Holistic Method (German: Ganzheitsmethode), analytical approach to the teaching of German reading skills for beginners. Starts with the recognition of whole units (words, sentences) and gradually goes back to teaching recognition of letters and sounds. First suggested in the 16th century (V. Ickelsamer, 1520), it was not adopted on a broad scale until the 20th century unxdef the influence of gestalt and holistic psychology. In Austria the method ( Rural School Reform) gradually superseded the earlier synthetic approach in the late 1940s and became the preferred didactic method for several decades. The current approach in primary school teaching seeks to combine synthetic and analytic teaching elements.