The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion, and Character at School

By Rachael Kessler

Foreword by Parker Palmer
* How can educators and parents of diverse backgrounds come together to find ways to invite soul into schools?

* How do educators address “soul” in education without violating the separation of church and state or the deeply held beliefs of families and students?

In this book, Rachael Kessler shows how.

Based on the deeply moving stories and profound questions of students themselves, each chapter responds to the yearnings young people express: Deep Connection, Meaning and Purpose, Silence, Joy, Creativity, Transcendence, and Initiation–each evokes a gateway to inviting soul into the classroom.

Without healthy forums led by responsible adults, young people seek these gateways on their own, sometimes in destructive ways like drugs, sex, suicide, hazing, and even murder. Helping students find constructive ways to express their longings increases their motivation to learn; stay in school; strengthen ties to family and friends; and approach adult life with vitality, character, and vision.

This practical and inspirational sourcebook will support school communities that are committed to preventing violence and alienation and producing responsible, caring citizens.

Rachel Kessler, the director of The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning and a coauthor of the ASCD book Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: A Guide for Educators, is a consultant for curriculum and professional development living in Boulder, Colorado.