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The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion, and Character at School

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Based on the deeply moving stories and profound questions of students themselves, each chapter responds to the yearnings young people express: Deep Connection, Meaning and Purpose, Silence, Joy, Creativity, Transcendence, and Initiation--each evokes a gateway to inviting soul into the classroom. Without healthy forums led by responsible adults, young people seek these gatew Based on the deeply moving stories and profound questions of students themselves, each chapter responds to the yearnings young people express: Deep Connection, Meaning and Purpose, Silence, Joy, Creativity, Transcendence, and Initiation--each evokes a gateway to inviting soul into the classroom. Without healthy forums led by responsible adults, young people seek these gateways on their own, sometimes in destructive ways like drugs, sex, suicide, hazing, and even murder. Helping students find constructive ways to express their longings increases their motivation to learn; stay in school; strengthen ties to family and friends; and approach adult life with vitality, character, and vision. This practical and inspirational sourcebook will support school communities that are committed to preventing violence and alienation and producing responsible, caring citizens.


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Based on the deeply moving stories and profound questions of students themselves, each chapter responds to the yearnings young people express: Deep Connection, Meaning and Purpose, Silence, Joy, Creativity, Transcendence, and Initiation--each evokes a gateway to inviting soul into the classroom. Without healthy forums led by responsible adults, young people seek these gatew Based on the deeply moving stories and profound questions of students themselves, each chapter responds to the yearnings young people express: Deep Connection, Meaning and Purpose, Silence, Joy, Creativity, Transcendence, and Initiation--each evokes a gateway to inviting soul into the classroom. Without healthy forums led by responsible adults, young people seek these gateways on their own, sometimes in destructive ways like drugs, sex, suicide, hazing, and even murder. Helping students find constructive ways to express their longings increases their motivation to learn; stay in school; strengthen ties to family and friends; and approach adult life with vitality, character, and vision. This practical and inspirational sourcebook will support school communities that are committed to preventing violence and alienation and producing responsible, caring citizens.

30 review for The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion, and Character at School

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    If you've ever desired to go deeper and support students in cultivating a deep sense of self and soul, this is the book for you. While geared toward students 6-12, much of this is transferrable to younger students and can be integrated into k-5 classrooms. The author thoughtfully and thoroughly explores various pathways to deepening student's experience and understanding of their soul, from silence, to creativity, to suffering and joy, to transcendence, and all in practical, applicable, trauma-i If you've ever desired to go deeper and support students in cultivating a deep sense of self and soul, this is the book for you. While geared toward students 6-12, much of this is transferrable to younger students and can be integrated into k-5 classrooms. The author thoughtfully and thoroughly explores various pathways to deepening student's experience and understanding of their soul, from silence, to creativity, to suffering and joy, to transcendence, and all in practical, applicable, trauma-informed practices and exercises. I would highly recommend this book to any teacher hoping to holistically encourage healthy development in their classroom.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I think the idea is great.. there is much more to teaching than the academic curriculum. Unfortunately with the education system the way it is now, stressing - Reading, Math, and Science many of the situations would not be able to be implemented. Therefore, I found much of the book to be unrealistic in a school setting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Grace Dague

    Beautiful book that all educators should read. Confirms so many of the things I know in my heart but that are not always present or practiced in public education.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Having read this with a friend of another faith for an article we were writing together on five books that define the landscape of the field of religious education for youth in 2012, I have to admit that this was my least favorite of the five books we read. I think Kessler wants public school teachers to cross the line between professional educator and spiritual adviser, which I do not advocate. Kessler does bring to forefront of the educational consciousness that many students do have a spiritu Having read this with a friend of another faith for an article we were writing together on five books that define the landscape of the field of religious education for youth in 2012, I have to admit that this was my least favorite of the five books we read. I think Kessler wants public school teachers to cross the line between professional educator and spiritual adviser, which I do not advocate. Kessler does bring to forefront of the educational consciousness that many students do have a spiritual life that they do not "check at the door" when they walk into schools. But I definitely prefer other approaches (such as Moore's "cultural studies" approach, or even Emile Lester's "democratic approach") to education about religion in schools.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Beautiful book, but largely idealistic and sadly can't be implemented in today's public schools. However, Kessler's theories might find a place in other settings: private and/or religious schools and institutions. One criticism: I do wish she had addressed ways in which to counter bullying behaviors that too often play into the safety of students in these classes where vulnerability is encouraged. Beautiful book, but largely idealistic and sadly can't be implemented in today's public schools. However, Kessler's theories might find a place in other settings: private and/or religious schools and institutions. One criticism: I do wish she had addressed ways in which to counter bullying behaviors that too often play into the safety of students in these classes where vulnerability is encouraged.

  6. 5 out of 5

    KJP

    Overall, I liked this book. There were several pieces that I found unrealistic--but mostly it confirmed much of my philosophy about why Im teachingt...that Im helping my students with more than language arts. Unfortuneately, I dont feel like I really learned anything or came away with any practical strategies or techniques to use.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sally

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharayah

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tim Ayalin

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ina

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  14. 5 out of 5

    Clay

  15. 5 out of 5

    Frederic Laloux

  16. 5 out of 5

    Abby

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ieva

  18. 5 out of 5

    MaryAnne

  19. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  20. 4 out of 5

    Loris

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diann

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gina

  24. 5 out of 5

    NJ

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  26. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  27. 5 out of 5

    John

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Carranza

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary

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