruits. He is using this metaphor to characterize the
dominant transmission mode of education and to develop an alternative
approach to education that promotes transformation, liberation, and change.
Education for critical consciousness has been his main focus to encourage a
reading of the world especially of those that are oppressed and under-
privileged. Freire speaks of teacher-learner and learner-teacher to charac-
terize a dialogue oriented method in education. Later he explored this as
follows: The teacher learns through teaching, the learner teaches through
learning. In his latest books and articles Freire has published the books
Pedagogy of the Heart and a Pedagogy of Autonomy that has been trans-
lated in the American version into Pedagogy of Freedom (Freire 1998). In
these books Freire deals a lot with the situation of the teacher and their com-
petences. Some of the features he argues for are:
Knowing how to listen
Openness to dialogue
Caring for the students.
In Germany we have just published two books with texts of Paulo Freire
representing also the development of his pedagogy ranging the period from
1970 to 1997. The two titles we are: (1) Oppression and Liberation (1970 1989)
and (2) Education and Hope (1989-1998). A third volume is on its way:
Pedagogy of Autonomy, Freires last book, the first edition in German language,
in Brazil 750.000 copies. A central focus is on situation of the teacher.
Parker Palmer Education as a spiritual journey
Parker J. Palmer works independently on issues in education, community,
spirituality and social change and lives in Wisconsin, USA. He offers workshops,
lectures and retreats, author of teacher formation programmes. Most of his
books deal with the inner life of teachers and how to create communities of
Palmer starts his approach from the pain experienced by many educators. He
highlights the pain of disconnection: Disconnection from colleagues, students
and their hearts.
Parker J Palmer states that the world of education is filled with broken
- We separate head from heart. Result: minds that do not know how to
feel and hearts that do not know how to think.
- We separate facts from feelings. Result: bloodless facts that make the
world distant and remote and ignorant emotions that reduce truth to
how one feels today.
- We separate theory from practice. Result: theories that have little to do
with life and practice that is uniformed by understanding.
- We separate teaching from learning. Result: teachers who talk but do
not listen and students who listen but do not talk. (Palmer, 1998, 66)
If this is the situation we are dealing with as teachers, the task might then be:
how do we develop paradoxical thinking? Paradoxical thinking means to
embrace a view of the world in which opposites are joined, so we can see the
world clearly and can see it whole.
An ongoing task might be: How do we overcome either-or thinking and create
both-and thinking? How do we bring things together?
Holistic education works for a more integrated view:
One of his first books, first published in 1983, has the title: To Know as We are
Known. Education as a spiritual journey (1993). His understanding of spirituality
as a decisive element of teaching and learning is critical against a spirituality of
ends which wants to dictate the desirable outcomes of education in the life of
the student.
It uses the spiritual tradition as a template against which the ideas, beliefs, and
behaviours of the student are to be measured. () Authentic spirituality does
not dictate where we must go, but trusts that any path walked with integrity
will take us to a place of knowledge. Such a spirituality encourages us to
welcome diversity and conflict, to tolerate ambiguity, and the embrace
paradox. (1993, xi)
Palmer encourages us to look beyond modes of knowledge that are either
inspired purely by curiosity or by a desire to control. He argues that another
kind of knowledge is open to us, one that begins in a different passion and is
drawn to other ends. (1998:8). This knowledge originates in compassion or
love. The goal from knowledge arising from love is the re-unification and re-
construction of broken selves and worlds. Palmers guiding idea of teaching is
to create a space where the community of truth is practiced.
For Parker Palmer teaching and learning require a community that can help
renew and express the capacity for connectedness at the heart of authentic
education. (1998, 89
In his books he presents several models of community in education that give
flesh to this image. Palmer states:
The community of truth is an image of knowing that embraces both the great
web of being on which all things depend and the fact that our knowing of
those things is helped, not hindered, by our being enmeshed in that web. (99)
Peter Senge 5th discipline approach learning organization
Peter Senge is Senior Lecturer at Massachusetts Institute for Technology MIT,
founder of the Society for Organizational Learning; He has developed the Fifth
discipline approach for learning in organizations and beyond, for practicing and
aspiring managers and leaders. Senges concern is to identify how inter-
ventions can be made to turn organizations into learning organizations.
