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Barbara Giorgio Academic Adviser ACU About to be PhD Student Wollongong Uni Psychologist-in-Training Rehab

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Presentation on theme: "Barbara Giorgio Academic Adviser ACU About to be PhD Student Wollongong Uni Psychologist-in-Training Rehab"— Presentation transcript:

1 Barbara Giorgio Academic Adviser ACU About to be PhD Student Wollongong Uni Psychologist-in-Training Rehab


3 Abstract Plagiarism is a symptom of a systemic problem inherent in educational institutions which becomes reflected in the behaviour of its population. Rather than a private moral issue, its psycho-social-spiritual roots lie deeply embedded within society’s ascriptions of meaning and valuing processes. Values has become just another catchall bag for institutions wanting to be seen doing the right thing and are being taken at face value, not as “lived experience”. Valuing is a process that issues from innate goodness. It is a guiding principle toward self and other, communal and world advancement. The current obsession with plagiarism highlights confusion about what is being valued and how meaning is being ascribed in the educative enterprise. Plagiarism as a lack of integrity signals a systemic lack of commitment to worthwhile personal, communal and global goals through an abandonment of spiritual self-care, care of other and of the environment, and a lack of responsibility for creating the future. When learning fails to be a spiritual endeavour and to have an altruistic motive, dishonesty accrues no personal moral censure. The problem is created through education’s fostering “the split mind” of the “verbal and unlived” mind of the university pitted against the “lived but typically unverbalised” mind of the individual (Paul, 1990). This conflicting valuing gives rise to public disengagement from the pursuit of a higher consciousness and the abandonment of a moral fixed point. The present study reveals the private valuing that students engage in which remains an untapped resource of enormous creative potential for education.

4 Plagiarism Symptom of systemic problem Behaviour reflecting society’s confused valuing Lack of commitment to worthy goals Abandonment of caring and responsibility Learning not spiritual No altruistic motive

5 Academia’s “Split Mind” (Paul, 1990) “verbal and unlived” vs “lived but unverbalised” conflicting valuing leads to disengagement from the pursuit of a higher consciousness through the abandonment of a moral fixed point

6 “recent research provides useful, if sometimes surprising insights into students’ values and behaviours and suggests guidelines for more effective policy and practice” (Dr D’Angelo) The Study Main Thesis the private valuing of students remains an untapped resource of enormous creative potential ~ a challenge for education

7 Day 1 “stealing information”, “protecting academic integrity”, “rules”, “cheating”, “vigilance”, “infractions” Day 2’s keynote address: to treat educational integrity as a legal /administrative problem is “both inadequate and ultimately damaging to the academic values they seek to protect” (Dr D’Angelo)

8 Education like Medicine palliates - treats symptoms never eradicating causes - plagiarism as a legal or administrative problem is about external “control” or “policing” - punitive action for accidental infraction of petty rules - missing the trees for the wood -cutting down the plant, leaving the roots - issue is what gives meaning and purpose to life -- valuing: innate goodness vs societal pressure consumerist, materialist, impersonal, synthetic, superficial, now-focused, me-focused, diversion-addicted age, illness and death-phobic

9 “Surviving Cancer” - a personal exploration of the theme Theme: illness results from being unable to find sources of meaning, hope, comfort, peace, strength and connection in life “spiritual distress” `human and ecological abuse `disintegration of relationships `fragmentation of community `world order ever on the brink of chaos

10 THE PRESENT MID-LIFE VIEW “In a time when we possess more financial wealth, material goods, and technological conveniences than ever before, we suffer from chronic stress and anxiety, information and choice overload, a decrease in perceived happiness, feelings of loss of control, deterioration in interpersonal trust and connectivity, and an epidemic of escalating depression” Lombardo and Richter (2005, p.1)

11 A Model of Human Caring Educational Foundation of the Future (Hoover, 2002) »intrapersonal »interpersonal »environmental »global »transpersonal

12 Education for Future Consciousness is a Spiritual Endeavour Motivational Force: the need for deeper sources of meaning in the self before the other in the self as other Activating Principle: valuing

13 “Valuing” as process vs “Values” as product “tool kit” values approach vs complex, personalised process of ascription of meaning and purpose in life whose core principle is adapting to change or “learning” Ie. Education is Focused Learning based on Implicit Valuing

14 “Valuing” as a process a present-focused outlook a future-orientated vision an on-going guiding principle a personal commitment to self- growth a commitment to communal and world advancement

15 The Present View of Youth to take us into the Future Results of the research on Psych students re Are they spiritual? How? What do they value? So what?

