2.2 – Outline the concept of holistic development

Traditional education is often passive and focusses on the memorisation of facts. Rarely is consideration given to the other, unique and ever changing, needs of the child.

Holistic development is based around the principle of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts and addresses all of the needs of a child’s life. These may include any combination of emotional, physical, relational, intellectual, creative and spiritual needs. Holistic development is slowly becoming more recognised through the popularisation and growth of some educational philosophies, such as the Montessori Method and Unschooling.


In holistic education the staff are not so much teachers in the traditional sense of disseminating information but are seen more as mentors or facilitators who support children’s self actualisation and self development. A commonly seen framework for planning holistically is the SPICES well being model. SPICES stands for Social, Physical, Intellectual, Character, Emotional and Spiritual.