This book discusses the intersection of teaching practices and spirituality. Written in a straightforward style it encourages and persuades us to look at the spiritual dimension of teaching.
A unique, one of its kind book, it is intuitive and easy to use as it follows a step by step approach that empowers the teacher and the pupil both to solve educational challenges. It guides teachers to think and teach at a higher level of consciousness.
This cutting edge approach and treatment of this increasingly important subject can only have come from Lauren Alderfer who loves teaching as a spiritual practice herself. It is indispensable for teachers, and educators, encouraging them to integrate the spiritual dimension with a practical educational plan.
"In this book, Lauren Alderfer lays out a clear step by step approach to making teaching a spiritual practice, a means of cultivating ethical values, drawn from her own experience. Educational is the foundation of all personal and social improvement and to make it available to others is one of the greatest gifts. I hope that what she has written will inspire teachers to help their students to use the freedom and opportunity of their time at school to learn to makes their lives meaningful, so that ultimately they may contribute to making the world in which they live a place of greater peach and harmony." H. H. The Dalai Lama
"Lauren Alderfer, in this book, has beautifully established a connection between ethics, spirituality and education, stimulating new ways of thinking. I wish I had recourse to such a book much earlier in my learning life
I can see children being so much more fulfilled after interacting with teachers who use this book." Arun Kapur Director, Vasant Valley School, New Delhi
From the Jacket
"I can think of few modern educators who have discussed the intersection of teaching practice and spirituality. In this book, Lauren Alderfer does so with a commitment and authenticity that leaves us no doubt that she lives teaching as a spiritual practice herself. Through her accessible and straightforward style, the report of her experience becomes a gift to teachers, encouraging us not to overlook the spiritual dimension of out teaching practice."Diane Larsen-Freeman, Ph.D., Director, English Language Institute,Professor of Education & Linguistics, University of Michigan
"What Lauren Alderfer has done is to remind all of us that reaching is as much a calling as a profession. It is a spiritual experience where two humans provide one another the opportunity to grow. More than just a reminder Lauren's book provides a tool and guidance in its use."Dr. Robert Hetzel, Director, American Embassy School, New Delhi, India.
"Dr. Alderfer user her extensive background in education and deep interest in Spirituality to present this very practical and enlightening work. She beautifully integrates quotes from spiritual personalities into the educational process as she uses her own practical experiences to provides the framework and strategies for instruction."William Scotti, Ph.DRegional Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State
"This beautifully written book is the culmination of a personal journey for spiritual enlightenment. A one of its kind, intuitive, easy to follow, step by step approach that empowers both teacher and pupil to reach far beyond the classroom walls to solve educational challenges."Linda ReidaReading Specialist, Applewild School, USA
"Punctuated by the words of great teachers and spiritual leaders, Dr. Alderfer's book sets the reader on a path to discovering the opportunities for spiritual growth in one's own daily work. Here the challenges of the classroom become opportunities to cultivate spiritual disciplines that impact all areas of life."Sean ConleyAssociate Dean, School for International Training, Vermont
Lauren Alderfer is an ESL (English as a Second Language) specialist whose decades of experience have spanned the globe. Currently, she divides her time between the US and India, serving on the Summer MAT faculty at the school for International Training, Vermont, and teaching in New Delhi. Her ability to blend a Western perspective with the deep spirituality of the East invites educators to cultivate their inner lives in the daily act of teaching. Her collaboration with the Tibetan refugee community resulted in the book Tibetan Proverbs: Children's voices from the homeland. Lauren Alderfer holds a Ph.D. in Global Educational Leadership from the Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Gene Parulis has been photographing ever since receiving his first camera as a child. For years the poles of his life have been teaching and traveling. Photography has been a bridge between them as well as another identity. He has taught in France, Algeria, Kuwait, and Yemen. He currently makes his home in Brattleboro, Vermont and is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Landmark College.
I believe it is important to understand that education and knowledge are like an instrument. Whether that instrument is put to use in a constructive or destructive way depends on each person's motivation. An education system that cultivates smart brains alone can sometimes create more problems that it solves. However, it is clear that if a student in addition to receiving a good intellectual education happens to have teachers with a warm heart, and a sense of responsibility for both caring and discipline, he or she tends to grow into a more fulfilled adult. Everyone can understand that being human, we want to lead a happy life, to have a happy family, to be happy within ourselves. But material things alone will not provide us with genuine inner peace or inner happiness. Positive human values are essential.
Just as parents bring up their children with love and care, teachers and school administrators need to make every effort to inculcate students with ethical values so that they grow up to be good human beings, with sound moral character and a commitment to the well-being of society. Passing examinations is not the be all and end all of education. Rather, we should bring up children in such a way that they grow up to be responsible individuals.
Important here is what I call basic spirituality- the basic human qualities of goodness, kindness, compassion and care. Whether we have religious faith or not, this kind of spirituality is essential. As long as we are human beings and members of the human family, all of us need these basic spiritual values. Without them, human existence remains something hard and dry. As a result, it is difficult to be happy. Our families and ultimately society will be more troubled. So, it is clear that cultivating these kinds of basic spiritual values is crucial to our well-being as a whole.
In this book, Lauren Alderfer lays out a clear step by step approach to making teaching a spiritual practice, a means of cultivating ethical values, drawn from her own experience. Education is the foundation of all personal and social improvement and to make it available to others is one of the greatest gifts. I hope that what she has written will inspire teachers to help their students to use the freedom and opportunity of their time at school to learn to make their lives meaningful, so that ultimately they may contribute to making the world in which they live a place of greater peace and harmony.by Dalai Lama
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