Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 4, 2013

Holistic Education

In some countries, some people are clamoring for a holistic education. They complain that some children develop narrow outlooks because of their focus on a mere handful of subjects. Their expectation is that the more subjects the children are exposed to, the more holistic they will become. From this, we can draw two conclusions.

Possibility 1. Some kids focus on just a few subjects and they become narrow in outlooks, lack perspectives or become un-holistic. Let's call such kids FEW-UNHO.

Possibility 2. Some kids get exposed to many subjects and they become broad in outlooks, gain perspectives or grow holistic. Let's call such kids MANY-HO.

Then, Janadas Devan points out that a bit of many things --- "a bit of maths, a bit of art, a bit of civics, a bit of sports, et cetera" --- won't make kids holitstic. This gives us another possibility:

Possibility 3. Some kids do many subjects but still stay un-holistic. Let's call such kids MANY-UNHO.

Let me summarize what we have seen so far:


The missing possibility is

Possibility 4. FEW-HO. Some person does only one or two key subjects/disciplines. Still s/he is broad in outlook, well-rounded, integrative in thinking, etc. Can there be such a person?

By extension, can we say that being HO or UNHO has little to do with how many subjects or disciplines a person studies at school?

For instance, at different stages of my life, I focused exclusively on one subject or discipline. I can't reacall how that made me un-holistic at that stage of my life. I may be un-holistic for many other reasons but not for this exclusive focus.

e.g. In literature, any author must be studied in context: historical, political, social, schools, etc .
e.g. In linguistics, we are supposed to know and see relationships with mother disciplines.
e.g. In computer science, we need to see contexts and relations with other disciplines, integration issues, platform choices, eclectic methodologies of development, etc.
e.g. In MBA, the same holds true.
Big problems can have small solutions. Small solutions can have big impacts.

Liberal Arts Education

This, I may write later.

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