Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education
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Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education is written from the unique perspective of teacher, researcher, and author Elizabeth Tisdell who has extensive experience dealing with culture, gender, and educational equity issues in secular adult and higher education classrooms, and formerly in pastoral and religious education settings on college campuses. This important book discusses how spiritual development is informed by culture and how this knowledge is relevant to teaching and learning. For educators, an understanding of how spirituality is informed by culture, and how spirituality assists in meaning-making, can aid in their efforts to help their students' educational experiences become more transformative and culturally relevant.


Elizabeth J. Tisdell is an associate professor of adult education at Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. Her research interests include diversity and equity issues in adult education, feminist pedagogy, and the connection of spirituality and culture in educational contexts.


"This should prove to be a groundbreaking volume. Every adult educator will benefit from engaging in the conversation." (PAACE Journal of Lifelong Learning, Summer 2004)

"...this book makes an important contribution to a new and growing body of knowledge." (Journal of College Student Development, December 2003)

"A Professor of Adult Education describes How Spirituality Can Be a Valuable Teaching Tool" (By Dana Sobyra in The Chronicle of Higher Education)

"The work is an easy read, not overly laden with references but enough to give it authority." (TCRecord.org, 10/8/03)

"All teachers of adult and higher education should have a copy of this book. It is a beautifully written meditative and practical guide exploring the connection between culture and spirituality in teaching that points us towards a transforming experience for both teacher and student."
— David T. Abalos, professor of religious studies and sociology, Seton Hall University

"Through a compelling blend of vivid biographical vignettes and informed theoretical analysis, Elizabeth Tisdell explores how spirituality fires adult and higher educators' efforts to create culturally relevant practices. This will be a landmark text in our efforts to understand spirituality's intersections with education."
— Stephen Brookfield, Distinguished Professor, University of St. Thomas

"This book takes on a crucial topic at just the right time. Adult and higher education is ready for a revival of engagement with spirituality, and, along with this, the author manages to weave in three other thick skeins of thought: development, transformative learning, and cultural work. This book takes the hugely important step of seeking the deep truth in the interrelatedness of these skeins, and it moves the discourse ahead in concrete ways."
—Laurent A. Daloz, author, Mentor: Guiding the Journey of Adult Learners

"This book provides a valuable contribution to the literature on teaching in adult education and higher education. It is a pioneering work in the sense it is creating a direct link between spirituality, culture, and learning in adult and higher education. While there have been other attempts at addressing these issues, this is the first book, of which I am aware, that links all three together."
— Talmadge Guy, associate professor, School of Leadership and Lifelong Learning, University of Georgia

"This book reveals how spirituality exists as a powerful force that shapes and impacts learners and their learning experiences. It bravely treads where few have traveled by daring to discuss spirituality, culture, and education in the same breath."
— Juanita Johnson-Bailey, associate professor, department of Adult Education and the Women's Studies Program, The University of Georgia

"Tisdell has a unique perspective that is very much needed. Her awareness that one's spiritual perspective is based on one's idiosyncratic history which involves age, gender, experience, preferences, and culture is immensely wise."
—Jane Vella, author, Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach