Listening to children's views of spiritual and metaphysical concepts: A new dimension to educational psychology practice

Irvine Gersch, Fiona Dowling, Georgia Panagiotaki, Anita Potton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Educational psychologists (EPs) have for many years been developing techniques for listening to children. The aim of the present research was to investigate ways of listening to the “spiritual” views of children in order to develop questions that educational psychologists might use as part of the assessment repertoire. The study explored children’s spiritual concepts such as their purpose for “being on the planet” and the “meaning of their life”. The findings suggest that primary and secondary school children from mixed religious backgrounds can respond to spiritual questions in a clear way. In addition, most children believed that spiritual views influence how children behave. Further research is required to explore whether children’s views of spiritual concepts are linked to learning and progress in school and in life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Psychology in Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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