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Spiritual health: its nature and place i   Spiritual health: its nature and place i... - PDF Document (30 M)
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Citation Fisher, J. W. (1998). Spiritual health: its nature and place in the school curriculum. PhD thesis, Department of Science and Mathematics Education, University of Melbourne.
Handle 10187/1553
Title Spiritual health: its nature and place in the school curriculum
Creator Fisher, John W.
Date 1998-04
Subject / Keywords spirituality, interpersonal relations, education, curricula, teachers' attitudes, Victoria
Abstract As spirituality first appeared in Australian curriculum documents in 1994, it was important to establish how educators thought it related to student well- being. In this research a description and four accounts of spirituality - spiritual rationalism, monism, dualism, and multidimensional unity - were developed from available literature. The literature also revealed four sets of relationships important to spiritual well-being. These were the relationships of a person with themself, others, environment, and Transcendent Other.
The model of spiritual health proposed here claims that these four sets of relationships can be developed in corresponding Personal, Communal, Environmental and Global domains of human existence, each of which has two aspects - knowledge and inspiration. Progressive synergism describes the inter-relationship between the four domains.
The quality of relationships in the four domains constitutes , spiritual well-being in each domain. Spiritual health is indicated by the combined effect of spiritual well-being in each of the domains embraced by a person.
The principles of grounded theory qualitative research methodology were used to investigate the views of 98 teachers from a variety of schools near Melbourne. Feedback from 23 Australian experts, on the researcher’s definitions, is discussed.
To encompass all the teachers’ views of spiritual health, to the initial categories of Personalist, Communalist, Environmentalist and Globalist, a fifth category was added for the small group Rationalists, who embraced the knowledge, but not the inspiration/transcendent aspects, of the first three domains of spiritual well-being.
All the teachers believed spiritual health should be included in the school curriculum, most rating it of high importance, two-thirds believing it should be integral to the curriculum. The teachers’ major curriculum concerns focussed on Self, Others, the Transcendent, or Wholeness.
Investigation of those teacher characteristics seen as important for promoting spiritual health, with associated hindrances and ideals, showed variation by gender, personal view of spiritual health, major curriculum concern, teacher and school type. Greatest variation was noticed when comparing school type. State school teachers emphasised care for the individual student from a humanistic perspective. Catholic school teachers were concerned for the individual, with religious activities being implemented by dedicated teachers. Other Christian school teachers focussed on corporate, not individualistic, activities, and emphasised relationship with God. Other non-government school teachers emphasised tradition, with attendant moral values. Implications of these variations on school choice are discussed.
Principals’ behaviour, speech and attitude were considered by the teachers to be vital in providing opportunities for spiritual development in schools.
A 30-item Spiritual Health Measure (of Humanistic and Religious Aspects of Spiritual Health) was developed using the researcher’s model of spiritual health and data from 300 UK teachers.
The SHM should be useful as a diagnostic for individuals or groups to provide base data from which to plan enhancement of their spiritual health.
This thesis contains an analysis of how well the Victorian Curriculum & Standards Framework provides guidelines for promoting spiritual health.
A position of responsibility, called Spiritual Facilitator, is proposed to help ensure that the rhetoric about spiritual well-being is put into practice in schools.
Type PhD thesis
Language eng
Notes Deposited with permission of the author. 1998 Dr. John W. Fisher
Publication Status Unpublished
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Faculty/Department Education: Science and Mathematics Education
Faculty/Department Education
Institution University of Melbourne
Collection Research Collections (UMER)
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PID 67162
Identifier Access Digital File
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