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  • The Intersection of Spirituality and SEL at Brandeis

    I write this in the Newark International Airport, waiting for my flight back to San Francisco. I have just spent two days at Teacher’s College at Columbia University, discussing how spirituality, environmental awareness, and the democratic ideals of our nation are interrelated, and how we can nurture each in educational settings. Teacher’s College is reserved in polished wood tones, imbued it seems with the contemplative spirits of John Dewey and Maxine Greene and other great philosophers of education who have researched and taught in its halls. The Newark airport glitters very differently, lit by thousands of screens, tablets shouting from every table top. The contrast—where and how we conceive of learning, and the world we are ostensibly preparing our students for—is striking ...

    Sitting here, I am reminded of another in-between moment in my life, when I had a layover here in New Jersey on my way home from my junior year abroad, which I spent in Alcala de Henares, Spain. I remember feeling alienated by the garish Americanness of the spectacle in Newark—even then, a time long before wireless internet and touchscreen interfaces—wishing I could somehow go back to the quietude and longer histories of the medieval university where I had spent the year studying ...
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