Holistic Education Initiative

The Holistic Educator

The Holistic Educator is the unofficial Newsletter of the Holistic Education community.  HEI would like to thank Editors Gary Babiuk and Susan Schiller for permission to publish Holistic Educator here for our readers.  Enjoy!


Truth and Trust: a reflection on epistemology and Kindergarten

​The following post is written by Emmy Gran, the recipient of HEI’s 2017 Young Scholars award for outstanding research in the field of holistic education.  Here she discusses her reflections on knowledge, truth, trust and Kindergarten.

How do you know what you know? What are your trusted sources of information? The institutions of academe, science, and the news media that we have historically relied upon to provide us with “factual,” “objective” information have been slowly undermined by newer ways of knowing and the seemingly watery line between belief and fact. In this digital age, we are on the receiving end of a constant barrage of information without context or validation. (more…)

The Effect of Fear on Education

The post that follows comes to HEI from Ba Luvmour whose ongoing contribution to the field of holistic education and parenting is unsurpassed.  Here Ba reminds us of the insidious nature and cost of fear and how fear permeates our educational institutions as well as so much of our relationships with children.  Ba suggests that it is here, in relationships, that the remedy is accessible.


Fear eats at the minds and hearts of students, leaving a residue of undeserved shame and nebulous guilt. When frequently present, fear grinds away the structures of the mid-brain (amygdala, hippocampus, etc.) which are critical for learning and for memory. The wounding of all aspects of development undermines sense of place, trust, autonomy, and interconnectedness. Spiritual life withers. Social life becomes rife with suspicion and protectiveness against betrayal. Fear imprisons; once fear imprints we become our own jailor. In every way fear undermines every aspect of Holistic Education that we hold dear. (more…)

Wild Child Wednesdays: Small Wonders

The following beautiful post comes from guest blogger, Caroline Keating who home-schools her son, honoring his wildness in a beautiful holistic dance.  I’m reminded of Josette Luvmour’s words: “Wisdom is available to the adult who holistically nurtures children’s natural unfolding” 

You can follow Caroline’s adventures on her blog, The Warthog School, here.

We headed out into Moran State Park this past Wednesday in search of small wonders.  I was recently re-inspired by Clare Walker Leslie’s book The Curious Nature Guide to begin what will probably prove to be a never ending collage of, “brief images of nature that urge us beyond ourselves.” (more…)

Thoughts on Outside Time

The following reflection is from a guest blogger, Dan Johnson who teaches at the Bellwether School in Williston, VT.  Through examining the microcosm of kids’ creative and imaginative play we see the quality of opportunities available in a holistic school…

 I work at a small holistic education school where students expect a full hour of unstructured play each day in our large play yard. Through the few years I have worked here, it has become ever clearer that this is not only an important outlet for their spirit and body, but that it is also an extremely valuable time for me as an educator to learn from my students. (more…)

In Memoriam: Joseph Chilton Pearce, January 14, 1926 – August 23, 2016

 Joseph Chilton Pearce, or `Joe` as he preferred, passed away on August 23, 2016. He leaves behind a legacy of nearly half a century of working to develop a conception of children rooted in heart and spirit. Joe was a great proponent of the wisdom of the heart. He noted that the heart organ itself was comprised of as high a percentage of neural cells as the brain. Joe Pearce published his first and seminal book, The Crack in The Cosmic Egg in 1971. Joe wrote about the heightened perceptions and perceptive capacities of young children. He described the damage that is done through the `disease of culture` and acculturation. And he insisted that the fiasco of institutionalized formal education was founded upon an inherently flawed worldview and mistaken conception of children and the process of human development and learning. (more…)

Melted By “The Snowman”


At the AERO (Alternative Education Resource Organization) conference in Portland, OR in August, 2016, I had the tremendous honor and great pleasure to sit down with one of the true pioneers of the field of Holistic Education, Philip Snow Gang. Beginning in 1990 Phil served as the Executive Director of GATE (The Global Alliance for Transforming Education.) In this capacity he helped to contribute to the writing of some of the founding documents of the emerging field of holistic education, most notably the Chicago Statement and “Education 2000: a Holistic Perspective.” (more…)


 “Continue to unfold. Find your worthiness in the learning and unlearning. The breaking and the healing. Find peace within your broken pieces and be made whole.”

― Minaa B.

What an auspicious occasion this is to be sitting to write the first blog post for the Holistic Education Initiative. In the weeks, months and years that follow I hope that many of you will join me and each other in a rich dialogue exploring wholeness and holism in education. (more…)