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Published on December 6, 2007

Author: bruce

Source: authorstream.com

Spirituality of Finnish Religious Education Student Teachers:  Spirituality of Finnish Religious Education Student Teachers Professor Kirsi Tirri Department of Practical Theology University of Helsinki Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences:  Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences Builds on a concept of an "intelligence", which he defines as "the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings" (Gardner, 1993, x). The intelligences:  The intelligences (1) linguistic, (2) logical-mathematical, (3) musical, (4) spatial, (5) bodily-kinesthetic, (6) interpersonal, (7) intrapersonal (8) Spiritual? (9) Environmental? (Gardner, 1993, xi). Spiritual intelligence(SQ):  Spiritual intelligence(SQ) Gardner (1993) Zohar & Marshall (2000) SQ helps us to assess the most meaningful course of action SQ is the necessary foundation for the effective functioning of both IQ and EQ SQ is our ultimate intelligence Possible only for human beings The Data:  The Data The data includes students in theology who wanted to be selected to religious education teacher program in the University of Helsinki (n=86). Female n=65 , male n=21. 44 of the students (51%) were selected to the program in May 2003 42 (49%) were not selected Method:  Method The questionnaire consisted of 28 items that were operationalized from Gardner's theory to measure the seven intelligences. 20 items measured spiritual intelligence 16 items measured environmental intelligence The students used a 5-point Likert scale to assess their strengths in each of intelligence areas. Self-evaluation :  Self-evaluation Self-evaluated intelligence is closely related to a person's self-concept (SC). According to leading researchers, self-concept has a two-factor structure: general self-concept and academic self-concept (Shavelson et al., 1976). Religion and spirituality:  Religion and spirituality James (1902) Religion: “Feelings, acts and experiences of individual men in their solitude” (p.32) Today some writers use the terms religion and spirituality interchangeable to add linguistic variety to their terminology Many researchers define spirituality in contrast to religion The European view emphasizes people’s search for meaning in relation to big existential questions as important part of spirituality (Stifoss-Hanssen 1999) Spirituality:  Spirituality “Awareness that there is something greater than the course of everyday events” (Hay 1998) Events: birth, death, sadness, love Singing, drawing, painting Sensitivity to religious symbols and rituals Categories of spiritual sensitivity (Hay 1998):  Categories of spiritual sensitivity (Hay 1998) Awareness-sensing Here-and-now Tuning Flow Focusing Mystery-sensing Wonder and awe Imagination Value-sensing Delight and despair Ultimate goodness Meaning Relationship between human and devotional spirituality (Bradford 1995):  Relationship between human and devotional spirituality (Bradford 1995) Human spirituality becomes Devotional spirituality The means of females and males:  The means of females and males Results: factor analysis:  Results: factor analysis Factor 1. Environmental friendly (Alpha .87) -”I recycle actively” (.802) -”I pay attention to my habits to protect the environment(.683) Factor 2. Community oriented (Alpha .55) -”It is important to me to find a community to belong” (.541) -”I want to find a community where I can grow spiritually” (.426) Factor 3. Advocate for peace and justice (Alpha .75) -”Meditation and yoga practices help us to know ourselves” (.583) “Animal rights are important for me” (.500) Results: factor analysis:  Results: factor analysis Factor 4. Flow (Alpha .54) -”When I concentrate on some activity with all my heart I might forget the things around me” (.591) -”Stories and symbols are important things for me” (.518) Factor 5. Emphasis on eating and spending habits (Alpha .76) -”My diet consist mainly of vegetables for health reasons” (.882) -”I try to spend as little as possible for different things” (.362) Factor 6. Nature oriented (.81) -”I enjoy the beauty and experiences of nature” (-.795) “I like to exercise in the nature” (-.707) Results: ANOVA:  Results: ANOVA There were no statistically significant differences in the factors measuring spiritual and environmental intelligences between those students who were selected to the religious education teacher program and those who were not selected The females were more community oriented (factor 2) than the males (F=7.388, p<.01) The females were more nature oriented (factor 6) than the males (F=10.720, p<.01) Implications for teacher education:  Implications for teacher education Teacher education should acknowledge spiritual and environmental intelligences of student teachers in the curriculum Student teachers should be guided to nurture spiritual and environmental intelligences of their future students How?:  How? Student teachers ought to have the opportunity to engage in an open-ended conversation about religion and spirituality. This conversation should be positive, practical, dynamic, critical and free of bias Student teachers ought to have an opportunity to use both their heads and their hearts in examining the best and the worst of what spirituality and religion have to offer them in the process of their meaning-making

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