THE NEXT WAVE OF WHOLE CHILD EDUCATION:
DESIGNING TRANSFORMATIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
What We Do
We are working to transform public and private education by promoting spiritual and moral development within schools and by giving educators tools to build classrooms and schools that nurture the inner life of their students. We do this work through four strategic initiatives:
1. Research. We gather successful practices and lessons learned from master practitioners, develop our process of school change, and share these findings.
2. The wakened Schools Institute. We bring educational leaders and teachers from around the country to learn about and reflect together on ways that their schools can develop a more spiritually-supportive culture.
3. Public Speaking. Through conferences, social media, and outreach, we share our work with schools, universities, researchers, and the public who want to do more to support the inner spirit of our children.
4. The National Council on Spirituality in Education. Through our National Conference on Spirituality in Education and other events, we are continuing to build a movement begun at our National Conference in 2019. Our conferences and events gather practitioners and academics to collaborate on ideas and initiatives that will advance the field of Spirituality in Education.
Why CSE was Formed
All human beings are born with a natural capacity for spirituality, which is an integral dimension of full human development. Spirituality fosters a way of being that provides a foundation for a young person’s intellectual, emotional, moral, social and physical development. There is mounting empirical evidence that nurturing the spirituality of children supports their health and happiness and helps them be more engaged, higher achievers, and better citizens.
When their spirituality is not nurtured, there is a higher prevalence of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, even violence and suicide. This proves to be the case regardless of gender, income-level, ethnic origin, or other background. By neglecting this critically important part of education of the whole child, we are putting our children at risk and leaving them without the resources to navigate the increasingly complex and challenging world they will inherit.
Spiritual and moral development not only benefits the individual child; it is critical for building a society of engaged citizens committed to the common good, the renewal of American democracy, and sustainable development. Fostering spirituality in children before it goes dormant is of critical importance if the nation is to generate the quality of future leadership so urgently needed in all sectors and institutions. The Collaborative for Spirituality in Education (CSE) is planting the seeds of social change and nurturing spiritually aware citizens and leaders for a new generation.
Spirituality and religion are often interrelated, but they are not identical. The universal innate capacity for spiritual development can be nurtured both within and outside the framework of institutional religion. The CSE recognizes that all schools—public, private, religious, charter– can and should support the healthy spiritual and moral growth of children and adolescents.
10 CHARACTERISTICS OF A SPIRITUALLY SUPPORTIVE SCHOOL
When the CSE promotes spirituality in education, it envisions the creation of caring, inspiring and safe school communities where:
- Respect and Love | Young people feel respected, understood, and loved.
- Meaning and purpose | They develop a deep sense of self-worth, belonging, meaning and purpose.
- Wonder | Their sense of wonder, a love of knowledge and a reverence for the mystery of being is nurtured.
- Inner life and self care – They learn to care for their heart, their deep inner core, as well as their body and mind.
- Moral development | They learn the meaning of freedom, self-discipline, and moral responsibility.
- Caring relationships | Their capacity to form and sustain caring relationships is cultivated.
- Democracy and social justice | They study and put into practice democratic ideals and principles of social justice.
- Compassion and service | They honor generosity of spirit, compassion, and service to the community.
- Connection to nature | They respect and care for the greater community of life and the environment.
- Joy/whole being | They experience the joy that creativity and the blooming of one’s whole being can bring.
THE COLLABORATIVE FOR SPIRITUALITY IN EDUCATION IS HOUSED AT TEACHERS COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.
IT WAS LAUNCHED IN COLLABORATION WITH ROCKEFELLER PHILANTHROPY ADVISORS AND THE FETZER INSTITUTE.
We invite you to participate as we further a National Conversation on
NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SPIRITUALITY IN EDUCATIO
“The Future of Spirituality in Education”
More details will be shared soon. We invite you to check back frequently
for additional information about our next National Conference.
With your help we can make a difference in the way our children experience life and view the world.