A Critical Analysis of the Role of Spirituality within the Early Years Curriculum

Abstract

This study critically analyses the role of spirituality within early years education and asserts the need for spiritual development to become a recognised and valued part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). In addition the study reflects on the role of the practitioner in supporting spiritual growth. Spiritual development is arguably a crucial part of early childhood, and integral to the holistic well-being of the child. Yet, within the early years curriculum in England, the EYFS, there is no recognition of spiritual development. Equally, no guidance is given to practitioners who work within the early years around supporting and promoting spiritual development. This study highlights the benefits of spiritual development within the early years, including mental well-being as well as developing autonomy and resilience, and proposes that spiritual development should be a recognised and supported part of early years’ education. This can, however, only be achieved through a redefining of the curriculum and how teaching takes place, through reflective pedagogy and practice. The study concludes that in order to incorporate spiritual development within the early years curriculum a shift in focus needs to take place away from value-measured outcomes as the current approach cannot effectively support either spiritual growth or the holistic well-being of the child, which is crucial for children if they are to truly develop a sense of agency, be more fulfilled and achieve a lifelong love of learning.

Lunn, A. (2014) A Critical Analysis of the Role of Spirituality within the Early Years Curriculum. Transformations, [online] Vol. 1(1). Available at: http://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=3435 [Accessed 21 Sep, 2017].


Journal Issue:
Volume 1(1) 2015


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