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The Whole Child

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  • November 22, 2006
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M.A HASSAN

A DISCUSSION OF THE CONCEPT OF THE ‘WHOLE CHILD' IN CONTEXT AND THE RELEVANCE OF MUSIC EDUCATION IN ITS DEVELOPMENT

The General concept of the whole child has been a topic of debate for far longer than the existences of a national curriculum. Some of the earliest examination into the concept of the best overall approaches to the education of the whole child stem from the work of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746 - 1827), a Swiss teacher and educational reformer whose compassion for all pupils led to developments in the modern consensus of pedagogy is perceived and best practised. The following quote from William H. Kilpatrick in his introduction to Heinrich Pestalozzi (1951) is a general overview yet its relationship to the curriculum today and the whole child concept presents much relevance. 1.Personality is sacred. This constitutes the 'inner dignity of each individual for the young as truly as for the adult. 2.As 'a little seed... contains the design of the tree', so in each child is the promise of his potentiality. 'The educator only takes care that no untoward influence shall disturb nature's march of developments'. 3.Love of those we would educate is 'the sole and everlasting foundation' in which to work. 'Without love, neither the physical not the intellectual powers will develop naturally'. So kindness ruled in Pestalozzi's schools: he abolished flogging - much to the amazement of outsiders. 4.To get rid of the 'verbosity' of meaningless words Pestalozzi developed his doctrine of Anschauung - direct concrete observation, often inadequately called 'sense perception' or 'object lessons'. No word was to be used for any purpose until adequate Anschauung had preceded. The thing or distinction must be felt or observed in the concrete. Pestalozzi's followers developed various sayings from this: from the known to the unknown, from the simple to the complex, from the concrete to the abstract. 5.To perfect the perception got by the...