Spirituality and science education as shared praxis

Year: 2006

Author: Jane, Beverley

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Science and spirituality each bring a different perspective to the concerns of the world. Parker Palmer recognized the importance of developing the inner life of students, but secular education overlooks this aspect. In this paper I argue, from a sociocultural perspective, for spirituality and science education as shared praxis. On an individual level, this partnership requires students to be attentive and take notice of their experiences. On an interpersonal level, such a partnership requires students to work cooperatively to understand the interconnectedness of all components of the Earth's ecosystem. On a community/institutional level, connecting science with spirituality through a holistic approach to education, nurtures in students a post modern, deep ecology worldview that encourages them to treat all living things as subjects and engage in learning with their whole being. Scientists that incorporate a spiritual dimension in their work can be inspirational role models. This paper examines the approach of Barbara McClintock as a scientist who valued intersubjectivity. Periods of meditation facilitated her scientific discoveries and were integral to the way she worked. By including intersubjectivity in science education, the spiritual dimension of students' lives can be nurtured and developed.