Exploring the Potential Benefits of Holistic Education: A Formative Analysis


  • Sharon Lauricella University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada
  • Stephanie MacAskill Durham District School Board, Ontario, Canada


holistic educatio, , education reform, personal identity, postsecondary preparedness


This study examines both if and why university students believe that increased exposure to holistic principles would have been beneficial to their success after finishing secondary education. The overwhelming majority—on average about 70%— of participants agreed that had they had more exposure to holistic principles (personal identity, meaning/purpose, connections to the community, connections to the natural world, and humanitarian values) while in the K-12 system, they would have been more successful in university. Students supporting such exposure reported that a holistic education would have helped them to better choose their course of study in university, to more fully understand their career opportunities after graduation, and to be more informed about the community, natural world, and citizens with whom they interacted. Students who did not support an increased exposure to holistic principles felt that this kind of education was not an academic pursuit, was best studied in their free time, or already felt as if they had sufficient exposure to these principles.

Author Biographies

Sharon Lauricella, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada

Associate Professor

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Stephanie MacAskill, Durham District School Board, Ontario, Canada

Teacher, Durham District School Board, Ontario, Canada.


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