“What transforms education, is a
transformed being in the world.”
The spiritual poverty of much contemporary education provides few opportunities for today’s youth to quench their deep thirst for meaning and wholeness. Misguided, or unconscious attempts by students to attain some sense of fulfilment often result in varying degrees of addictive behaviour toward activities, substances or relationships – all of which make teaching and learning difficult, if not impossible.
Compulsive or reckless activity, substance abuse, and empty sexuality can result from students trying to escape the pain of an inner emptiness. In the classroom this can manifest as lack of interest, lack of self-worth, lack of compassion, lack of self-discipline and lack of spirit.
A more ‘soulful’ education seeks to open the mind, warm the heart and awaken the spirit of each student. It would provide opportunities for students to be creative, contemplative, and imaginative. It allows time to tell old and new stories of heroes, ideals and transformation. It encourage students to go deep into themselves, into nature, and into human affairs. It values service to others and the planet.
A spiritualised curriculum values physical, mental and spiritual knowledge and skills. It presents knowledge within cultural and temporal contexts, rather than as facts to be memorised or dogma to be followed. It is integrative across all disciplines emphasising inter-relationship and inter-connectedness. It challenges students to find their own place in space and time, and to reach for the highest aspirations of the human spirit.
Spirituality and Spiritual Literacy
Evoking the Spirit in Public Education – Parker Palmer
Qualities of spiritual maturity – Christina Grof
Spiritual Development: Outcomes and Indicators – Frances Vaughan
Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides – Council on Spiritual Practices
Stages of Moral Development – Kohlberg
Stages of Faith – Fowler
Spiritual Intelligence (SQ)
Global Declaration of Soul Education
Spirituality and Australia’s Education Goals
Activities in spiritual literacy and soulfulness for the classroom – secondary education
Report on the Spirituality in Education Conference – Boulder, Colorado July 1997
Spirituality and Holistic Education Conference presentation by Jack Miller OISE, Canada
Seven Gateways to the Soul of Education – Rachael Kessler
Books on Spirituality and Spirituality in Education
Resources for Adult Religious Exploration
Schools, Institutes and web sites