Towards a Holistic Teacher Education: Spirituality and Special Education Teacher Training

Chapter

Abstract

Spirituality is recognized as one of the ways people construct knowledge and meaning in life; it deals with the sphere of values and beliefs, and informs the choices and actions of many individuals. However, spirituality is frequently underused in practice in teacher education. When it comes to the area of special education teacher training, the lack of literature is even more acute. This paper explores issues related to teachers’ inner life development and its relationship to special education teacher training. Specifically, this chapter examines an approach to education that seeks to balance an acquired intellectual knowledge with consideration of the importance of spirituality. In this context, the author addresses the following aspects: (a) spirituality as an essential component of teacher education, (b) the importance of spirituality in special education teacher training, and (c) implications of spirituality in special education teacher training.

Keywords

Holistic education Teacher education Spirituality Special education Teacher education curriculum 

References

  1. Alexander, H. A. (2003). Moral education and liberal democracy: Spirituality, community, and character in an open society. Educational Theory, 53(4), 367–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Astin, A. W., Astin, H. S., & Lindholm, J. A. (2011). Assessing students’ spiritual and religious qualities. Journal of College Student Development, 52(1), 39–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ault, M. J. (2010). Inclusion of religion and spirituality in the special education literature. The Journal of Special Education, 44, 176–189. doi: 10.1177/0022466909336752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baer, R.A., & Carper, J.C. (1998, December/1999, January). Spirituality and the public schools: An evangelical perspective. Educational Leadership, 56(4), 33–37.Google Scholar
  5. Bailey, D. B., Jr., Bruder, M. B., Hebbeler, K., Carta, J., Defosset, M., Greenwood, C., et al. (2006). Recommended outcomes for families of young children with disabilities. Journal of Early Intervention, 28, 227–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker, D. C. (2003). Studies of the inner life: The impact of spirituality on quality of life. Quality of Life Research, 12, 51–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Belousa, I, (2005). Spirituality as a dimension of education: Reimaging and reconstructing teacher education in Latvia. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Fordham University, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Boswell, B. B., Knight, S., Hamer, M., & McChesney, J. (2001). Disability and spirituality: A reciprocal relationship with implications for the rehabilitation process. Journal of Rehabilitation, 67(4), 20–25.Google Scholar
  9. Brantmeier, E. J., Lin, J., & Miller, J. (Eds.). (2010). Spirituality, religion, and peace education. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  10. Cella, L. B. (2013). How do you evaluate teachers who change lives? Education Week, 32(28), 26. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/04/17/28cella.h32.html?tkn=PRUFQ2YG%2BxeSna02Aje6WUHUvy%2FHDTYhqYVA&cmp=ENL-EU-VIEWS1.Google Scholar
  11. Chan, D. W. (1998). Stress, coping strategies, and psychological distress among secondary school teachers in Hong Kong. American Educational Research Journal, 35(1), 145–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Conti, S. D. P. (2002). The spiritual life of teachers: A study of holistic education and holistic perspective. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Columbia, New York.Google Scholar
  13. de Souza, M. (2009). Promoting wholeness and wellbeing in education: Exploring aspects of the spiritual dimension. In M. de Souza, L. Francis, J. O’Higgins-Norman, & D. Scott (Eds.), International handbook of education for spirituality, care and wellbeing (pp. 677–692). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dowling, M. (2009). Young children’s personal, social and emotional development (3rd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Duffy, R. D., & Blustein, D. L. (2005). The relationship between spirituality, religiousness, and career adaptability. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67, 429–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dull, V. T., & Skokan, L. A. (1995). A cognitive model of religion’s influence on health. Journal of Social Issues, 51, 49–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dunst, C. J., Hamby, D., Trivette, C. M., Raab, M., & Bruder, M. B. (2000). Everyday family and community life and children’s naturally occurring learning opportunities. Journal of Early Intervention, 23, 151–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fisher, J. W. (2010). Reflections on publications relating to spirituality in Australian education. In M. de Souza & J. Rimes (Eds.), Meaning and connectedness: Australian perspectives on education and spirituality (pp. 105–126). Mawson: Australian College of Educators.Google Scholar
  19. Fisher, J. W. (2012). Connectedness: At the heart of resiliency and spiritual well-being. In C. A. Stark & D. C. Bonner (Eds.), Handbook on spirituality: Belief systems, societal impact and roles in coping (pp. 265–277). New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Fox, L., Vaughn, B. J., Wyatt, M. L., & Dunlap, G. (2002). “We can’t expect other people to understand”: Family perspectives on problem behavior. Exceptional Children, 68, 437–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Foxworth, M. (1998). Putting spirituality in public schools. Tikkun, 13(6), 51–54.Google Scholar
