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A holistic approach to early childhood education: An exploratory study of a holistic approach to early childhood education in India
Södertörn University, Teacher Education.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to explore the idea and method of holistic education and if traces of these can be found in four preschool teachers’ statements about their practices in two private preschools located in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Working holistically is something which UNESCO (Marope & Kaga, 2015) recommends when it comes to early childhood care and education. In a developing country like India primary education is important to growth and development. It is one of the main sustainable development goals and early childhood education is considered a means to reach this goal. This study aims to provide some insight into what a holistic approach to early childhood education can entail.

In this study I have explored literature to gain a theoretical knowledge of the idea and working methods of holistic education through a literature review. I then conducted a qualitative interview study where I traced the ideas and methods found in the literature in four preschool teachers’ statements about their practices to gain an understanding of what ideas and methods found in a preschool setting can be considered to lead to holistic outcomes. The results show that the idea and methods of holistic education, as I understand it through the literature review, were evident in the teachers’ statements to various extent, and that that inclusion, balance and connections lead to holistic education. Even though the teachers do not explicitly work with holistic education as Miller (2007, 2010) describes it, this study found that the practices of the teachers, as described by them, promote similar ideas and the same methods could be found. This study can provide a concrete understanding of what a holistic approach to early childhood education can and should involve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
Holistic education, holistic approach, holistic, preschool, preschool teacher, early childhood care and education, early childhood, India, social constructivism, literature review, qualitative interviews
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29827OAI: diva2:918781
Subject / course
Education Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2016-04-12 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-04-12Bibliographically approved

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