5 Areas of Development
What are the 5 Areas of Development?
Arun Kapur, 5 Areas for Development Creator
The education system in Bhutan is heavily focused on rote learning, a memorisation technique based on repetition. Students may struggle in areas such as how to regulate emotions, stay physically fit and maintain a work-life balance, due to the lack of emphasis on these areas. Many teachers, along with the King of Bhutan, want to vastly improve the system.
The Royal Academy, a Bhutanese boarding school that largely teaches economically vulnerable students, has developed a holistic curriculum focusing on 5 Areas of Development. Each area is given equal weighting and the interconnection between all areas is emphasised.
Cerebral development (the academic area) teaches communication, comprehension, critical thinking and curiosity to enhance academic learning.
Physical development focuses on health, fitness and sports.
Social development supports students to get involved in their communities, work towards common goals and understand themselves and others.
Spiritual development is focused on core values, awareness and practice, rather than on a particular religion.
Emotional development encourages learners to pay attention to their emotions in order to identify, understand and express them positively and productively.
The structure of the school day guides holistic development. The day begins with student-led group physical exercise followed by reflective mindful practice. Students then participate in six learning experiences, one of which is another physical activity. Learners are able to flow between the learning experiences based on preference for teaching style should they wish to do so. Based on the individual passions of the students, teachers will provide feedback to the development coordinators to ensure the curriculum covers all areas of interest.
The goal is to help all students realise their potential. There is a strong focus on assessing students against themselves, not each other. Teachers also focus on their own development in order to support this holistic environment, becoming co-learners in the model.