Because of our biblical worldview (as an Anglican school), we define holistic education as “concerned with educating the whole person – body, mind and soul – to develop his or her fullest potential” (Lee, 2015). As such, we recognise that a range of factors need to be present for a person to truly flourish, and we have chosen to adopt those developed by Professor TJ VanderWeele, from the Harvard School of Public Health –
- Happiness and life satisfaction;
- Mental and physical health;
- Meaning and purpose;
- Character and virtue;
- Close social relationships.
Last Saturday, I attended a conference at which Dr Lynn Swaner was the keynote speaker. Dr Swaner is the co-author of a book called “Flourishing together” (2021), in which she offers the following descriptions –
Flourishing students are exuberant in their learning and are growing socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually:
Flourishing educators love their students and their craft, are ever improving as professionals and serving well together with colleagues:
Flourishing schools are characterised by energy, creativity, authenticity and hope, which overflows and blesses their community.
That sounds like the kind of school community that I want to be part of. I hope you agree with me.