Education as a Spiritual Journey: The Hidden Story behind the Evolution and Growth of Starehe Boys Centre and School, Kenya

By Peter Otiato Ojiambo.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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The role of spirituality in education in African public schools has a long history which date back to the missionaries’ control of education, in both colonial and post-colonial periods. There is abundant literature on the subject that examines the instrumental role that missionaries played in laying the foundation for Western education in Africa in the colonial period, the contradictions that accompanied the process and the spiritual education nexus approach that was utilized. What is absent in the post-colonial education literature is the embrace of the approach by many private and semi-private schools in Africa. Using a phenomenological case study this paper examines the latter through the educational work of Starehe Boys Centre and School (SBC). Using varied literature on the subject the paper interrogates the growing literature on the subject, SBC actualization of the nexus between the two and emerging educational lessons on the same. In its findings the paper illustrates that spirituality is vital in the teaching and learning process, and a school that is centered on spirituality has great potential to excel in both academic and affective domains. It underscores that it is essential that spirituality is incorporated in education since the genesis of education is transcendental. The paper concludes that although the process is demanding, as evidenced in Starehe’s example, its benefits are enormous. The synergy creates space for the emergence, growth, and fullness of being, talent, and thought.

Keywords: Education, Spirituality

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.43-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 474.211KB).

Dr. Peter Otiato Ojiambo

Assistant Professor, The Department of African and African-American Studies, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Peter Otiato Ojiambo is an assistant professor in the Department of African and African-American Studies at the University of Kansas. He holds a Bachelor of Education degree, specializing in Kiswahili and religious studies; a Master of Philosophy degree majoring in sociology of education from Moi University, Kenya; a Master of Arts degree in international affairs, focusing on African studies; and a Ph.D. in cultural studies from the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education, Ohio University. His research interests are in the areas of: African-centered educational biographies; comparative education; educational leadership; education and democracy; non-western educational thoughts; educational critical theory: learning, teaching, administrative and curriculum theories; relational and care theory; school and society relations; and African languages pedagogy. He has written and published several papers and book chapters in these areas.