Originally created in 1922, Whole Person Education was founded by the United Board, a group of unions who encourage Christian higher education in Asia. During their initial years, they built a strong foundation by helping out Christian colleges in China. By 1951 they began shifting their focus outside of China and began working in places such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia. By 1980 they would return back to China where they would continue their efforts in faculty development as well as creating new academic courses or assisting with educational programs. Silliman University as well as other universities across Asia such as Hong Kong University, Seoul Women’s University, Lady Doak College in India have followed suit with this program. The United Board is involved with over 15 other countries and assists in grants, scholarships as well as the further growth and development of whole person education across Asia.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a self-assessment tool that helps people figure out their personality type, strengths, and interests. Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs designed a questionnaire based on their research into Carl Jung’s personality styles theory. One amongst Jung’s most significant contributions was the introduction of the idea of Introversion and Extraversion, according to which each of us falls into one of two groups, concentrating on the internal world (Introvert) or the external world (Extrovert). Jung also coined the term “cognitive functions,” which he divided into two categories: judging and perceiving. The purpose of the instrument is to describe each of Jung’s four dichotomies’ basic preferences, either explicitly or implicitly and to discover and define the 16 distinct personality styles that emerge from interactions between preferences of each individual.
Myers- Briggs Personality
- Extravert vs. Introvert
The Extravert tends to focus on the outer world of people and things. These students are motivated by what goes on in the outer world, and tend to direct their energy there as well. These students like action and variety. In contrast, Introverts are motivated by their inner worlds, not needing a lot of outside energy to drive their interests. These students tend to be most interested in having a quiet learning environment where they are able to think things out and concentrate on the task at hand. In whole person education, the environment affects learning and intelligence that is why there is a need of stimulating & loving environment to enhance every student’s learnings.
- Sensing vs. Intuition
This scale measures how students direct their perceptions. Sensing students like concrete things which they can see, touch, and handle. It is focusing on the realities of a situation while Intuitive students are not fact-minded students. They recognize meanings that go beyond the information from the senses–they look at the “big picture” and try to grasp the overall relationship between concepts.
- Thinking vs. Feeling
This scale measures how students make decisions. Whole person education fosters critical thinking and challenges students to draw their own conclusions. In Myers-Briggs personality, Thinking students make decisions after analyzing and weighing all of the evidence. They learn best when given a clear, objective rationale, and they like giving and receiving critical analysis. In contrast, Feeling students make their decisions based on person-centered values, tending to think with their hearts instead of their heads. Working on the emotional aspect of Whole Person Development will help you to become more productive in many different areas of your life.
- Judging vs. Perceiving
This scale is most useful in measuring whether or not students prefer structured learning environments. Judging students prefer a very structured learning environment, they like planning. The feeling of accomplishment is important for Perceiving students, they find this feeling in getting things done.
In order for the student to achieve the concept of a whole person, certain tools and teaching strategies are required. It should cater to the development of the students’ social, emotional and cognitive skills. And it should also help encourage the students to learn and think, this being the teaching strategies should create a responsive environment for the students’ understanding, interests, and abilities which gives them the space to be able to deepen their knowledge and curiosity to seek for more. They should be able to take account that different students have each of their own diverse learning styles that could be affected by or is a result of their personal backgrounds and emotional wellbeing. The students in the end of it, should be able to relate their academic class materials to their lives outside the classroom. They should be able to write and think in a reflective manner. And they too should be able to understand the diversity of others’ backgrounds and emotional wellbeing to be able to adapt and adjust to different situations that life might bring upon them.
There could be various ways on how to teach a student to be a whole person, the only challenge is to make sure it can succeed in teaching them properly. An example of potential strategies to use to educate the students wholly can be seen below.
Cognitive Online Instructional Strategies to Teach to the Whole Person
|· Analysis of case studies
· Critically review an article
· Hyper Inquiry team project
· Academic controversy assignment
· Develop a book trailer on topic
· Write a literature review
· Complete modules on topic in computer-adapted lab/program
· Write essay
· Make a presentation
· Discuss content with peers and instructor
|● Develop questionnaires
·Develop a personal model of topic
·Participate in a simulation
·Develop a workshop
· Develop a how-to guide or video tutorial on procedure
· Write a blog post on topic
· Serve others as a mentor, tutor, or volunteer on topic
· Virtual field trip
|· Peer-review of papers or projects
· Students create m/c questions for review
· Design a project
· Write an autobiography of your interaction with topic
· Complete self-evaluation
· Capture reflections in journal, audio, or video
· Curate digital books and articles on topic for lifelong learning
As shown in the above table, it represents a list to assist teachers with selecting strategies depending on various constraints such as availability of time, resources, et cera. Activity-centered lessons are focused on interactive tasks and require collaborative activities. Content-centered lessons are tasks wherein students generally interact only with the content. Experience-centered activities are hands-on activities for students to develop skills that are essential when working with others. Learner-centered activities provide learners with more autonomy over their pursuit of knowledge.
