Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Spirituality and Schooling
Victor N. Kobayashi
The spiritual lives of children and adults are considered of utmost importance in education in many cultures. Psychiatrist Robert Coles noted in his travels that children throughout the world often expressed concern about matters spiritual. Yet when it comes to public schooling in countries such as the United States, spirituality is seldom discussed in official discourse. Public schools and universities (and many private educational institutions) are expected to focus on what is directly important to the purposes of the secular aspects of life. In mass societies, the religious aspects of education are often left to the family and religious communities, rather than to the common schools, which are required to emphasize those aspects of living that are considered essential to all youth, regardless of sectarian religious preferences; in multicultural societies, emphasis on matters related to religion can be highly divisive. Nevertheless, the spiritual lives of youth and adults have been ...