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Title:Questions of spirituality in education
Author(s):Geary, James
Director of Research:Dhillon, Pradeep A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dhillon, Pradeep A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Darder, Antonia; McCarthy, Cameron R.; Walsh, Daniel J.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):spirituality in education
human rights
Abstract:This dissertation is deeply influenced by my background as a teacher of literature and writing, offered as response to students who challenged me to confront perplexing issues. Much formal education has fallen prey to market-oriented ideology on a global scale, and such a framework determines the long-term goals of learning and the orientation of daily schooling. Human issues are often viewed as technical engineering problems, rather than as spiritual, existential questions. My project addresses some questions and assumptions that surround the spiritual dimension of education, and I invite educators to confront questions of spirituality, to see that education is remiss when it omits these questions that help to formulate and communicate meaning. I suggest putting such inquiry at the heart of learning, to encourage deeper consideration of a spiritual imperative in education, to draw attention to new conceptualizations and articulations of these questions. My interpretive approach to this nebulous topic is informed and guided by multiple traditions and texts, as well as staying true to my own encounter with the world as a person who wants to understand life, to uncover more meaning, and finally to express my wonder and love for existence. The significance of this study involves a dialogical engagement with writers who help me better contemplate questions of spirituality in education, a project seen not just as a local phenomenon, but also as a global concern that is evolving as an educational interest. While language is my medium of expression, to articulate my suggestions and confusion, I also argue for silent contemplation as a vital learning experience. Ultimately, my project points to possible practical application in schools, to further enrich and enliven the classroom, to nourish teachers and students in their individual and collective spiritual journeys.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 James Geary
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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