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  • Writer's pictureZoë Leigh Bishop

What does an education system that reflects and supports ‘rounded, complete individuals’ look like?

“ We’re thinking, rational, physical, aesthetic creatures – we’re not purely academic. We are rounded, complete individuals. And to deny the opportunity therefore for creativity in an artistic, in an aesthetic and cultural sense, is, in essence, to deny someone an aspect of their humanity.”

Head Teacher, London, Academy, Secondary

Through my previous work as a dance practitioner, I have experienced first hand the richness of physical, artistic and kinaesthetic learning. Because of this, I recognise its importance and regard it as a vital part of any human’s development and education. Despite teaching a subject that thankfully accesses these aspects within mainstream education, the lack of other learning experiences of this nature within wider education and across other curriculum subjects becomes more and more apparent.

If the vast majority of traditional academic learning focuses on cognitive development from a static place, with emphasis on the brain with view of the body as a stagnant vessel for this cognition, then where is there room for the development of the aesthetic, physical intelligence of the human being? This in correlation with the rapid progress in the digital era (which granted also brings many benefits) is further increasing the lack of connectivity of ones physical expression with the mind.

Do we need a drastic shuffle and change in the way we learn the varied subjects within education? Are we only developing one aspect of the human being and disregarding the power and vitality of its other elements? I believe so. But what would an education system that better reflects the human being holistically look like?

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