The educator plays a huge role in the implementation of Whole Person Education to an individual. Teachers must be there to guide the students in unlocking their hidden potential, encouraging them to open their hearts and minds at their own pace. Educators must provide strategic activities and alternatives where students may be able to freely think for themselves and be able to interact with other people without any pressure. Every individual has their own capabilities and skills, it is important that this aspect be brought up by the teacher to avoid students from comparing themselves to other students thus resulting in the build-up of low self-esteem in students. Activities provided by the teacher must not just focus on a certain aspect, but it must be in a wider spectrum to give the students a variety of experiences and be able to know where they excel best. The educator must have the burning passion in his/her heart to listen and understand every concern brought up by the student. Especially with the generation we are living today, students tend to hide their true feelings within themselves, resulting in anxiety, depression and stress which hinders the students from knowing himself/herself better.
The educator should also have the desire to yearn for what is considered best or ideal in this time and age. The traditional ways of teaching are still applicable but aspects of it are already considered obsolete. Dr. Ben S. Malayang III has mentioned in the past that Whole Person Education is a silent curriculum, whereby teachers should mold their students into competent individuals that are ready to face their future endeavors. One should incorporate the 5 C’s of Silliman (Classroom, Church, Cultural, Center, the Court, and the Community) in their curriculum (Silliman University).
In summary, the teacher provides an environment that entails the promotion of personhood, facilitates learning that leads to human flourishing (Best, 2008), that cultivates each students’ desire for knowledge and skill, and an environment that is student centered (United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia).
Whole Person Education in Silliman
Silliman University offers Whole Person Education. This is the holistic development of one’s competence, character, and faith, resulting in the transformation of oneself into an individual who can help others. Also, it is the approach to learning that is encapsulated in its tri-logical ministry of teaching, healing, and preaching, which allows for deep reflection and understanding of oneself in relation to the wider world. The motto Via, Veritas, Vita governs campus life (the Way, the Truth, and the Life). Silliman’s goal is to cultivate the whole person in a Christian sense and a promising area. Students are expected to put their education to good use by helping those who are in need. Dr. Betty McCann defined whole-person education as “education for total human development.” WPE promotes multidisciplinary, or the convergence of information from various disciplines; inclusivity, especially cultural inclusion of all who join Silliman; and, finally, a greater sense of social responsibility in all who have received a Silliman education.
According to Dr. Ben Malayang III, “It is an education that elevates and transforms a person into someone with a higher ability to learn, higher ability to live, higher ability to serve others, and higher ability to serve and to see God. That, to me, would be the essence of whole person education”. Silliman University doesn’t only offer whole person education within its four walls of the classroom but as well as outside of it. The opportunity to develop skills and improve the ways of thinking as well as in achieving an effective way of learning doesn’t only exist within the parameters of a classroom but also, the community outside of it and most especially, within each student – within ourselves and this can be achieved through whole person education that hones our potential in aspects such as social, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Whole person education does not only focus on the self but it is also important to take recognition of how it affects others; it is how you communicate with others, work with others, serve, how you’re open to learn things every day and discover it with the people around you and most importantly, how you build you relationship not just with the community but with God as well.
Best, R. (2008). Education, support and the development of the whole person. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069880802364460
Rogers, S. (2016). E-Learning instructional strategies to teach to the whole person. https://teacherrogers.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/e-learning-instructional-strategies-to-teach-to-the-whole-person/
Silliman University. (n.d.) Dr. Malayang Discusses Whole Person Education in UBCHEA Interview. https://su.edu.ph/2331-dr-malayang-discusses-whole-person-education-in-ubchea-interview/#:~:text=Ben%20S.&text=Malayang%20further%20defined%20whole%20person,serve%20and%20to%20see%20God.
Silliman University. (n.d.) History of Silliman University. https://su.edu.ph/about/#1496136979941-50a2e0d8-2df6
Silliman University. (2018). New Silliman University president to champion environment, whole-person education. https://su.edu.ph/new-silliman-university-president-to-champion-environment-whole-person-education/
United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. (n.d.) Whole Person Education Academy. https://unitedboard.org/programs/faculty-development/whole-person-education-academy/