Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Prof Yaacov J Katz

 

 Prof Yaacov J Katz

Email Id- yaacov.katz@biu.ac.il

Country- Israel

Prof Yaacov J Katz is a senior member of the faculty of the School of Education at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and specializes in the fields of religious education and values, affective education and social attitudes in education. He is a member of the executive committee of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values (ISREV) and has been a member of the European Affective Education Network (EAEN) since its inception. He is a prominent researcher in the above fields and has published a number of edited books and many scholarly book chapters and papers in scientific journals on educational issues related to the three topics in which he specializes.
 
In his administrative capacities, Prof Katz has served Head of the School of Education at Bar-Ilan University and has also served as Chief Pedagogic Officer of the Israel Ministry of Education where he was responsible for all subject matter taught in the Israeli national school system.
 
Spirituality and Psychological Well-Being: Essential for a Meaningful Education
Yaacov J Katz - School of Education, Bar-Ilan University
 
Spirituality is a universal phenomenon and an inherent aspect of human nature that unfolds during adolescence as the individual searches for meaning and purpose in life. Recently, spirituality has received attention as a source of resilience for adolescents. Theoretical perspectives and empirical research suggest that spirituality promotes healthy psychological development in adolescents, enhances the ability to cope, and leads to development of psychological traits such as self-efficacy, self-esteem, and life satisfaction as well as to improved academic performance in school. Overall it may be said that spirituality predicts positive mental health, psychological well-being and psychological resilience.

Studies have indicated that spirituality, much like resilience, is a multidimensional protective factor that has psychological meaning for adolescent school students. School based research studies have demonstrated that spirituality potentially serves as a bastion against aggressive and violent behavior among adolescent male high school students. The use of pedagogical practices that support and foster spirituality promotes positive healthy psychological development and may aid in the reduction of specific risk factors associated with violent and antisocial behavior among adolescent boys. With reference to adolescent high school girl students, research has demonstrated that enhancement of the spiritual development of adolescent girls in the school setting, can lead to promotion of authentic identity, relationships and boundaries; increased resilience, and to the discovery and utiliziation of unique psychological gifts. Additional research has indicated that greater spiritual! disclosure between mothers and adolescent daughters is related to higher mother-daughter relationship satisfaction, less dysfunctional communication patterns, less verbal aggression, and increased general disclosure in their relationships.

In sum, theoreticians as well as researchers have argued that for adolescent high school students, the encouragement of spiritual growth within as well as outside the educational system is of importance because it is related to a non-material, ethical and self-awareness aspect of the development of students' personalities and is a necessary counterbalance to the attainment-focused demands of post-modern society as represented in school curricula. Given the value of spirituality as a source of psychological resilience and well-being, implications for educational practices that foster adolescent spiritual development are significant for successful affective and cognitive outcomes for students in educational systems.