Spirituality Matters: An Exploration of Diversity in Teacher Education

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The purpose of this paper is to enhance the debate on, and understanding of, issues around the role of spiritual development in learning and in researching the lives of teacher candidates and their students in schools. By implication, diversity in the classroom includes the multiplicity of faith backgrounds represented in many urban settings. Spirituality is connected to many aspects of human existence, ranging from interpersonal relationships to global environmental factors, and underpins the diverse lens through which teacher candidates and their students see the world. Human beings are driven by fundamental questions and seek meaning. The exploration of spiritual, emotional, and moral dimensions of learning and practitioner research raises complex questions. Audience participation will be integral to this paper. Feedback on this experimental approach to teaching human development will be essential to move the discussion forward.


Keywords: Diversity, Teacher Education, Spirituality, Faith Backgrounds
Stream: Identity and Belonging; the Politics of Diversity; Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Martine Jago

Associate Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University
Irvine, California, USA

Dr. Jago was awarded a three-year full-time research scholarship for her doctoral study which explored the impact of policy on practice in terms of social change and curriculum innovation, and a two-year grant from the European Union for the training and mobility of young researchers. Until 1995, she was the vice principal of a public elementary school in England. She has been a high school teacher of foreign languages in Germany and California, and an Assistant Professor in education at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Alaska. In 2001, she was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce in London for her contribution to language education. Dr Jago gained her PhD from the University of Kent, her teaching credential from the University of Cambridge, and her MA from the University of Oxford.

Dr. Nancy Harding

Associate Professor, Progam Director Teacher Education, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Pepperdine University
Los Angeles, California, USA


Ref: D08P0155