Presenters

 

Assistant Professor Rev. Richard Pengelley

University of Western Australia

Positive Schools WA – Day Two Host & Main Stage Talk

 

Assistant Professor Rev. Richard Pengelley

University of Western Australia

Positive Schools WA – Day Two Host & Main Stage Talk

 

About Richard

 

Richard Pengelley is married to a school teacher with 3 adult daughters.  He works as a part time Chaplain at St George’s residential college and at UWA as a part time lecturer in Sport Science, Exercise and Health. He is also Sub-Dean University Community.  In his spare time Richard is working towards a PhD in educational and sports mentoring. He is an ordained Anglican priest and Canon of St George’s Cathedral. He is also a dual Olympian in the sport of water polo (1984/88) and still plays and coaches socially. He is a former high school PE teacher, school chaplain and parish priest. His interests include; anything to do with a ball, reading, nature (especially the beach), men’s health (especially spiritual/emotional) and eating chocolate.

 

MAIN STAGE TALK

Spirituality in Education

“When we bring forth the spirituality of teaching and learning, we help students honour life's most meaningful questions”, (Parker J Palmer, 1999).

In this presentation I want to suggest that there is a price to pray for any system of education that neglects spirituality to the point that it fails to address issues of meaning, vocation and mortality. It is my experience from teaching 1st graders to post graduate university students that the following sorts of questions are universal:

• What is the meaning and purpose of my life?

• Do I have gifts that the world wants and needs?

• Where can I put my trust, and how can I rise above my fears?

• How can I make sense of suffering and maintain hope?

• What is death all about?

As the history teacher brings to life the "dead" past and the biology teacher shows our connection to the “mute” natural world - so “irrelevant” spiritual exploration can emerge meaningfully from what already exists. This presentation will examine some of the ways in which meaning can be explored within educational communities.

Most of us become teachers for reasons of the heart and part of this presentation is designed to help us re-connect with our “heart motivation”. Rather than ask “what, how or who” should I teach, you will be asked in this session to reflect upon the question “who am I the teacher, and how am I and my students transformed by my teaching?”