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  • Holisitic Approach... The meaning?

    Hi everyone.

    Ive just started working in my first child care centre. There is alot of talk about me learning about the EYLF, im a little confused about it. But was wondering what does 'holistic approach' mean to you? Is it making sure you value the child as a whole and are inclusive in the workplace?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Hello jr21, start with reading the Belonging Being and Becoming document and the Educators Guide - those will give you definitions and lots more information, especially around the Principles and Practices - but you are on the right track with your understanding already. Keep the child in mind - that unique person - with all their different aspects - the 5 Learning Outcomes encourages this - and all the different characteristics they bring with them - their abilities, strengths, interests, experiences, family, community and cultural identity, and needs as well, but all viewed through relationships and a range of different contexts - hope this has helped. Good luck with your new job!

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    • #3
      Page 4 of the EYLF (not the educators guide booklet) under the practice section

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      • #4
        Hello jr21. Holistic approach to me means developing the whole child in ideal ways at ideal times. And of a lot depends on each individual's understanding of what a human being is, and how that individual grows from childhood to adulthood. For example, one carer or teacher will approach a child differently if they believe the child to be a tabula rasa - a blank slate onto which curriculum might be imposed. Teaching/caring might involve a lot of input, and the mind might become the focus of development. Another person might see the child a having soul and or spirit and want to educate not just the head (seat of the mind to some), but the heart (soul) and body as well. Whether we like it or not our idea of what a child is; what a life is and how it develops, will influence what we do. So holistic means different things depending on your point of view and your knowledge of the child. Good luck with your valuable work

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        • #5
          As everyone’s already said being holistic means looking at the “whole child” but that doesn’t necessarily explain much! I think it means seeing the ways in which children’s learning and development are interconnected and that while it can sometimes be helpful for us to break learning or development up into categories (such as cognitive, physical, social emotional or, with the eylf in mind, the outcomes) that’s not actually how it usually happens – we have to remember to put it back to together again. Learning in one area rarely stays within the lines and usually results in learning flowing into other areas too.

          If we are used to thinking purely in terms of categories that can seem inconvenient and messy but in actual fact learning is often more effective when it is holistic and crosses developmental domains or curriculum areas. Complex experiences that combine many different kinds of learning (think of something like cooking or an ongoing project) are usually more effective and interesting learning experiences than if we tried to cover the same learning in a series of individual stand alone experiences. To use the cooking example again think of a cake and then of all the ingredients that go into it – which would you rather eat? The cake is the holistic experience, it combines the ingredients to make a whole that is more than the sum of its parts; the ingredients by themselves are the individual aspects of learning – we could eat them separately if we wanted to but they’re not usually so appetising by themselves…

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          • #6
            The development of the whole child is important if we want children to be successful adults. Focusing on all areas of a child also lets us see ares of development that may need support or which may need extending. A child who is academic may not have good social skills. Social skills are important to our happiness and ability to work with others.

            A holistic approach is needed for future success!

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            • #7
              Another way of putting it... growing up children strong in mind, body and spirit!

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              • #8
                To me holistic approach is about the child and more.....the parents, extended family, the educators, the owners of the centre, the environment of the centre and surrounds, the local community and what it has to offer and what we can offer it. All of these things are very important when looking at the child. How these things affect and influence the child, helping them to be rounded in all areas - their strengths, weaknesses likes and dislikes are all part of looking at the whole child. I like catherines body mind and spirit analagy.

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                • #9
                  Yes, Ausgirl, we often overlook the mind, body, spirit holistic approach which is mentioned in the EYLF (p. 14) and your ideas about gaining broader perspectives about the child from others who know them in the centre, the community, their extended family etc are important. Also asking the child who they think they are and what they know and can do and their interests etc can help us to know them well and to open our eyes to new ways of knowing them. And we have to be knowable to the child too as it is not just one way. ....I like the idea that Brooker speaks about ---the 'infinite attention' we give to each other.

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