According to Peter Senge (1990: 3) learning organizations are:
“…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the
results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are
nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are
continually learning to see the whole together.
Organizations need to discover how to tap peoples commitment and capacity
to learn at all levels
For Peter Senge, real learning gets to the heart of what it is to be human. We
become able to re-create ourselves. This applies to both individuals and
organizations. Thus, for a learning organization it is not enough to survive.
‘”Survival learning or what is more often termed adaptive learning is im-
portant indeed it is necessary. But for a learning organization, adaptive
learning must be joined by generative learning, learning that enhances our
capacity to create (Senge 1990:14).
What does Senge say about possible change? He states: People don't resist
change. They resist being changed!
The dimension that distinguishes learning from more traditional organizations
is the mastery of certain basic disciplines or component technologies. The five
that Peter Senge identifies are said to be converging to innovate learning
organizations. They are:
Systems thinking – the conceptual cornerstone of the learning orga-
nization; people learn to better understanding interdependency and
change and thereby are able to deal more effectively with the forces
that shape the consequences of their actions. We tend to focus on the
parts rather than seeing the whole, and to fail to see organization as a
dynamic process. Thus, Senge’s argument runs, a better appreciation of
systems will lead to more appropriate action.
Personal mastery -‘Organizations learn only through individuals who
learn. Individual learning does not guarantee organizational learning.
But without it no organizational learning occurs’ (Senge 1990:139).
Personal mastery is the discipline of ‘continually clarifying and
deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing
patience, and of seeing reality objectively’ (ibid.: 7). It goes beyond
competence and skills, although it involves them. It goes beyond
spiritual opening, although it involves spiritual growth (ibid.: 141).
Mastery is seen as a special kind of proficiency. It is not about domin-
ance, but rather about calling. Vision is vocation rather than simply just
a good idea.
Mental models – This discipline of reflection refers to ‘deeply ingrained
assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures and images that in-
fluence how we understand the world and how we take action (Senge
1990:8). The repertoire we rely on. Awareness of attitudes and per-
ceptions. Part of our task is to become self-reflective of these mental
models, to expose our own thinking and making it open to the influence
of others.
Building shared vision – this is decisive for any kind of organization, to
hold a share picture of the future. Such a vision has the power to
encourage experimentation and innovation.
Team learning – such learning is viewed as ‘the process of aligning and
developing the capacities of a team to create the results its members
truly desire’ (Senge 1990:236). It builds on personal mastery and shared
vision- but these are not enough. People need to be able to act
These five disciplines provide a general scaffold for learning organizations that
Senge and his collaborators have enriched by a number of methods, exercises
and exchange of experiences how these can be used in different organizations,
including schools.
Senge adds to this recognition that people are agents, able to act upon the
structures and systems of which they are a part. All the disciplines are, in this
way, concerned with a shift of mind from seeing parts to seeing wholes, from
seeing people as helpless reactors to seeing them as active participants in
shaping their reality, from reacting to the present to creating the future (Senge
1990: 69).
One of the resource books of the 5th discipline network has the title Schools
that learn. A Fieldbook for Educators, parents and everyone who cares about
education (2000). This volume of 580 pages mainly uses the five disciplines I
have introduced and works through examples how in the classroom, in schools
and in community these principles were adapted in specific contexts.
On page 4 at the very beginning of the book you find the following quote:
Children always need safe places to for learning. They will always need
launching pads from which to follow their curiosity into the larger world. And
they will always need places to make the transition from their childhood homes
to the larger society of peers and adults. (4)
Schools that learn involve everyone in the system in expressing their aspira-
tions, building their awareness, and developing their capabilities together. All
schools, and their situations, are unique and require their own unique
combination of theories, tools, and methods for learning.
