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Full citations are also missing throughout. Please help improve this article if you can. Holistic education is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace.
Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning. The term holistic education is often used to refer to the more democratic and humanistic types of alternative education. Robin Ann Martin described this further by stating, “At its most general level, what distinguishes holistic education from other forms of education are its goals, its attention to experiential learning, and the significance that it places on relationships and primary human values within the learning environment.
Holism in general is the idea that all the properties of a given system in any field of study cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its component parts. Instead, the system as a whole determines how its parts behave. A holistic way of thinking tries to encompass and integrate multiple layers of meaning and experience rather than defining human possibilities narrowly.
It is difficult to map the history of holistic education because many feel that the core ideas of holism are not new but “timeless and found in the sense of wholeness in humanity’s religious impetus”. On the other hand, the roots of holistic education can be traced back to several major contributors. Originating theorists include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, Johann Pestalozzi, Friedrich Fröbel, and Francisco Ferrer.