Our Pathbreaking Research
Our research hub at Teachers College harvests practices from leading schools that have achieved excellence in promoting the inner spirit of their students. We test methodologies and tools that schools can use to build a culture and climate of awareness, belonging and connectedness.
This type of approach also models for teachers our understanding of the connection between the work of CSE and preparing students to inherit democracy. Nurturing one’s innate spirituality also forms one’s civic outlook and cultivates one’s civic engagement: if we recognize our inherent interconnection, that cannot but inform and transform the ways in which we engage in our communities. By creating an environment in which people are members of a community, we are establishing a space in which they can practice the type of society we aim to create, modeling such a process which schools could emulate. In this way, through modeling, we can show through experience the link between a spiritually supportive school culture and civic engagement.
The Awakened School Institute
Beginning October 2021
The Awakened Schools Institute is where the research of CSE comes to life. Through professional development for educators, our goal is to work alongside educators in public and under-resourced schools in designing an Awakened school culture. Given this priority, The Awakened Schools Institute will be offered free of charge for all participants.
Teacher education is at its best when new ways of teaching or leading are modeled. Showing people what spiritually supportive education is, rather than just telling them what it is, speaks to the lived experience of teaching and learning in deeper and more lasting ways. By cultivating our own spiritually supportive professional development environment, we will be accessing and nurturing teachers’ own innate spirituality, nourishing them in ways that are so needed now and allowing them to experience how transformative and meaningful spiritually supportive education can be.
The objectives of the Awakened Schools Institute are:
- To encourage teachers and school leaders to nurture and ground their practice in their own spirituality;
- To reclaim why teachers entered teaching initially, reclaiming that excitement, love, and purpose;
- To experience what spirituality in education means and to tie that to their reason for becoming a teacher;
- To (re)awaken teachers to this approach to education so that they can change their school culture. By getting back to who they wanted to be as teachers, and to do this collectively so that they can support each other in maintaining this shift and in changing school culture.
Whole-school change requires a team made up of members who are experienced and seen as leaders. The Awakened Schools Institute will invite small teams of teachers and educational leaders to participate in a year-long process of nourishment, relationship building, and reimagining education for school culture change. These teams should be made up of
Work on Culture and Climate in Schools
We have developed a process built around the 11 Drivers of a Transformative School Culture. Our staff members are available to work with schools as facilitators of that process, helping schools examine their current strengths and set their own goals for the future. The process is designed to be flexible to adapt to the unique context of every school community
The National Council on
Spirituality in Education
The National Council is a meeting ground for sharing research, learning, resources and ideas related to the spiritual development of children and adolescents in the school environment. Through its national conference in November 2019 and other future activities, we look to support the broad-based movement for spirituality in education. We aim to elevate awareness of the need to nurture the deep inner core of the child, build awareness of what it takes to do this work, and eventually influence public policy.