In recent decades, and around the world, much attention has been given to the role of spirituality in the education of children and young people. While educationalists share many common goals and values in nurturing the spiritual lives of children and young people, national and regional cultures, religions and politics have impacted on the approaches scholars and practitioners have adopted in their investigations and practices. The different contexts across nations and regions mean that educators face quite distinct conditions in which to frame their approaches to spiritual education and research, and the nature and impact of these differences is not yet understood.

This book brings together thinkers from around the globe and sets them the task of explaining how their research on children’s spirituality and education has been shaped by the historical, cultural, religious and political contexts of the geographic region in which they work. The book presents contributions in three sections – Europe and Israel, Australasia, and The Americas– and concludes with a chapter highlighting what is common and what is contextually unique about global approaches to spirituality and education.

Preface Jacqueline Watson, Marian de Souza and Ann Trousdale   Part 1: Spirituality and Education in Europe and Israel  Introduction  Jacqueline Watson  1. Spirituality, Faith and Education: Some Reflections From a UK Perspective Ron Best  2. Spiritual Development in Schools with No Faith Affiliation: the Cultural Ambivalence towards Children’s Spirituality in England Kate Adams  3. The Custody of Spiritual Education in Ireland James O'Higgins Norman and Caroline Renehan  4. The Complex Flavour of Children’s Spirituality in Flanders: Fostering an Open Catholic Spirituality Annemie Dillen  5. An Emerging Approach to Spiritual Development through Religious Education in Maltese Schools Adrian-Mario Gellel  6. Spirituality and Education in Finland: Meeting the Socio-Demographic Changes with Empirical Research Kirsi Tirri and Martin Ubani  7. Spirituality in Israeli State Jewish Education: Possible Guidelines for National Education Systems Yaacov Katz  Part 2: Spirituality and Education in the Australasian Region  Introduction Marian de Souza  8. Taha Wairua: The Spiritual in State Education in Aotearoa New Zealand Deborah Fraser  9. Spirituality and Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia: Past, Present and Future Jane Bone  10. Nurturing Spirituality through a Dispositional Framework in Early Years Contexts Brendan Hyde  11. A Perspective on Spiritual Education in Australian Schools: The Emergence of Non-Religious, Personal Development Approaches Graham Rossiter  12. Buddhism in Bhutanese Education Noa Jones  13. Life Education in Contemporary Chinese societies Ngar-sze Elsa Lau  14. The Japanese Way of Spiritual Cultivation Yoshiharu Nakagawa 15. Spiritual Education in Singapore and Hong Kong: Issues, Challenges and Prospects Charlene Tan and Kaili Zhang  16. Buddha’s Beacon and the Long Shadow of Thai Culture: Spirituality and Education in Thailand Michael Earnest Jones  Part 3: Spirituality and Education in the Americas  Introduction Ann Trousdale  17. Spirituality in Canadian Education Michael Dallaire  18. Pluralism and Polarity: Spirituality and Education in the United States Ann Trousdale  19. Presence, Resonance, Transcendence: Education, Spirituality and the Contemplative Mind Tobin Hart  20. Transformative Approaches to Teacher Education Robert London  21. Research as Transformative Learning: A Longitudinal Study of Spirituality, Cultural Identity, and Unfolding Wisdom in the Lives of US Educators Elizabeth Tisdell  22. Spiritual Education in Brazil: Debates, Trends, Proposals and Experiments Dora Incontri  23. Global Perspectives and Contexts for Spirituality in Education Jacqueline Watson, Marian de Souza and Ann Trousdale