Browsing by Author "Ubani, Martin"

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  • Ubani, Martin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The aim of this study was to explore the spirituality of Finnish academically gifted 12 13-year old pre-adolescents (N = 101). Their spirituality was investigated through the following three questions: (1) What is their relationship to religion? (2) How do they perceive transcendence? and (3) How does their search for meaning integrate into their lives? A total of 60 girls and 41 boys participated in the study. They attend a special school, Helsingin Suomalainen yhteiskoulu, in Helsinki, Finland. The school includes classes from grade 3 to upper secondary school and has an entrance test. This study is part of a research project called Actualizing Finnish Giftedness which is funded by the Finnish Academy between 2000 2007 and is led by Professor Tirri. The research project is based on Gardner s Multiple Intelligences theory (Gardner 1993) and on Hay s (1998) work on spirituality. The data in this study was gathered in 2003 and 2004. It includes both qualitative and quantitative material. The emphasis is on data gathered with interviews. The mixed method approach was used as the methodological framework for connecting the qualitative content analysis, phenomenological approach and the quantitative tests of this study. The results of the sub-studies are reported in full in the four original articles. First, the articles show that the pupils connect religion mainly with Christian institutions and do not consider religion and spirituality to overlap. Second, the articles show that the pupils believe in God and the interference of God in their lives and they think that reality includes a spiritual dimension. Third, the pupils had four kinds of existentially significant interests: personal, transcendental, cosmic and ethical. Cosmic interests were especially highlighted in the article concerning boys as nature and science were reported to be integral sources for their existential thinking. In addition, perceptions on God seemed to be connected to the individual s perception on the meaning of life. In RE, spiritual development has been a constant topic of interest since the late eighties. Likewise, recently in gifted education there have been discussions concerning spiritual intelligence (Gardner 1999) and spirituality of the gifted (Kerr & Cohn 2001). Based on the empirical results of the study, this study concludes that education wishing to promote spiritual development should aim at being existentially relevant to the pupils and use their existential search as an integrative framework for their individual talents and skills.