These days, we find new educational philosophies. But these new philosophies must note that desired values in life can be conserved only when the learner in his learning acts is seen and studied as a whole being.
Some kind of analysis is indispensable for educational purposes. But Gestalt psychology argues that such analysis must contribute to the wholeness of the actual experience when the educative process is in question.
Gestalt psychology criticized the analysis of mind into faculties as conceived by association psychology. But Gestalt psychology itself runs all the risk of loose thinking that attends the psycho-analytic schools. The educator seeking help from the Gestalt theory must be cautious on this point.
In education, the theological mind should seek the help of the psychologically functioning mind. The over intellectualized needs the help of the experienced one. The receptive learner has to learn from the dynamic one.
But there are certain difficulties in the execution of these ideals. It sounds well to take out the parts, examine them, find their laws, and then, put them back. But this principle can never be wholesome nor can it work. If the educator attends to the parts, he does it at the cost of the whole. He finds two things when he attends to the whole.
First, the whole does not appear like an affair of the part put together; and second, that he has no technique for giving adequate attention to the whole of any situation. His task becomes all the more difficult because of lack of terminology and thought patterns.
By introducing intelligence and achievement tests the American educational psychologists have tried to find an escape from this difficulty. In these tests, an attempt is made to measure what a learner can do by measuring what he does in a particular situation.
It is assumed that the whole mind works on the case at hand. But in this process one may exclude practically all other aspects of human makeup which enters into any learning act Thus there is a risk of selecting that about which one is most certain, whether it is ultimately sound or not.
Consequently, the part dominates the education of the whole being, because it easily satisfies the pupil’s sense of certainty. The drawback of this process is this that the educators cannot think of the whole while working at parts.
Thus the whole is neglected and ways must be devised to give adequate attention to the whole person in an act of learning. This is one of the most vital problems which the Gestalt theory points out to an enthusiastic educator.