Comprehensive education takes into account different dimensions, beyond the cognitive, to train the student not only around their intellect, but also around their training as an integral person who must learn to relate, have social commitment and become in an ethical citizen. That is why when we speak of comprehensive education we speak of people’s education from various dimensions, such as the cognitive dimension, the social dimension , the ethical dimension or the emotional dimension.

In fact, integral education includes educational approaches from fields as different as biological, neurological, social, cultural, psychological or spiritual , and involves considering individual and collective aspects, both of teachers and students as well as of the general population.




But why is it so important to take into account all these dimensions when educating? Let’s see some answers below.



Why it is important to influence a comprehensive education


  • Cognitive is important, but not enough

According to Robert Sternberg (an American psychologist whose work has focused a lot on human intelligence), formal education is highly focused on the development of analytical skills and linked to logical and abstract thinking . However, this only contributes to 10-15% of a person’s successful job performance, so it leaves very significant gaps out.

Human beings need to take responsibility for their own lives in order to place their experiences in the social context , and thus help others to promote the development of their own societies. When people do not take responsibility for all their dimensions as people, they build an unhealthy, unproductive and even violent personality due to the crisis that lack of personal balance entails.


  • There are different integration proposals

The philosophical framework for the educational reform of Latin America and the Caribbean proposed by Delos (1996) refers to 4 special knowledge that every human being must have in their education, and these knowledge are: learning to know, learn to do, learn to being and learning to live together, the last two dimensions being related to intrapersonal intelligence. Another proposal is that of the OECD DeSeCo project (2005), in which it is proposed to promote individual potential from three dimensions : the development of communication skills (through the use of technology and language), the ability to interacting with heterogeneous groups and the ability of personal management to take responsibility for managing one’s own life.


  • Students’ mental health is improved

Several studies have been carried out that show that the integral development of people prevents risky behaviors and psychosocial problems such as school dropouts, delinquency, substance abuse, physical and psychological violence , among others, in addition to contributing to a greater attrition of teachers.

In conclusion, any reflection that is made on integral education leads to promoting the development of social , intrapersonal and ethical competences of the human being, in addition to the cognitive dimension.




As we can see, a comprehensive approach to education is based on the continuous learning of people , and not only in their school years, but in all moments of their lives. An approach, in short, that works to include all the different elements seen in the most complete and intentional way possible in the learning and teaching experience, and that is why it is so important for the formation of children, so that it can be the most complete possible.


And you, what do you think of comprehensive education?

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