Holistic Development for Students Meaning & Importance

Holistic Development for Students: Meaning & Importance

Holistic development aims at a child’s overall balanced development through age-appropriate educational experiences and pedagogies. In the present times, the world is changing at a speed like never before. And to succeed in this dynamic post-pandemic world, our young generations need a solid foundation to achieve overall success in life.  

Let’s take you through the most essential aspects of all-round development. And help you to excel in your role as a stakeholder.

Read on for a step by step information in this regard.

What is a Holistic Approach to Development?

We already know that the early childhood development period is crucial for the overall growth and development process. In fact, a child’s brain develops up to 80% between 0-3 years of age. And by the time the child is 5 years, 90% of the brain structure takes shape.

Holistic approach to development addresses and supports the individual’s well-being holistically. This includes one’s physical development in childhood along with all other aspects such as intellectual, emotional, social and aesthetic, etc.

What are the Five Aspects of Holistic Development?

Holistic development of students allows them to expand their social roles later in life. These include the following aspects:

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Intellectual
  4. Spiritual and
  5. Social

Here’s a quick look at some details about these aspects:

  • Physical – Physical development in childhood includes the development of fine and gross motor skills. Everyday activities support these aspects. And the development milestones follow with time.
  • Emotional– In human beings, emotional development determines the ability to identify, understand and manage varied emotions. These include anger, happiness, fear, sadness, surprise, etc.
  • Intellectual– The development of a child’s brain and its functioning is determined by the intellectual aspect.
  • Spiritual– This aspect helps children to develop a sense of spiritual identity. And it also supports their overall human development by nurturing qualities like empathy, compassion, universal brotherhood and kindness, etc.
  • Social – This aspect is imperative to help the child grow as a capable adult who collaborates with other members of society. This process starts with an expansion of the child’s social circle in childhood. And goes up to the stages of adulthood through numerous experiences. 
Five Aspects of Holistic Development

What is Holistic Development in Early Childhood?

Overall development in the early years of a child’s life means to focus on an educational strategy that covers all aspects of one’s personality. 

Do you know that these initial years of a child’s life create a roadmap for full-fledged brain functioning?

Here’s an interesting piece of information for you!

As per UNICEF, the first few years of a child’s life are very important. Because this stage leads to the creation of over 1 million neural connections each second. In the human brain, these neural connections are the basis of our memory consolidation process. And these are strengthened with every new information based on the recent patterns of activity.

The most interesting part is that this pace is never created in a human’s life again. So this clearly means that the holistic development of students in early childhood builds a foundation for one’s cognitive abilities.

Now that we have discussed the childhood part, let’s jump to some other advantages in the later stages.

Why is Holistic Development Important?

The human growth and development processes are quite complex to understand. However, after language development in childhood, the overall development affects many other areas of life/personality. These include:

  1. Resilience– This ability helps an individual to face setbacks or tough situations in life. Holistic development examples prove that children with well-rounded personalities tend to be more resilient in life.
  2. Skill-Building– In this digitally-driven world most of the job opportunities are based on skills first talent strategy. Clearly, our children need to be more future- ready. Because they will live in a world with increasing complexities.
  3. WellBeing- All round development also helps the child to be more self-aware, happy, and open to logical thinking patterns. All this supports one’s overall well-being. And it largely supports future success in every aspect of life.
  4. Confidence Level– An individual’s level of confidence also affects the general quality of life. Holistic development in education makes great value add to one’s confidence levels, thereby improving the chances of success.  
Why holistic development important

How to Support the Holistic Development of a Child?

Most of the holistic development examples can help us understand the ways of supporting our children in the crucial stages of their lives. As parents/stakeholders there are numerous ways of supporting our child’s all-round development. Some of these are as follows:

Nurture Thinking Abilities

Post the language development in childhood, you can expose your kid to a number of rich educational experiences. Help your child to learn through cognitively engaging experiences. And you can also enroll him/her in courses/programs offered by online schools for an enhanced immersive experience. Help the child to brainstorm, think out-of-the-box. And encourage open-ended questions to nurture design thinking.

