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Spirituality in Social Work and Education

Theory, Practice, and Pedagogies

Edited by Janet Groen

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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Chapter 1: Introduction

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pp. 1-14

How is “spirituality” defined and conceptualized within the professions and disciplines of social work and education? Why have educators and social workers become increasingly interested in spirituality, and what are the rationales for its incorporation into professional practices? How do social work and education scholars currently teach professional students about spirituality? What are the ...

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Section One: Introduction to Section One: Historical and Theoretical Underpinnings

Spirituality” as a focus for research and practice in the professions of education and social work has experienced rapid development and burgeoning interest in the past decade. However, assuming that this is a “new” area of exploration for us negates compelling evidence that spiritualty has been an underlying value and force over the past century in both social work and education. The first four ...

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Chapter 2: For Whose Purposes? Examining the Spirituality Agenda in Adult Education

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pp. 17-34

Adult education has its roots in religious impulses and directions, from the early days of the Presbyterian Minister Alfred Fitzpatrick (1920/1999) setting up the literacy initiative Frontier College in the railway camps, to Mary Arnold and Moses Coady working with the Antigonish Movement in the 1920s and 1930s in northeastern Nova Scotia (Neal, 1998), to abstinence crusaders such...

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Chapter 3: Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Academic Settings

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pp. 35-56

This chapter is a collaboration between a professor (Graham) who has been writing on the topic of spirituality in social work since the early 1990s, and a very impressive graduate student (Shier) completing a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania (the words here are Graham’s). They have published together on the topic before (Graham & Shier, 2009, 2011; Shier & Graham, 2012), and ...

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Chapter 4: Prisoners of the Story: A Role for Spirituality in Thinking and Living Our Way to Sustainability

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pp. 57-76

Up to now, social work (as with most other professions and society in general) has failed to engage in and effectively respond to environmental challenges in a substantial way. For example, social workers have not significantly altered their practices in response to the flood of research and media attention over the past two decades concerning environmental destruction, and in particular, global...

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Chapter 5: Kindred Spirits? Challenges and Opportunities for the Faculties of Education and Social Work in the Emerging Teaching Focus on Spirituality

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pp. 77-94

Recently, Arthur Zajonc (Palmer & Zajonc 2010) reflected on the need, as an academic, to overcome the divide between spirituality and higher education at both an institutional and individual level. At both levels, he stated that academics needed to find a way to an “undivided life where meaning and purpose are tightly interwoven with...

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Section Two: Introduction to Section Two: The Pedagogy of Spirituality in Higher Education

Against a university backdrop that places significant value on teaching strategies emphasizing the cognitive engagement and development of students, faculties of education and social work have begun to explore pedagogical approaches that incorporate spirituality in coursework, and to measure the implications of doing so. The varying levels of acceptance and ensuing tensions caused by including ...

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Chapter 6: Spirituality and Professional Education: Contributions toward a Shared Curriculum Framework

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pp. 97-120

Should universities and colleges preparing people for professions in education and social work devote time in their programs to understanding and promoting spirituality? From a Buddhist perspective (as I understand it), spirituality concerns all facets of life, and some measure of success in actualizing our spiritual potential is necessary to our individual and collective well-being (Vokey, 2005a). ...

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Chapter 7: The Ties That Bind and Unwind: Spirituality in the Secular Social Work Classroom

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pp. 121-140

The issues of spirituality and religion are never neutral in a social work classroom. While many have used spirituality as a more inclusive term than religion (Canda & Furman, 2010), it still presents some troubling challenges within the context of secular education. For some students, their positive experiences with religious communities or spiritual knowledge have proved foundational for their turn ...

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Chapter 8: Engaging the Noosphere: An Integral Approach to Teaching Spirituality Online

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pp. 141-164

Spirituality has been the subject of several face-to-face and online graduate courses in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary for a number of years. The venture into explicit focus on spirituality was initiated by Dr. Tad Guzie, a Jungian scholar who made a connection between Jung’s theory and spirituality in his teaching. Tad developed the first course on spirituality offered ...

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Section Three: Introduction to Section Three: Implications for Practice

While educators and social workers perform different and unique roles, there are convergences in their methods and values. Teaching is a key aspect of what social workers do, albeit using a different method compared to that of many teachers. At times, educators also have to attend to the mental health concerns or cultural diversities of their students in thoughtful and effective ways. Increasingly, both ...

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Chapter 9: A Review of Spiritually Sensitive and Holistic Social Work Methods: Current Emphases and Future Directions for Research and Practice

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pp. 167-186

In this chapter, I consider some of the current approaches, perspectives, and emerging trends that are prominent within the spiritually sensitive social work practice research literature. The aim of this discussion is to (a) take stock of some accomplishments to date with an eye toward future research and knowledge development, and (b) to demonstrate how social work researchers ...

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Chapter 10: Contemplative Practices in Teacher Education: What I Have Learned

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pp. 187-204

In 1988, I started including a meditation component in my graduate education classes. I teach courses in holistic education and spirituality in education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. In this chapter, I reflect upon what I have learned from working with contemplative practices for over twenty years...

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Chapter 11: Toward Better Holistic Medical Education: What Can We Learn from Spiritual Healers?

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pp. 205-216

My colleagues and I are interested in improving medical education by considering holistic healing that involves what one might term a spiritual component. The basic approach to date in Canadian medical schools has largely been to give lip service to the notion of holistic healing, though where actually mentioned in the medical curriculum, it encompasses placing patients in their ...

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Chapter 12: Stress, Coping, Growth, and Spirituality in Grief

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pp. 217-232

These are the words of a woman whose brother died of AIDS-related illness. In addition to her personal loss, she experienced dozens of other deaths in her work at an AIDS organization. She was thoughtful and spiritual about the changes, both positive and negative, that had occurred in her life as a result of her grief experiences...

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Chapter 13: The Role of Spirituality in Mediating the Trauma of Social Work Internships

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pp. 233-254

While the social work profession in North America was in many ways founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, spirituality has historically not been associated with social work education. This is partially because social work as a client-centred profession philosophically and theoretically supports each client’s right and entitlement to self-determination, which at times directly conflicts with religious ...

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Chapter 14: Concluding Thoughts

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pp. 255-258

We have noted in this book how much growth has taken place over the past decade in the area of spirituality in social work and education, and that the time is ripe for considering how interdisciplinary collaboration can further advance our work in this broad field. We encourage emerging scholars, practitioners, and students to build on the solid foundation that has been created, to foster ...


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pp. 259-262


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pp. 263-273

E-ISBN-13: 9781554586424
E-ISBN-10: 1554586429
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554586264
Print-ISBN-10: 1554586267

Publication Year: 2012