Spirit in pedagogical relations : a study of constraints and possibilities
This study explores the possibilities for Spirit as a key term and value position in the development of pedagogical relationships in schools. It begins with an examination of the nature of Spirit from different standpoints and assesses its wider connections to the spiritual, religious and moral aspects of the human condition. This preliminary analysis lays the basic foundations from which to develop a greater understanding of the importance of these connections in pedagogy. Attention is then given to the importance of the pedagogical relationship as a central issue in education generally. The role that tradition plays in shaping this aspect of pedagogy, as a distinct practice, is discussed. Also discussed is the need to enrich and expand traditional meanings in order to meet the challenges and constraints of contemporary practice. Arguing that a renewed vocabulary of spirit is not only necessary but vital for enriching traditional meanings and practices, the study builds this renewed vocabulary in two ways: (l) through an analysis of the implications of the philosophical perspectives of Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas and John Macmurray, and (2) through the reconstruction of pedagogies of spirit in the work of two teachers. The study concludes with four recommendations for approaching the continued reconstruction of pedagogies of spirit in the development of teacher education programmes.