Skip to content Skip to navigation

Finnish Teachers’ and Students’ Views on Holistic School Pedagogy

Publication Authors: 
Kirsi Tirri
Publication Journal: 
American Education Research Association

The purpose of the study was to identify the components of holistic school pedagogy. Holistic pedagogy concerns the development of the whole student and acknowledges the cognitive, social, moral, emotional and spiritual dimensions of education. The data were gathered in spring 2008 and include 19 interviews of Finnish secondary school teachers of different subjects and 37 interviews of their students. The teachers and students come from two schools that both emphasize mathematics in their curricula. Analysis of the teachers’ and students’ interviews revealed three different components in holistic school pedagogy. These components were values and worldviews, field-invariant pedagogical components (which are important regardless of the content or the subject) and field-dependent pedagogical components (subject- or context-specific issues, such as pedagogical content knowledge of mathematics or the type of school). Holistic school pedagogy also emphasized the importance of the whole school community for the best pedagogical practices in schools.