Instill a love for learning

A lifelong learner enjoys learning at every stage. As parents, you must nurture this love for learning. Make learning fun for the child. Because this will help him/her to unfold the mind’s hidden possibilities through the power of intrinsic motivation. 

Identify Strengths

By far, we already know that child development does not aim at one-sided success in life. You must help your child to lead a fulfilling and happy life, by helping him/her to identify the individual strengths. This will add value to the child’s life. And help him/her to fulfill the aspirations later in adulthood.

Choose Appropriate Teaching Strategies

As a parent, you also need to focus on selecting the right teaching and environment that can go well with your child’s personality.  A parent and a traditional/online school teacher can set perfect holistic development examples. And support in the development of a child’s well-rounded personality. You can seek the support of the teaching institutions and collaborate with other stakeholders to create enriching experiences that can help your child’s overall development. Research proves that the use of effective teaching pedagogies affects learning outcomes positively. So make sure you select the best educational environment for your kid.

Support Transition Through Stages

Our children need to move beyond the limits of foundational skills. And attain proficiency in building knowledge to support their digitalized lifestyles. In this age and date, students need transferrable soft skills, advanced digital skills, and other job-specific skill sets to craft a promising future.

Holistic development in education is a tool to promote all this and more in a highly productive manner. In fact, it is the only way to help our kids across all stages of transition. And ensure educational attainment that leads to a fruitful life in adulthood.

Ways to instill holistic development

Example of a Holistic Activity

Parents and stakeholders can readily incorporate elements of everyday activities to create enriching experiences for kids. For instance, try to help your child develop thinking abilities, and socializing skills through a simple grocery shopping task. Ask your child to help an adult in creating a list of the items that need to be refilled in the house. Take the kid to a grocery outlet. And teach the right ways of enquiring about varied options to draw a price comparison. This task will teach the child the importance of planning tasks for the best results. And it will also help him/her learn the ways of collaborating or interacting with professionals to procure necessary details/information.  

Similarly, nature walks, games, and activities to cleanup a public place are also wonderful ways of promoting all-round development.

Challenges to Holistic Development of Students in India


In the recent past, the pandemic added to a long list of challenges faced by Indian students. As per a leading journal, 35.9% of students enrolled in classes 1 and 2 never had any physical classroom experience. Students who were enrolled in online schools could still establish teacher contact, and study seamlessly in these years. However, many traditional schools did not meet the right quality standards in the haphazard overnight transition to online classes during the virus outbreak. This transition has left a huge student population highly vulnerable. Because this weightage goes up to 36.8% in government and 33.6% in private schools.

Percentage of children without a physical classroom experience
Students in classes 1 and 2

Teacher Quality-

Indian students also struggle due to poor teacher quality and a shortage of trained teaching staff.


Our future generations need an educational standard that can help them to imbibe the right social values for adulthood. In India, most of the focus is on gross enrollment. However, this creates a lag in the quality of education cascaded to the students.

Concluding Words

The essence of holistic development in education goes beyond an individual’s life. And affects society in many ways. This level of education helps bring about a transformative social change. And this in turn improves the quality of life by being a driving force for sustainable development. Education is the most powerful tool in our hands to create the world that we want to see. But as stakeholders, we need to understand that holistic development in education goes way beyond the zeal to enter prestigious institutions.   

Thanks for Reading!

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Give an example of a holistic activity?
    Simple examples of a holistic activity are cooking, craft work, sensory play or shopping, etc.
  • What is the simplest holistic development meaning?
    Holistic or all round development means the development of all aspects lie social, physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and cognitive, etc.
  • What is the meaning of emotional development?
    Emotional development is the capacity to understand and manage emotions in all walks of life. 
  • What is the importance of language development in childhood?
    Language development is associated with several advantages in the long run. These include academic success, better social interactions, positive self-identity, good expression and understanding, etc.    

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