Spirituality in current school and educational settings, in light of the aftermath of extremist terrorist attacks

Essay by arihahnUniversity, Ph.D. February 2004

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Spirituality in Schools and Educational Psychology

It seems that the question of motivation and spirituality becomes central in light of 9/11. What level of spiritual commitment must have been necessary to carry out those crimes, especially after over five years of living in ways contrary to their belief systems?

There are numerous studies from Israel that show that the religious community are more motivated to learn the social and political underpinnings of Israeli society. And although one might relate it to the idea that Israel is a Jewish state, and the religion is Judaism, it is not a complete explanation, because there is some similar process in the extreme left wing kibbutz schools. What might be learned is that when the educational process is defined by something that is "greater" than the individual, and not able to be broken down and scientifically analyzed, the overall motivate of the learners might be enhanced.

There is an obvious need in modern society to address spirituality in education, as well as in individual private lives. Iannove and Obenauf (2001) review how this need has been growing since the 1970's. They note that spirituality is inherent in the people that populate the educational process, so it has the potential of being made integral to the process itself.

Spirituality is often seen as different from religion. It is, but we must keep in mind that they are not mutually exclusive. Tisdell (2001) states that, "religion is an organized community of faith that has written codes of regulatory behavior, whereas spirituality is more about one's personal belief and experience of a higher power or higher purpose." That means that spirituality is a subset of religion, but can be accessed without codes of regulatory behavior. Personally, I suspect that any belief in a higher power or...