Education and the Soul

Toward a Spiritual Curriculum

By John P. Miller

Subjects: Education, Contemplative Studies
Paperback : 9780791443422, 180 pages, October 1999
Hardcover : 9780791443415, 180 pages, October 1999

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

The Soul as Educator
by Thomas Moore


Part I
Exploring Soul

Education and the Soul

Conceptions of the Soul

Love and Work

Part II
Nurturing Soul

Curriculum for the Inner Life

Arts Education and the Soul

Earth and the Soul

The Soulful School

The Soulful Teacher

Change and the Soul



With emphasis on preparing students for jobs, standards, and achievement testing, many think that North American education has become inwardly deadening, yet this book provides a counterbalance as it offers a way to nurture the soul in classrooms and schools.


Education and the Soul is the first book to comprehensively address how the soul can be nourished in educational settings. The book explores the nature of the soul and offers teaching/learning approaches that can be used to nurture the development of students' souls. It also examines how institutions such as schools have souls and what can be done to care for a school's spiritual life.

John P. Miller is Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and Coordinator of the Holistic and Aesthetic Education Focus at OISE/UT. He has written many books including most recently The Contemplative Practitioner: Meditation in Education and the Professions.


"Education and the Soul is a coherent, wide-ranging, thoughtful, and accessible response to the question of how we can bring the soul into the daily fabric of schooling. What I like most is that its practicality and utility are grounded in life-long study, a calm and powerful wisdom, and an ability to integrate theory and practice." —David Marshak, author of The Common Vision: Parenting and Educating for Wholeness

"Once we shift from mind to soul, our teaching will change radically. It will follow the lines developed so imaginatively and comprehensively by Jack Miller in these pages.

"To introduce the soul into education, therefore, is a radical proposal, and yet it is a gentle enterprise. But we all know that gentleness always requires deep-seated strength and security. Only the insecure become aggressive. Soul education requires imagination, not force.

"I can't imagine anything more important to our society than to bring soul back into education. In that spirit I support Jack Miller's leadership as he plays the role of duke, leading us all into the world where the genius in each of us may take root and find joyful manifestation." — Thomas Moore, from the Foreword

"Addressing a vital but neglected topic in education, Miller demonstrates the need for an education of, by, and for the soul in contrast to the vacuousness of contemporary reform efforts. The book follows a coherent conceptual framework and provides unique insights into both educational theory and practice. The extensive material on educational practices enables the reader to apply a broad and profound conception of the soul to the everyday classroom. I know of no other text that provides such detail on the meaningful educational application of transcendental ideas." —Jeffrey Kane, editor of Education, Information, and Transformation: Essays on Learning and Thinking