Some business analysts say that about 60 percent of the jobs 10 years from now have not been invented. With this in mind, many teaching experts believe education should move in a holistic direction, which creates a more well-rounded, community-based foundation that will help kids succeed in whichever path they choose. Currently, the Western style of education – exemplified by the focus on standardized test scores like American College Test and Scholastic Assessment Test – breeds the type of learning that goes in one ear and out the other. Instead, holistic approaches are based on the premise that each person establishes community connections and humanitarian values that last well into the working world.
Shirley Franklin, the former two-term mayor of Atlanta and current faculty member of University of Texas, agrees. In a recent interview with the National Journal, Franklin emphasized her support of neighborhood programs that strengthen networks within the community. She discussed Purpose Built Communities, a not-for-profit consulting firm that improves local communities through social services and education.
"It is a model that has been supported by local foundations and individuals, and it continues to prove that if you have a holistic approach, if you focus on the education pipeline, you can intentionally build communities that can be sustained as middle income," Franklin told the National Journal.
People want to address social mobility, and everyone would like to step up the social ladder, Franklin said. She believes the rounded education of holism is a way to get there.
Georgia to Gloucestershire
Another program that has thrived under holism can be found in Gloucestershire, England. The Isbourne Holistic Centre, a charity and leading U.K. pioneer for well-being and spiritual development, recently opened a new school in Cheltenham. Isbourne College is perfect for those who want to live with their body, mind and spirit in harmony, and those who are professionals in the field of holistic living and healing.
"The field is so vast that this course allows people to find out what's best for them and then they can decide where to take it after that, whether to go into healing or not," Director Julia Ingram told Gloucestershire ECHO News.
Franklin and Ingram are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to support for holistic education. Ilchi Lee, an innovative leader in the human brain potential development, believes there is a vast need to combine eastern and western education methodologies. The spiritual mind-body values of the east and efficiency and pragmatism of the west are the perfect factors to nurture the potential of every child.