Teachers’ spirituality as an element of social action. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of primary teachers’ understanding and expression of spirituality

Aidan Gillespie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Spirituality is a contested term in education.Within professional education contexts, spirituality is understood and defined in numerous ways, some of which are ambivalent towards explicit expressions of spirituality. This study, emerging out of a successful doctoral thesis, seeks to examine one aspect of spirituality and the intersection between spirituality, professional identity and teaching practice. The findings point towards a new definition of spirituality directly related to the teaching profession; explicitly ‘spirituality comprises of moments of connection and profundity which lead to change’. Five primary school teachers took part in the study and through narrative accounts, demonstrated their understanding of their spirituality and how this related to their professional practice. The findings demonstrate the ways in which the teachers understood their role and the ways in which spirituality informed their practice which was both challenged and supported within the profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-340
JournalInternational Journal of Children's Spirituality
Issue number4
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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