Holistic Approaches to Early Years Education

Table of Contents


The global objective of preschool education is to enable children to develop qualities, abilities, and values that will help them survive and thrive in the community, as well as in mainstream education. But how is that possible in a system where success is largely measured by progress in subjects and academic skills?

This course will encourage you to look at infant education from a holistic perspective, concerned with the development of every child’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative, and spiritual potential.

After considering practical ways in which they can transform current teaching methodology and mainstream materials into ones that are more humanistic, relevant, and engaging, participants will have the chance to create a project for their school that incorporates the holistic principles they have acquired.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to understand how to: 

  • Encourage personal and collective responsibility;
  • Develop Higher Order Thinking Skills in infants;
  • Teach and learn resilience to overcome difficulties;
  • Assess and evaluate ‘soft skills’;
  • Tackle negative interaction patterns and attitudes;
  • Incorporate values and ethics into preschool;
  • Connect infant education with the wider community.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Course introduction & setting goals

Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities using drama for trust and ensemble building.

Setting goals

  • Identification of needs and goals for each participant and relevant populations;
  • An overview of holistic preschool theory will be contrasted with the participants’ day-to-day reality;
  • After an analysis of what makes a safe, comforting environment at preschool, we will look at practical ways to add elements of creativity and critical thinking to your daily routines;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools.

Day 2 – Student autonomy

  • Positive relationships, values, and social skills should suffuse the whole infant education process;
  • We will look at how to implement the corners system to encourage autonomy and good decision-making, along with classroom activities that encourage positive behavior.

Day 3 – Planning is key

  • Difficulties in preschool are often predictable and preventable;
  • We will see how good planning and vision can avoid these issues from occurring in the first place;
  • The importance of incorporating imagination, role play, and physical activity into classroom activities.

Day 4 – Assessing progress

  • All educative processes need to be transparent and evaluable. Here we will look at how to assess progress in attitudes and procedures as well as in content knowledge and debate how to share your vision with parents and the wider educative community.

Day 5 – Put it to the test

  • Today we will develop a project which applies your learning in this course to your own situation;
  • You will practice presenting this project to your colleagues before taking it back to present at your schools.

Day 6 – Course Closure & Excursion

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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