Children and Spirituality: Inhabiting a Culture of Performativity


Chapter in book

Supporting children and youth through spiritual education
Neoliberal school reform agendas have served to create a culture of performativity in which learners’ success is measured in terms of how well they perform against sets of externally prescribed educational standards. In response, this chapter proposes the notion of a rights-respecting curriculum to nurture and promote the spiritual development and wellbeing of learners in the classroom. Such a curriculum assists learners to develop the skills and qualities of collaboration, social responsibility, empathy, and creativity. These qualities reflect the notions of connectedness and relationality, both of which are key elements in the descriptions of spirituality found in academic literature. Some examples of ways in which rights-respecting curricula might nurture and promote the spirituality of learners in the classroom honor learners’ ontological and innate spirituality, and which place worth and value on these learners as people, rather than on their ability to attain particular standards.


Brendan Hyde

IGI Global

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Digital Object Identifier:
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6371-0.ch006