16 Academics intellectually / emotionally resistant to spirituality (Exline, 2002) “Spiritual caring” Anandaraja and Hight (2001): “compassionate presence, listening and encouragement of realistic hope” McSherry, Draper & Kendrick (2002) Spirituality - the search for meaning and connectedness in face of isolation and the unknown

17 Every act arises from - an e valu ation of the significance of a phenomenon -against societal values plagiarism is not dishonest -Research shows personal valuing contradicting this ~ proving Paul’s thesis of “split mind”

18 “valuing” and the “philosophical mind” A mind which “…probes the foundations of its own thought, realises that its thinking is defined by basic concepts, aims, assumptions and values… (and) gives serious consideration to alternative and competing concepts, aims, assumptions and values…” (Paul, 1990, p. 450)

19 morality and call to goodness of fertile young minds “squashed under the weight of conflicting valuing” as they are “socialized into un- reflectiveness” (Paul, 1990, p.451) Kezar and Rhodes (2001): education’s lacks rooted in disregard of the affective – ie. lived experience, moral character, critical reflection Constructivism - no stable reality accurately perceived nor one true interpretation -humans “actively and proactively, construct and construe the realities to which they respond” (Steinfeld, 2000, p.356) Yes, but according to their valuing

20 Sorokin (1954): love, the shared foundation of all human valuing Positive Psychology: Seligman (2000), Rotter, (2000), (Post, 2002) on love and altruism we know very little about unselfish love which transforms individuals, groups and societies into altruistic and creative members of a global family Rochford (2003, p.1) hope - “future-oriented” and “undefined”, “… turned beyond the world (of suffering) toward the coming of its end …to know incompleteness … to have faith in ultimate good” antithetical to materialist “being-in-the-world” “transcendent” - the highest part of the human is spiritual, based on things unseen, to come

21 Transcendence - how we construct meaning and maintain integrity in face of conflicting forces that create addictions fuelled by consumerist living Seligman (2002) virtuous character: identification with reality or goal “beyond oneself” Antithetical to individualism: works against finding meaning and purpose Lombardo & Richter (2005, p.46): “Transcendence is anathema to our modern emphasis on the ego, self-gratification, and subjectivism –something beyond our private realities needs to become our center of gravity, our standard of truth and value …extreme individualism and egocentricity work against future consciousness”

22 Spirituality Highest, most natural human quality “the most human of the character strengths (involving) coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe and one’s place within it” (Seligman & Peterson, 2004, p.533; Boyer, 2004) “Hopeful Intelligence” (Kelly, 2005) in a consumerist world “anticipates release into a fuller dimension of life along with spiritual freedom and personal responsibility. In the midst of suffering, death, failure, meaninglessness, fear and guilt, (to) find a transcendent and intelligent ground of the universe”.

23 The Study 77 1 st yr UOW psych students predominantly young, female spirituality relevant but not New Age nor Traditional Christianity rather, humanistic values no religion, atheism or agnosticism Hope (psycho-spiritual) rating ahead of morality and conduct (behavioural) followed by peace and friendship (collectivist)

24 Spiritual Transcendence the most relevant measure of existential concerns – not its dimension of Prayerfulness but Universality and Connectedness Beliefs about Spirituality correlate with features of Spiritual Transcendence ie. unity, connection, meaning and purpose, personal and global responsibility, a sense of goodness

25 Content analysis of open-ended responses to H O P E questions Meaning and Purpose in Life come from: OTHER: Connectedness to significant others (50%), SELF: Reliance on personal qualities (20%), and positive attitudes (13%) BELIEF: Religious beliefs (10%)

26 Instruments The Spirituality Rating Scale (McSherry, Draper & Kendrick, 2002) The Spiritual and Religious Dimensions Scale (Nasel & Haynes, 2005) The Spiritual Transcendence Scale (Piedmont, 1999) HOPE questionnaire ( Anandaraja & Hight, 2001) Full Details of the Study Relevant to this Paper in Conference Proceedings

