“Wholistic” curriculum is an age-old convention that has given us our dominant approach to learning. It separates and divides all curriculums into subject/parts, with the rational/analytical faculties serving a scientific paradigm, in which all knowledge is derived from measuring, comparing and differentiating.
Thinking in Wholes
Today transpersonal psychologists and others believe that it is the intuitive faculty that allows us to think in wholes. The mind naturally wants to grasp the larger picture, to make associations through image-perception and to recognize patterns that are connecting disparate elements. In its formal development this is being called the systems approach or the systems model following from General Systems Theory. We are beginning to ask if it is not the fragmented qualities we see pervading modern culture and often our very lives, which has come out of this habit or bias of breaking everything into parts.
In these critical times when so much is in the balance for us in North America and for the planet as a whole, it seems vital that we educate our children to understand the world by grasping the whole picture. This can be acheived by continually sensing our connectedness rather than our differences. This mode of whole-brain learning can be fostered when the teaching methodology is approached from a “wholistic”, web-centered, theme-based mindset.