Tobin Hart Pedagogy of Depth
Tobin Hart, professor of psychology, University of West Georgia: (Hart 2007)
Toward an Integrative Spiritual Pedagogy, one example out of many that tries
to integrate a spiritual dimension into education. Hart argues for a pedagogy of
depth and presents a map of different layers that can guide learning and
teaching. He sees the transmission of information not as a goal of education
but as a starting point for moving into the depth of this information rather than
to move on to other information. When we dive in a little deeper, subject and
Self open and both have the potential to be transformed. (1149)
In this map, information is given its rightful place as currency for the
educational exchange. Information can then open up into knowledge,
where direct experience often brings together the bits of information
into patterned wholes involving mastery and skill. Knowledge then
opens the possibility of cultivating intelligence, which can cut, shape,
and create information and involves a dialectic of the intuitive and the
analytic. This is followed by the layer of understanding that takes us
beyond the power of intelligence to see through the eye of the heart.
Understanding, then, contrasts and balances objectivism and offers a
way of knowing that serves character and community. Education then
has the possibility for cultivating wisdom, which sees from a greater
height and blends insight into what is true with an ethic of what is right.
Finally the depths lead to the possibility of creative transformation
changing both the known and the knower and generating new
information to be explored. (1151)
Hart is using a map to characterize a possible series of developmental changes
that occur in a single thought, feeling or during a lesson. Each layer represents
an expansion of knowing which in turn reveals more of the subject.
The Currency of Information. Education gathers around information but
amidst a deluge of information what is the appropriate function of
information for the educational endeavour and how should teachers
and students hold and handle it?
Mastering the Puzzle of Knowledge. Having knowledge means holding
together the puzzle of information. It implies the basic ability to use
The Power of Intelligence. Intelligence shapes and creates knowledge;
intelligence uses knowledge, judgement overtakes mere opinion. The
activity of intelligence is multifaceted and operates as dialectic of the
intuitive and the analytic.
The Heart of Understanding. While conventional education is dominated
by objectivism, understanding requires a fundamental shift in the
process of knowing. Referring to Martin Buber who said that all real
living is meeting Hart states that understanding comes when we
empathize with the other or understanding is learning to see through
the eye of the heart.
The Eye of Wisdom. Wisdom is an activity rather than a static entity to be
accumulated. Wisdom has been described as involving capacities for
empathy, self-knowledge, listening, comfort with ambiguity, a tendency
to de-automatize thought routines, and movement beyond conceptual
limits. (1157)
The Paradox of Transformation. To transform means to go beyond
current form. Transformation is both an outcome and a process; it is the
push and the pulse that dives self-organization and self-transcendence.
As a conclusion, Hart states that spiritual education involves a curriculum of
inner significances as well as one of outer information.
When the heart of the discipline and our own hearts and minds are plumbed,
information then serves its rightful place as a currency for learning, knowledge
brings an economy of interaction, understanding opens the heart, wisdom
balances heart and head leading us to insight and right action, and
transformation culminates this deepening spiral as it enjoins us with the force
of creation and communion. (1161)
These three approaches from Paulo Freire, Parker Palmer and Peter Senge have
a different context and are developed in different times. They share a critical
perception of knowledge and they appreciate the active meaning-making
capacity of all involved in a teaching-learning-process. They have also in com-
mon the believe that education is a valuable instrument for transformation,
that it can make things better.
As a conclusion for teacher trai8ning of my presentation so far I offer you 5
points for further reflection:
VI. Perspectives for teacher training
- Recognize different modes of knowledge and appreciate them
- Science and religion as complementary
- Develop Self-reflectiveness, listen to the inner teacher
- Understanding and service as main features of teaching
- Appreciating the children and students and their active meaning-
making capacity
- Striving for the better
My final remark is that any approach to education should reflect the situation
and the right of the child for education, for religion and religious education.
I have brought with me a poem of Janusz Korczak, Polish doctor, poet and edu-
cator, director of a childrens home who died with his children in the concen-
tration camp of Treblinka in 1942 about Childrens Rights:
You have the right to be respected like an adult.
