The Social Studies of Spirituality
(photo from silouanthompson.net)
Where are the boundaries between Social Studies, Science, and Spiritual beliefs? Where do these distinct practices intersect? How does a teacher model equal respect for each?
As professional educators, how do we teach about intrinsically interdisciplinary (and sensitive) topics such as the basic foundations of life and death? Both alternative and popular cultures have explored the intimate intersection between natural sciences and spirituality since the earliest discoveries of humankind. Through exploration of cultural customs and beliefs, a similarly fascinating intersection can be found between social studies and spirituality . As an outdoor educator in a formal, non-traditional setting, much of the curriculum I teach is based on the cultural history of the land. As I respectfully acknowledge both the facts and beliefs of particular cultures, I am repeatedly challenged to articulate the similarities and differences between social studies, science, and spiritual beliefs. In my desire to regard each subject area with equal respect and value, I am currently grappling with this dynamic, mysterious and sometimes perplexing crossroads between disciplines.