APP 8: Challenging a fragmented theory of knowledge
The term holistic refers to a systemic approach where all the elements are considered in their specificity as well as in their mutual interdependence. This word is often used in the human rights domain to describe the need to consider the child as a whole person with characteristics and dimensions that have to always be conceived as unique, indivisible and related.
This ecological definition represents a big challenge to the way our system of knowledge is structured with disciplines that are rigidly proposing their own specific epistemology, their languages, their relative perspectives.
The attempt to apply a holistic approach requires a significant effort aimed at overcoming the walls that historically disciplines built around their fields of knowledge. It demands to explore connections, linkages, relations that normally are not considered as scientific since they are perceived as something that weaken an already codified system of understanding and knowing things.
This difficulty is obviously reflected in the system of professions and mandates that pertain a certain discipline which are more comfortable within the realm of their specific knowledge.
If we want to see and apply the CRC as a holistic system, we cannot avoid to face these problems which are leading us to question the very way through which we know and relate with the reality. Outside this epistemological consideration the term holistic sounds too naive (or new age) and does not help us to appreciate the opportunity provided by the Convention which is structurally asking to reform our monographic and fragmented way to read and conceive reality.
According to our point of view, this is one of the main reasons why it is important to conceive our effort to promote human rights and children’s rights as a pedagogy capable of determining and experimenting new visions while creating new knowledge.
Again considering the CRC as a platform serves the twofold objective of generating a cultural platform from where new ideas and experience are generated and, at the same time, better responding to the holistic structure that every human being is proposing to the world.