Findings from this study suggest spiritual encounter is a form of adult learning that leads to changes in perspective and actions in ways that are more inclusive and less combative. The spiritual encounter was experienced as a heuristic process involving a powerful perception of spirit encountered in a third space (Bhahba 1994). Most adult religious education is focused on transmitting content or knowledge based on received norms, doctrines, and customs as a part of formal learning experiences. Study participants reported powerful and formative experiences of spirit often occurring in incidental, informal, and non-formal ways (398)read more
This paper argues that although spirituality is increasingly featured in adult education literature, much is either descriptive or enthusiastically prescriptive. A rather wild eclecticism currently prevails. As educators we lack robust theoretical tools to help illuminate wide variation among spiritual orientations, each with different fundamental beliefs and values. The paper presents a framework comprising eight dimensions of spirituality, as a first step to illuminating important distinctions and incommensurable elements. These are (1) life and death; (2) soul and self; (3) cosmology; (4) knowledge; (5) the “way”; (6) focus; (7) practices of spirituality and the role of others; and (8) responses. Our discussion of these dimensions focuses upon the central question, What is the real intent of pedagogical interventions (in theory or practice) which integrate or focus upon spirituality? (this is the abstract of the article)read more
Parker J. Palmer (born 1939 in Chicago, Illinois) is an author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change.
Palmer served for fifteen years as Senior Associate of the now defunct American Association of Higher Education. He is the founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal, which oversees the “Courage to Teach” program for K-12 educators across the country and parallel programs for people in other professions, including medicine, law, ministry and philanthropy.read more