  22. Friedman, I. A., & Farber, B. A. (1992). Professional self-concept as a predictor of teacher burnout. Journal of Educational Research, 86(1), 28–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Geving, A. M. (2007). Identifying the types of student and teacher behaviors associated with teacher stress. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 624–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Greene, M. (1978). Landscapes of learning. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  25. Halford, J. M. (1998/1999). Longing for the sacred in schools: A conversation with Nel Noddings. Educational Leadership, 56(4), 28–32.Google Scholar
  26. Hay, D., & Nye, R. (2006). The spirit of the child (2nd ed.). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  27. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58, 64–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Koenig, H. G. (2000). Religion and medicine: Historical background and reasons for separation. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 30(4), 385–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Koenig, H. G., & Cohen, H. J. (2002). Psychological stress and autoimmune disease. In H. G. Koenig & H. J. Cohen (Eds.), The link between religion and health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the faith factor (pp. 174–196). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kokkinos, C. M., & Davazoglou, A. M. (2009). Special education teachers under stress: Evidence from a Greek national study. Educational Psychology, 29(4), 407–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mata, J. (2006). Spirituality in early childhood classrooms: Can we do it? Why and how? Retrieved from http://www.freewebs.com/jen_mata/Spirituality%20in%20EC%20Classrooms.pdf
  32. McGreevy, A.M., & Copley, S.H. (1999). Spirituality and education: Nurturing connections in schools and classrooms. Classroom Leadership, 2(4). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/classroomleadership/dec1998/Spirituality-and-Education.aspx
  33. McIntosh, D. N. (1995). Religion-as-schema, with implications for the relation between religion and coping. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 5, 1–1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miller, J. P. (2002). Learning from a spiritual perspective. In E. O’Sullivant & M. A. O’Connor (Eds.), Expanding the boundaries of transformative learning: Essays on theory and praxis (pp.~95–102). New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Palmer, P. (1998a). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  36. Palmer, P.J. (1998/1999). Evoking the spirit in public education. Educational Leadership, 6, 6–12.Google Scholar
  37. Palmer, P. J. (2003). Teaching with heart and soul: Reflections on spirituality in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(5), 376–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Peterson, E. H. (1997). Leap over a wall: Earthy spirituality for everyday Christians. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  39. Rolph, J. (1991). Can there be quality in teacher education without spirituality? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 16(1), 49–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rowan, C. (2015). Ten reasons why handheld devices should be banned for children under the age of 12. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html
  41. Seymour, M. (2004). Introduction. In M. Seymour (Ed.), Educating for humanity: Rethinking the purposes of education (pp. 1–9). Washington, DC: The Heritage Institute.Google Scholar
  42. Shahjahan, R. A. (2005). Spirituality in the academy: Reclaiming from the margins and evoking a transformative way of knowing the world. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 18(6), 685–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Thoresen, C. E. (1999). Spirituality and health: Is there a relationship? Journal of Health Psychology, 4(3), 291–300. doi: 10.1177/135910539900400314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tisdell, E. (2003). Exploring spirituality and culture in adult and higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  45. Turkle, S. (2012). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. Jackson: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  46. Venugopal, K. (2009). The philosophical underpinnings of holistic education. Journal of the Krishnamurti Schools, 13. Retrieved from: http://journal.kfionline.org/issue-13/the-philosophical-underpinnings-of-holistic-education
  47. Zhang, K. C. (2012). What I look like: College women, body image, and spirituality. Journal of Religion and Health. doi: 10.1007/s10943-012-9566-0.Google Scholar
  48. Zhang, K. C., & Tan, C. (2010). Exploring the spiritual needs of adolescent girls. Religion and Education, 37(2), 146–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhang, K. C., & Yu, E. D. (2012). Quest for a good life: Spiritual values, life goals, and college students. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-5872.2012.00183.x.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and Faculty of Social and Health SciencesUnitec Institute of Technology, Carrington Rd, Mt AlbertAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Special EducationUniversity of TaipeiTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations