Holistic Education Degree and Certificate Program Summaries

Holistic education programs are ideal for licensed teachers who aren't satisfied with teaching methods that fail to consider the internal and external factors that affect students' learning abilities. Programs are offered at the master's level, though some certificates exist.

Essential Information

To enroll in holistic programs, an applicant must hold a bachelor's degree in education and a valid teaching certification. Programs offer a mix of seminars and coursework, as well as elective options in subjects like early childhood education or drama. Some programs prefer a master's degree in education. Programs also require candidates to hold an active teaching license. Admission to a master's degree program requires a bachelor's degree in education. In some instances, a program is offered as a continuation of a school's bachelor's degree program in education and isn't open to graduates of other programs. A master's degree program can be completed in two years.

Certificate in Holistic Education

A certificate program in holistic education provides instruction in theory and practice of engaging students as whole beings. The program's goal is to prepare teachers to help their students find meaning and purpose in their lives and develop a love of learning. The curriculum in a holistic education certificate program consists of 5-6 core courses and seminars. Possible course topics include:

  • Holistic education models
  • Art and symbolism in education
  • Holistic curriculum theory
  • Curriculum integration methods
  • Holistic education research

Master's Degree in Holistic Education

A master's degree program in holistic education aims to synthesize current education theory and practice with the philosophy of holism. Students are encouraged to consider how education affects a whole person - intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually - and how a teacher can adjust their teaching methods to engage the whole person and instill humanistic values. Programs explore relationships between students as individuals and as members of a community with the intent of using holistic principles to create a harmonious, inclusive and supportive learning environment.

Master's degree programs are structured as a set of core courses and a set of electives. Electives in a holistic education program fall into areas including children's literature, drama, early childhood education, or multicultural education. Possible course topics include:

  • Education philosophy
  • Holistic pedagogy
  • Diversity and multiculturalism
  • Learning styles
  • Contemporary teaching theories
  • Spirituality in education

Popular Career Options

Teachers who complete certificate programs in holistic education can consider seeking employment in a number of alternative school systems. The following school systems are built around holistic principles:

  • Camphill special schools
  • Krishnamurti schools
  • Montessori schools
  • Waldorf schools

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

A master's degree program in holistic education isn't associated with a particular career path. Alternative schools have adopted some holistic concepts, but so have some public schools. Graduates are qualified to pursue K-12 teaching positions or attempt to introduce holistic principles into education policy and curriculum design.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted job growth of 6% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers between 2014 and 2024, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. High school teachers were also expected to see a 6% growth during the same decade.

As of May 2015, the BLS reported the median annual pay rate for kindergarten teachers was $51,640 Elementary school educators earned $54,890 per year. Middle school teachers reportedly earned an annual salary of $55,860, while secondary school educators earned $57,200 per year.

Continuing Education Information

In some cases, credits earned in a certificate program can be transferred to a master's degree program. Some schools may even maintain programs at both levels and allow graduates of one to transition directly to the other.

Doctoral degree programs in holistic education were extremely rare if not entirely unavailable as of October 2016. However, since doctoral programs are generally dedicated to original research, a master's degree holder could consider enrolling in a doctoral degree program in education or education policy and then adapting it to a specialization in holistic education.

Pursuing a degree in holistic education may be a good choice for educators who are interested in incorporating more unique and personalized teaching methods into the classroom. Credentials are available at the master's and certificate levels.

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