When it comes to educating our kids these days, it is troubling to see how we are only focused on academic performance. We forget that much of their capability to learn hinges as well on their well-being and not just on their mental capacities. It is refreshing to know some schools, especially international schools, have adopted a holistic education framework to balance the rigor of academic requirements with the student’s well-being in mind.
What a Holistic Education Framework Entails
The goal of holistic education is to produce well-rounded students who are not only knowledgeable in world affairs or scientific concepts, but who also uses their knowledge to help society at large. They must be socially and environmentally aware, understanding that their education allows them to play a more active role in improving people’s lives. And part of holistic education is making sure that before students come out of school to make people happy, they are also having fun learning as well.
International schools have somehow perfected this educational framework. If we have to infer, it is probably because of the diverse learning landscape the students are exposed to. Catering to different nationalities require international schools to teach students how to be open minded, to listen to other people’s experiences first and understanding where they are coming from, before airing out their own thoughts.
One such school is the Global Indian International School (GIIS) — a school that believes in nurturing happiness within a diverse learning environment. Together with their globally recognised values-based education, they have also created a happiness index. Let us explore what it is.
Cultivating happiness involves three factors:
GIIS believes that the setup of their campus contributes to the overall happiness of both students and teachers. When you go out of the house, away from your comfort zone, a person does look for a warm and secure place that will give them the same level of comfort. So GIIS makes use of colours that are easy to the eyes and there are a lot of green and open spaces so that everyone can feel relaxed. More importantly, all classrooms are well-lit to make sure that they are conducive for learning, whether it is for individual activities or group work.
GIIS is known for their ‘Nine Gems’ model of learning that does not just give important to cerebral learning, but also social, emotional, and physical learning. Activities that will allow students to interact with each other like leadership seminars or sports meet are organised throughout the entire year.
Lastly, the educators who interact with the students are also key to nurturing happiness in campus. During the recruitment process for teachers, GIIS makes sure that their teaching methods and attitudes fit their unique philosophy.
Happiness is both relative and subjective, GIIS knows this. While attendance and performance are factors being considered in the happiness index, they also measure happiness that includes getting constant feedback from their students, parents, and teachers. In this way, they are not just quantifying grades and the number of times students participate in activities, but they are also taking their thoughts and experiences into account and using it to improve the learning environment.