Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students' by Alexander W. Astin

By Alexander W. Astin

This e-book is based at the trust that the non secular improvement of faculty scholars has been principally neglected in our faculties and universities, regardless of the significance of religious issues to children of their quest to steer built-in lives. therefore, whereas teachers are understandably pleased with their "outer" accomplishments within the fields of technological know-how, drugs, know-how, and trade, schools and universities have more and more come to forget the student's "inner" development--the sphere of values and ideology, emotional adulthood, spirituality, and self-understanding.The booklet defines "spiritual improvement" very greatly: how scholars make which means in their schooling and their lives, how they boost a feeling of function, the price and trust dilemmas that they adventure, in addition to the position of faith, the sacred, and the paranormal of their lives. every one pupil, after all, will view his or her spirituality in a distinct manner. for plenty of, conventional spiritual ideals and practices may perhaps shape the middle in their spirituality; for others such ideals and practices may well play very little half. whereas two-thirds of the scholars within the research show a powerful curiosity in religious issues, good over part record that their professors by no means motivate discussions of religious/spiritual concerns, and in regards to the similar share document that professors by no means supply possibilities to debate the aim and which means of life.By elevating public wisdom of the $64000 function that spirituality performs in scholar studying and improvement, by means of alerting educational directors, college, and curriculum committees to the significance of non secular improvement, and through picking out attainable innovations for reinforcing that improvement, the booklet will inspire associations to offer better precedence to those non secular elements of scholars’ academic and private improvement.

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Our Religious Engagement scale shares some item content with Levin’s (1999) Private Religious Practices scale, MacDonald’s (2000) Religiousness factor, and especially with Idler’s (1999) Organizational Religiousness scale. The negative pole of Genia’s (1991) Spiritual Experience index contains items that are similar to some of those in our Religious/Social Conservatism scale, while the positive pole in some respects resembles our Ecumenical Worldview scale. Finally, at least two earlier measures appear to contain elements of our Equanimity scale: Underwood and Terisi’s (2002) Daily Spiritual Experience scale and MacDonald’s Existential Well-being scale.

These findings suggest that students who are drawn to certain areas of study may be at least somewhat predisposed toward high (or low) engagement in spiritual questing. Related developmental and practical implications warrant further study. Changes in quest inclinations follow a similar pattern. Thus, majoring in the health professions heightens, or intensifies, students’ propensity to engage in a spiritual quest, while majoring Spiritual Quest 41 in mathematics or statistics, history or political science, or engineering has a dampening effect on students’ quest inclinations.

Time spent critically contemplating one’s perceptions, experiences, and roles may help individuals gain greater awareness and self-understanding, and help resolve disconnections between one’s values and experiences (Ash and Clayton, 2004; Hatcher and Bringle, 1997; Morton, 1993). Through these processes, students can better embrace their capacity to develop and articulate their own understanding of the world and their place within it. Other positive influences on students’ quest development include several activities that would be expected to stimulate their interest in exploring spiritual and religious matters: reading sacred texts, reading other material on spirituality and religion, and discussing religion.

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