Term of Award

Spring 2003

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Delores Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Dan Rea

Committee Member 3

June Alberto


This theoretical study explores spirituality in nursing education. My purpose for exploring spirituality is to promote connectedness in educational endeavors. This study addresses the philosophical challenge addressing the quality, or meaning of experiences in nursing education, and illuminates the opportunities for spiritual awareness in those experiences. An initial critique of modernist thought provides support for the need for spiritual and existential inquiry. The association of spirituality with religious, magical, or New Age notions is clarified. Various discourses of spirituality in curriculum studies, nursing, and nursing education are explored. Chapter II presents the dialogical existentialism of Martin Buber and the Human Becoming Theory of Rosemarie Rizzo Parse providing the framework for analysis of literature and development of a connected pedagogy. Chapters III and IV contain the extensive literature review and initial analysis within the theoretical framework. Emergent themes from the literature are developed in Chapter V offering a vision of a spiritually connected pedagogy. Spirituality is discussed as a relational concept of elements present in everyday life. Themes such as quietude, discomfort, contemplation, and surrender are addressed in the context of how they can connect teachers and students to present lives and work. I address spirituality as transformative not only on a grand scale, but as a way of living and teaching in the everyday world. This study aims to demystify spirituality and bring it into everyday consciousness. The specific methodology used in this study is that of writing. Writing provides a means for self-reflection, transformation, and intellectual growth. The process involves a series of reading, reflecting, and interpreting the literature. Included in the written analysis are personal narratives revealing insights into a connected pedagogy as they unfolded in the writing activity.


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