NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ834211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1364-436X
Transforming Ourselves/Transforming Curriculum: Spiritual Education and Tarot Symbolism
Semetsky, Inna
International Journal of Children's Spirituality, v14 n2 p105-120 May 2009
This paper is threefold. It is grounded in the philosophical work of two educational theorists: John Dewey and our contemporary Nel Noddings. It also brings into the conversation the ancient system of Tarot, arguing that its pictorial symbolism embodies intellectual, moral, and spiritual "lessons" derived from collective human experiences across times, places, and cultures. For Dewey, to call somebody spiritual never meant to invoke some mysterious and non-natural entity outside of the real world. As a system of communication and interpretation, Tarot is oriented toward the discovery of meanings in the real experience and performs two functions, existential and educational, focusing on the ethical and spiritual dimension of experience. The pictorial images create an adventure story of the journey through the "school of life", each new life experience contributing to self-understanding and, ultimately, spiritual rebirth. Tarot not only speaks in a different voice, therefore bringing forth the subtleties of Gilligan and Noddings' relational ethics, but also enables a process of critical self-reflection analogous to the ancient Socratic "Know thyself" principle that makes life examined and thus meaningful. As a "techne", it can and should become a valuable tool to complement an existing set of educational aids in the area of moral and spiritual education. (Contains 7 figures and 7 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A