In “Democratic Foundations of Spiritually Responsive Pedagogy,” Lingley worried that talk of spirituality is taboo in U.S. public school classrooms. Lingley pointed out that the dominant narrative demands silence on the topic. She wanted to make the case for spiritually responsive pedagogy as vital to an inclusive democracy. I begin this responsive essay by describing Lingley’s argument, and then I strengthen her argument through my work on relational ontologies. When we equate spirituality with ontology, we realize it is impossible to avoid teaching spirituality in our schools, for we begin passing on to our children our fishing nets to help sustain them within our families and communities as soon as they are born (one could even argue prior to birth). That passing on of basic categories of Being, through our various ways of describing our/their world, begins in the home and continues in our schools. I am in agreement with Lingley’s aim, and I find her work an exciting contribution to discussions on democracy and spirituality.
Response to Article
Audrey Lingley, Democratic Foundations for Spiritually Responsive Pedagogy
Thayer-Bacon, B. J.
Teaching Spirituality as Ontology in Public Schools. A Response to "Democratic Foundations of Spiritual Responsive Pedagogy".
Democracy and Education,
(1), Article 13.
Available at: http://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol25/iss1/13