- What does it mean to educate the whole person? Do you consider your definition to apply globally or within a specific community?
I think that a whole person must be able to find a healthy balance among "work, love and play" (I think it comes from K. G. Jung but I might be wrong). Here I mean professional activity, relationships and things you simply enjoy doing (it's great if they have something to do with profession - makes life so much easier). I think this idea applies universally. Too bad I can't seem to find that equilibrium.
- What are the components of a holistic education? Feel free to share examples from "real life" education systems and places.
Our professor in Economics took us to uptown NYC schools to read to children. Does it have anything to do with economics? Not directly. But studying Economics of Education and forgetting what education is all about doesn't make sense. I lked the piece about teacher training in Finland - the fact that half of it happens at school. We also had something like this but unlike in Finland almost nobody wanted to be a teacher - hence motivation was close to zero.
- To what extent was "finding your North star" (Martha Beck) or realizing your "flow" (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) emphasized in your own upbringing? How did this impact who you are today?
All I can say is that I'm a direct opposite of what they tried to make of me within 10 years of my schooling. Funny, because I started as an exemplary student in a clean uniform and ended up a frustrated devil-may-care punk rocker in torn denim. When I went to university, my teachers were surprised because they thought I was on my way to prison. I was also surprised by respect my professors showed me because I'd gotten used to being treated like scum. It really changed me - I went to university just to escape the Army and was the only person out of the whole class who became a teacher (I started part-time while still being a student - in a country where teaching is dubbed a "female" job).
- How does the concept of "happiness" fit into "holistic education"?
If we agree that "happiness" is bigger and more complex than "comfort" it's an unalienable part of being "whole".
- How can you bring more holistic learning practices into your own life?
If you understand learning as a life-long process, you just do it. Be more attentive to what's going on around you, communicate with people, read - even subway ads give you something to think about. I think that eLearning is a very good development and it has a big future.
- What themes from this week's videos and/or readings really resonated with you?
I liked what H. Gardner wrote about holistic ed and its components (intelligencies). But again, what comes first? Of course - literacy and numeracy - same ol' blues all over. But then he places musical intelligence and it kinda makes it up for it. I only wonder how people who don't "feel" music are gonna develop it.