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How Holistic Is Our Education?

Conventionally, the syllabus of an educational institute will consist primarily of languages, sciences, social sciences and mathematics. Research found that such an educational template chiefly panders to children who are born with logical and/or linguistic intelligence. Majority of schools will follow a concrete curriculum of these subjects at primary and pre-primary levels, hence laying a strong foundation for the future. While many may feel this is optimal, there is a deficiency in our education system.

Diversity In Intellect:

World renowned developmental psychologist Howard Gardner proposes that there is more than one type of intelligence. According to his theory, there are actually nine different types of intelligences- Naturalist, Musical, Logical, Existential, Interpersonal, Kinesthetic, Linguistic, Intra-personal and Spatial. All this goes to show is that our current structure of education still remains far from ‘holistic.’ There are little to no resources in the current curriculum to encompass adequate learning for children who are born with other forms of intelligence. Taking dance as the benchmark, here’s how the current curriculum is deficient for someone who is born with kinesthetic intelligence.

Want For Truly Holistic Curriculums:

A child born with kinesthetic intelligence, when enrolled into a school, is made to study with methods better suited to children who have linguistic and logical intelligences. While the child is subjected to a strong, graded and fine curriculum for other subjects when it comes to something like dance, a subject of his interest there is no graded or concrete curriculum to lay a foundation for him. Studies indicate that the maximum window of opportunity to build a base of motor skills in children is only until they attain the age of 8. After which progress becomes highly staggered. Most educational institutes focus mainly on creating a strong footing of theoretical and analytical knowledge by this age which is unfair to kinesthetically gifted children.

The Simple Fix:

The easiest way we can mend the current drawback is by implementing a few easy changes.

  1. A concrete, codified curriculum needs to be set, just as there is for all other subjects. One that is comprehensive and that does not change with a change in the teacher.
  2. Teacher training must be focused on. The same way teachers are required to receive professional training before taking up a job teaching a subject, the same must be followed for dance. Only then will it be successfully inculcated into the curriculum.

The primary objective of making any of these changes is to move one step closer to making our education system truly holistic.  Not only that but also to make sure every student reaches his/her full potential in a field of their choice. While this may seem trivial to some, the actual gravity can be observed in the real world. Most individuals who get into traditional careers often find themselves frustrated and burnt out after pursuing it for some years. This is usually because their choice of field is ill-suited to their natural intelligence, but they never received and opportunity to completely harness it. This is the core reason why our education system needs to be changed for the better, so that everyone can be enabled to lead a happy, fulfilled life.

By swarapatel

Program Director at Agile Kids.
Co-Founder Rhythmus HappyFeet, Bombay Ballet Company, Bloomville Early Learning Centre.
Head of Orchids International Schools Performing Art Division from 2017 - 19 with 35 schools under her purview.
MBA, Dance educationalist, Member of the International Dance Council, Dance Therapist certified BY CDI France and CMTAI, Kinesthetic Teaching Expert & a performing artist.
Trained at Danceworx in Jazz and Ballet.
Was an official contestant in DID super mom (A reality dance show on ZeeTV)

2 replies on “How Holistic Is Our Education?”

Dance produces happy hormones in the human body. The more we are happy the better our life becomes. A happy mind is active and successful. Dance has a special place in social culture, celebrations, events, ceremonies, and even prayers and worship, for example, the Natraja or Shiva’s Tandava. It is the most honest form of expression of emotion. It most certainly deserves a suitable place in the education curriculum.

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