You have the right to be like you are
You do not have to disguise yourself and be like adults want you to be
You have the right of the present day,
each day of your life belongs to you, to nobody else.
You child, are not in the process to become a human being, you are a
human being.
And my last point is a quote of Martin Luther who said: When you see a child,
you have caught God red-handed.
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... Literature Review Higher education administrators are becoming increasingly conscientious of the intersection between students' academic pursuits and personal development. Subsequently, a holistic care approach evaluates the higher education experience as a comprehensive endeavor integrating physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of humanity (Forbes, 2003;Miller, 2006;Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000;Schreiner, 2009;Schreiner, Banev, & Oxley, 2005;Weight, Navarro, Huffman, & Smith-Ryan, 2014;). Given an increased emphasis on health from a 360-degree perspective, college student development models are evolving to be inclusive of wellness beyond mere physical health so as to enhance the overall educational experience (Watson & Kissinger, 2007). ...
... Stated educational outcomes included a mix of personal development (time management, self-confidence, commitment, performance under pressure, accountability, and growth through adversity), and citizenship (teamwork, leadership, and respect for others). These are concepts difficult to teach, but fundamental to holistic student development (Forbes, 2003;Miller, 2006;Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000;Schreiner, 2009;Schreiner, Banev, & Oxley, 2005). These educational benefits support and build upon much of the previous literature on education through athletics (e.g. ...
... enhanced time management, self-discipline, and leadership skills) (Adler & Adler, 1991;Astin, 1993;Bowen & Levin, 2003;Chalfin et al., 2015;Howard-Hamilton & Sina, 2001;Long & Caudill, 1991;Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005;Rishe, 2003;Umbach et al., 2006;Weight et al., 2014). Based on this research, we may add to the list of probable educational benefits: enhanced body awareness, health literacy, and healthfundamental elements of a holistic educational approach which evaluates the education experience as a comprehensive endeavor integrating physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of humanity preparing students for success in life (Forbes, 2003;Miller, 2006;Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000;Schreiner, 2009;Schreiner, Banev, & Oxley, 2005;Singer, 2008;Videon, 2002;Weight et al., 2014;. ...
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The purpose of this research was to examine select psychological (body awareness), educational (health, nutrition, and injury recovery knowledge) and physiological (height, weight, BMI, and body fat percentage) variables within a sample of university students (n = 914) and varsity athletes (n = 435) at three “Power 5” NCAA Division I institutions in an effort to explore the legitimacy of competitive athletics as a holistic educational endeavor worthy of fulfilling the mission of higher education. Data analysis revealed some support for Kolb’s experiential learning theory, with athletes demonstrating significantly greater nutrition, health, injury knowledge, and body awareness than non-athletes (p < 0.01), though mean scores for both groups revealed limited knowledge. Athletes demonstrated overall superior health and lower susceptibility to future metabolic risk factors than their active non-athlete classmates as demonstrated by a significantly lower body fat percentage despite having higher BMI values. Despite a lack of structured traditional education, it appears that athletes are gaining knowledge and engaging in practices critical to holistic development. Practitioners must determine how to further cultivate these benefits through structured education for athletes and non-athletes.
... En términos de educación musical, los «resultados» son mucho más amplios e inclusivos que a lo que solemos referirnos cuando usamos esa expresión: "Incluyen las identidades de las personas, individual y social, relaciones de poder e influencias políticas, y su disposición o resistencia hacia la música en sus v i d a s f u e r a d e l a e s c u e l a y m á s a l l á d e s u s estudios" (Bowman, 2009, p. 10). En este contexto se insertan propuestas de formación de profesorado como la educación holística (Schreiner, 2009), el fomento del espíritu crítico de la pedagogía yuxtaposicional (Heuser, 2014), las aplicaciones de la pedagogía crítica a la enseñanza/aprendizaje musical (Abrahams, 2005) o el cambio en las concepciones y creencias (Pozo y Pérez Echeverría, 2009;Pozo y otros, 2006). ...
... práctica críticas reflexiva un papel activo en la búsqueda constante de un mundo mejor (Schreiner, 2009), y de una enseñanza de valores como la justicia ya desde la escuela, ya desde el conservatorio. ...
