Spiritual development: understanding and importance in schools: an analysis based on statements made by school directors from Valparaíso, Chile

Francisco Vargas-Herrera, Loreto Moya-Marchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chile’s General Law of Education states that one of the purposes of education is the spiritual development of all its schooled population. Furthermore, guidelines in Chile’s education system place school directors as key players in student’s learning. This article presents the results of a research involving school directors from Valparaíso, Chile. The aim of this research was to identify how directors of secular and religious schools understand their students’ spiritual development. We studied this aspect in particular through semi-structured interviews conducted with 20 participants. Results show that directors understand spirituality as a typically human ability that can be strengthened in schools and, thus, they believe it to be highly important in schools. In addition, they see a strong relation between spiritual development and ethical and moral development. This study also shows differences in how secular and religious schools’ directors understand this relation. This opens the way for more in-depth analysis regarding spiritual development in Chile’s education system, especially considering that directors generally believe it to be a part of a holistic and quality education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Children's Spirituality
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Spiritual development
  • school directors
  • secular and religious schools
  • spirituality
  • values

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