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Interrogating (Hi)stories

Establishing the Educational Relevance of Spiritual Development Through Critical Historiography


Audrey Lingley

In Interrogating (Hi)stories, Audrey Lingley uses a critical constructivist perspective to problematize the absence of the spiritual dimension of human growth from pedagogical models that emphasize responsiveness to developmental psychology. The book investigates this conspicuous absence through critical historiographical research; it is a critical interrogation of the tacit understandings that guide education in general and middle grades reform in particular. The author offers practical, classroom-based implications and culturally respectful language for educators who believe spirituality is a legitimate aspect of human growth and learning in a public school setting.
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Chapter Three: Excluding the Spiritual Dimension From Developmentally Responsive Education


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Chapter Three

Excluding the Spiritual Dimension From Developmentally Responsive Education

HUMAN development theory informs and guides recommended practices with young adolescent students. Developmental theory is not necessarily of more importance in the middle grades than it might be in other grades. From the perspective of middle grades advocates, the danger lies in not distinguishing between children, young adolescents, and older adolescents when considering pedagogy. For example, Nakkula and Ravich (1998) used the term applied developmentalists as a means of emphasizing how successful middle grades teachers approach their professional practice. When applying human development theory to middle grades education, the typical characteristics of intellectual, social, emotional, psychological, moral, and physical changes are used to inform school-related practices such as assessment, curriculum, instruction, leadership, and organization. In sum, if middle grades education and developmental psychology were represented visually as two overlapping circles, the overlapping space in between would represent the middle grades concept of developmentally responsive education:

Figure 3.1

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