Introducing Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Spiritual Education
The development of spirituality in educational contexts is important as it may assist students to engage in reflective thoughts and enhance a more meaningful outlook on life. "Spirituality" refers to the spirit characteristics of human beings, which enables one to use reasons and sensibilities to perceive, recognize the external world, and to be cognizant of one’s psychological states, personal experiences, and understanding of rationality. Spiritual development, in particular, is promoted as one of the major components of life education in the Taiwanese 12-year school curriculum. However, the question of whether spirituality can be taught and how it can be taught is still a challenge for many teachers in Taiwan. Spirituality is closely aligned with religion and the importance of personality integration. Studies have shown, for example, that aside from religion, there may be other avenues for the development of spirituality.
This paper addresses the theoretical and practical development of spirituality in the context of education from three contrasting perspectives: historical development, health well-being, and educational curriculum. The historical perspective looks at how spirituality becomes part of the education program. The second perspective examines the prospect that spirituality could form part of a person’s “healthy lifestyle”. The third perspective places emphasis on the extent to which spirituality is effectively taught in school. These three parts, overall, form an integral view of spiritual education in the life education context.
International views from two case studies (Australia and Ireland) about the implementation of spirituality in education may provide critical insights into the spirituality models that could assist the local life education program in the Taiwanese curriculum. This cross-cultural examination is warranted, given that the global society is moving into a multidimensional educational framework and multi-faith. Therefore it necessitates education to also move in the same direction in order to cater for the individual development and spiritual growth of students. The goal of this endeavour is to enable students to become better citizens based on more spiritually healthy well-being.
|關鍵詞||靈性、靈性教育、生命教育、健康幸福感、多元文化觀點、spirituality、spiritual education、life education、health well-being、multi-cultural perspectives|