“A Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker who solves problems and makes responsible decisions with an informed moral conscience for the common good”.
Catholic Graduate Expectation #3, “A reflective, creative, and holistic thinker” pertains to ethical standards of the Ontario College of Teachers, particularly “Respect” and “Care.” Holistic education is based on the concept that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through making connections with the community, to the natural world, and to values such as peace and compassion. Holistic education aims to give people an intrinsic reverence for life, and a passionate love for learning. The meaning of holistic education is based on two principles. Firstly, education can only start by recognizing that a student is a living, breathing person in a teacher’s presence. Secondly, teachers must respond to children with an awareness of the world they are growing into.
In a holistic approach to education, problem solving is looked at from a holistic point of view, rather than using a single method to teach information. The holistic philosophy draws from several different world views and cultures to find an answer to a problem. Therefore, the Nativity assignment, known as “The Synoptic Problem” is an excellent assignment to incorporate in this arena. The synoptic problem refers to the literary relationships between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They are called the “Synoptic” Gospels because they can be experienced “together” in parallel.
This arena also relates to the OCT Ethical standards of “Respect” and “Care” because as teachers recognize and reflect on their own personal values and biases in the world, they are able to appropriately influence the classroom’s physical environment, schedule, activities, practices, and materials in order to encourage positive social interaction. What is most vital to a supportive and inclusive classroom is a teacher who possesses the willingness and patience to establish caring interactions between students, all the while learning about their particular strengths and needs.
“A Catholic Perspective” has been included in this arena as well, for it is a more literal and immediate moral issue that must be addressed by the teacher on school grounds. No matter the approach taken to rectify this problem, whether it be from a Catholic or non-Catholic perspective – the teacher must demonstrate both care and respect for all parties involved. This display of care and respect shows responsibility as a teacher, upholding the standards of practice with a steadfast moral compass.