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Volume 4, Number 4 - October 2016

Spirituality in the early childhood education in New Zealand and around the globe: Relevance, research and beyond

This article notes that, while research keenly highlights how spirituality plays a critical role in children’s lives, it largely goes unrecognised in the importance of child development (Hart, 2005; McCreery, 1994; Whitehead, 2009; Wilson, 2010). Spirituality is a concept that resists definition: it means different things to different people (Hyde, 2008). The term covers a broad spectrum, ranging from sensing a ‘divine presence’ at one end to the other end where the focus lies on experiencing the emotionally enriching, awe and wonder response to an event, experience or encounter. This abstract and diverse understanding of the term make it difficult to incorporate spiritual development into practical teaching strategies with clear, educational outcomes. This article intends to throws light on what spirituality might mean in the context of early childhood education.


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