Spirituality in science education: studying the environment
Author: Solomon, Joan
Source: Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Volume 28, Number 4, December 2003 , pp. 251-258(8)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:The value of including a kindof spirituality in science education, and especially in environmental education, is taken as a given. The work on which the argument is based starts from the young child's use of the senses which are so acute at primary school age, but also stimulates the asking of 'big questions' which seem spiritual in a sense that is examined here. A fragmented historical exploration shows pre-enlightenment educators encouraging the use of the senses, whereas Descartes, Hume, and Locke all argued against it. Later Husserl and Merleau-Ponty took a phenomenological stance which sometimes saw wonder, based on perception, as seriously opposed to scientific curiosity or explanation. The paper ends with an attempt to reconcile the phenomenological with the scientific, suggesting a perception of play which includes curiosity, andof theenvironment basedon the sensory. A brief look at thedevelopment of environmental attitudes over the last century shows an increasing use of the affective along with the scientific. A closing consideration of spirituality in the Gaia hypothesis is illustrated by an extract from metaphysical poetry.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-12-01