27 The HOPE survey results -locus of internal support is external to the self found in relationship to others (affiliation), principally family, then friends -corresponds to view of spirituality as “connectedness” -personal qualities for internal support: positivity, determination, motivation, strength, self-worth -external supports like sport, hobbies, nature not important

28 The greatest obstacle to education is the belief that spirituality has no intellectual significance Moral structures of the future require a profound change in the conception of essential relationship Relatedness needs to be taught along every dimension of living as an understanding of the interdependence of all forms of life on the planet and a new sense of responsibility towards them At present, most relationships and therefore societies, are pervaded by power relations of dominance and submission. Authentic relationships are based on love not force (Kelly, 2005)

29 Summary of The Study exposes the lived valuing of students which Paul (1990) claimed goes unrecognised in universities. It highlights how they ascribe meaning and purpose to life in terms of what they rate as important. Inherent to the valuing process of this group is a “spirituality” that defines self in terms of its relationship to other while dealing with the world through their personal strengths and attitudes of positivity, determination and self-worth, and a transcendent vision of hope.

30 Conclusion insight into students’ valuing for more effective policy and practice an educative process that draws on, promotes and extends such valuing in every activity curriculum design, programming, assessment, evaluation seeded from the fundamental human question: What meaning are we giving this according to what valuing process? Without bringing back every rationale to its first causes, we can never hope to promote integrity

31 Future Directions If affiliation is shown to be prime valuing among the cohort studied, education’s task then is to foster, develop and extend this natural process toward a more other-centred “valuing” that enhances global citizenship, social responsibility and moral commitment. What and how they learn ought to reflect their natural tendency toward connectedness but in a direction of greater “otherness” and a sense of career and work as “service” based on their revealed personal strengths

32 Implications Lombardo & Richter ( 2005); Seligman (2002); Aristotle: evolve future consciousness through the focused development of a core set of character virtues - this research shows students actively engaging in valuing and finding sources of meaning and hope in their personal lives, - university mission statements do not acknowledge this - course content and teaching approaches do not acknowledge and extend the fundamental motivations of students as “spiritual” beings

33 Intervention Values and Spirituality (1 semester 6 credit points) a core assessable component of every first year university course inservicing of staff at your university or go to the source set of 12 Modules

34 Published by the Brahma Kumaris Educational Society Developer: Academy for a Better World

35 Theoretical Modules Module 1 Introduction to Education in Values and Spirituality Unit 1 Concept, Definition and Classification of Values Unit 2 Necessity for Education in Values in Australia Unit 3 The International Context Module 2 Spirituality and Values Unit 1 How to Develop Spirituality and Values Unit 2 Challenges to Your Spirituality and Values Unit 3 Religion, Spirituality and Secularism Module 3 Perspectives of the Major Religions in Australia Unit 1 Major World Religions Unit 2 Newly Developing Spiritualities

36 Module 4 Consciousness and “The Divine” Unit 1 Perspectives on Consciousness Unit 2 Perspectives on God, Supreme Power, Source of Values Module 5 Meditation and Values Unit 1 Forms of Prayer and Meditation Unit 2 Positive Thinking Unit 3 Emotional Maturity Module 6 Values in Your Life Unit 1 Values in Life Unit 2 Social Integration Unit 3 Value-Based Life Skill

37 Module 7 Personal development Unit 1 Self-Mastery Unit 2 Character Development Unit 3 Why it’s Good to be Good and Bad to be Bad Module 8 Values in Society Unit 1 Empowerment for the Oppressed Unit 2 Overcoming Addictions Unit 3 Responsibility for the Environment

38 Practical Modules Module 9 Manual for Personal Progress Module 10 Field Project for the Development of Values Module 11 Spiritual Retreat Module 12 Sustaining a Values-based Life

39 Thank-you Questions Contact me after presentation for info Copies of my two books on Surviving Cancer through Meditation and The Healing Power of Spiritual Poetry available for $15 for both Don’t have copies of Programme Modules- too bulky to carry on train – must be ordered VERY CHEAP AS PRINTED IN INDIA AND produced by voluntary labour – NON-PROFIT

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