What do people understand by spiritual and moral development in children? How can teachers help children to explore and express their responses to these areas of experience even though the outcome may not be measured? How do people encourage children to reflect on their own feelings and experience in ways which help them to know themselves and to respect the thoughts, feeling and beliefs of others? The spiritual and moral areas of experience (together with the subject of Religious Education) have traditionally been considered to be difficult and controversial and yet, at the same time, acknowledged to be vital areas to consider if a balanced education is to be provided for children. This book explores aspects of spiritual and moral development and issues arising from them including the sensitive role of the teacher and the creation of an ethos in the school and classroom which promotes respect for the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of individuals. Each chapter gives help on definition of terms which are not easily understood, and certainly cannot be measured, as well as encouraging reflection which allows both teachers and children to be learners together.
The author looks at ways in which children can be helped to know themselves, to deal with positive and negative feelings, as well as how to relate to other people and discusses how opportunities can be created or grasped as they occur for children to respond to a sense of wonder and awe. Questions of meaning and purpose of experience and questions of right and wrong are considered before the final chapter of the book applies the strands of spiritual and moral development discussed in earlier chapters to the wider world of nature, giving practical ways of encouraging attitudes of caring for the world and sharing it with others.