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En este trabajo se hace una revisión del concepto «educación» con base en su red nomológica a partir de los trabajos de Esteve (1979, 1983, 2010). El objeto de la red es comenzar a delimitar las claves lingüísticas básicas alrededor del término «educación» a partir de la pedagogía y ser conscientes de sus consecuencias que tanto condicionan el proceso educativo. A partir de los métodos activos de enseñanza musical como principales referentes de la pedagogía musical moderna, y algunos rasgos característicos de la enseñanza musical formal, se configura la difusa red nomológica en la educación musical. Se constata su difícil compatibilidad con la red de «educación» dadas las inmensas imprecisiones terminológicas en el área, derivadas de la gran distancia todavía existente entre la música y la ciencia educativa. Se presenta un planteamiento (Bowman, 2002, 2009, 2012) que puede implementar la red genérica de educación en el contexto musical mediante un enfoque educativo más inclusivo basado en valores como inicio de un camino que, por un lado, convierta a los profesionales de la enseñanza musical en verdaderos profesionales de la educación y produzca personas con sentido crítico implicadas en la sociedad para construir una vida mejor.
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The study of meditation in educational settings comes with questions about how best to teach it in the unique climates of colleges and universities (Shapiro et al., 2008, p.36). A systematic review of the existing literature by Ergas and Hadar (2019) suggests that previous empirical attempts have been complex and disparate, with the inquiry thus far addressing the subject matter in either one of the two following ways: (i) mindfulness in education, which consists mostly of "outsourced, secularized interventions aimed at improved mental-physical health, social-emotional learning and cognitive functions", or alternatively, (ii) mindfulness as education, "which is a is a less common yet more transformative approach, manifesting in contemplative pedagogy in higher education and sporadic whole-school implementations" (Ergas & Hadar, 2019, p. 86). To address the concerns of the research project, we drew from the frame of mindfulness as education to explore the potential value of using mindfulness-based interventions as a means to integrate a holistic philosophy in pre-service teacher education. This focus was driven by the presumptive capacity of the contemplative practice to facilitate the achievement of holistic education (HE) goals, specifically as it pertains to enhancing the education of the 'whole person', general wellbeing, and the development of specific dispositional skills fundamental to the learning and teaching process, for example attention, introspection, critical and creative thinking, to name a few. HE distinguishes itself from other frameworks for education as it draws from primordial Western and Asian cultural discourse in order to embed within the education process, a spiritual, or affective, perspective (Miller et al., 2012). In this regard, HE has been broadly described as an educational approach that maintains a fundamental objective of fostering the development of the 'whole person'. The 'whole', as Miller (1990) puts it, includes the intellectual, emotional, physical, social, aesthetic, and-in a secular sense-spiritual. Grounded in the perennial philosophy, spirituality is an embedded component of the holistic philosophy, and therefore it is the tenet which fundamentally guides the practices and philosophy of HE.
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This article presents an overview of the American ecofeminist movement in 1993. Areas considered are the historical background of ecofeminist perceptions and ideas, dualistic thinking in Western philosophy and culture, ecofeminist critiques of environmental philosophy, the debate with the Deep Ecology theorists, political analysis and engagement, and the spiritual dimension of ecofeminism.
Every Child Matters is a major change programme aimed at integrating all services for children and young people in England. It seeks to enable a new holistic approach to their care and so improve a number of outcomes for children, thus improving their overall well‐being. Every Child Matters seeks to address the rights of the child to improved life chances but also their right to a voice in decisions made about their care. Although Every Child Matters seeks to improve a number of outcomes for children, it makes no mention of their spiritual well‐being. This article examines Every Child Matters ' holistic approach and discusses in some detail its attempt to put into practice the right of children and young people to have their voices listened to and their opinions valued. The article points to the absence of any specific reference to children's spirituality in Every Child Matters , and asks whether its holistic approach and its recognition of children's right to be heard are sufficient to address children's and young people's spiritual rights, particularly in education.