'Pilgrim's Process' : a master's monomyth

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'Pilgrim's Process' : a master's monomyth

  • Lb Theory And Practice Of Education
  • Bl Religion
  • Lb1501 Primary Education


Introduction There is little focus on spirituality and the Spiritual Intelligence of children within the South African National Curriculum Statement (NCS) for schooling or in the Curriculum and Policy Statements (CAPS) of 2011. The word ‘spirituality’ does not appear in either document. The purpose of this study is therefore to investigate how children, their parents and teachers within a particular school community, experienced and made meaning of their lives through spirituality. In order to achieve this, five research objectives were explored: participants’ perceptions about God and spirituality, ways in which parents, teachers and children create a safe, creative and caring environment where participants are given a voice to discuss God and spirituality, how children interact, influence and affect each other in a spiritually focused group, the influence and effect of children’s spirituality upon parents, colleagues and community and ways in which a focus upon spirituality might affect learning and teaching. Structure An Interpretative paradigm, using a narrative approach, was used to answer two research questions: what is God and what is spirituality? This was achieved via Focus group activities, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires with children, their parents, my colleagues and other school community members. Children also presented their research findings at a conference on spirituality. Findings Although there may be similar patterns or themes, there can be no single truth about God and spirituality. Multiple truths exist about what God and Spirituality are, according to people’s religious and spiritual views and exposure to different cultures and beliefs. The process of introducing multiple views of God and spirituality engendered conflict from the parent group and some colleagues. After this period however, some members of the school community tended to accept spirituality as a relevant and natural aspect of the school curriculum. Conclusions and recommendations Issues concerning God and spirituality are subjective and contentious within the school. When dealing with children in a study of this nature it is imperative to get parental consent and support. Furthermore, teachers need to be encouraged to incorporate spirituality into everyday teaching; this may be linked to the critical outcome ‘seeing everything in terms of interrelated systems.’

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