The essay aims to show that nurturing a spirituality of good teaching could provide a more committed and responsible attitude towards education and encountering cultural difference in Australia. Spirituality speaks of relationships, the search for meaning and of having a heart for another. Students demand that teachers should be many things such as passionate, engaging, intelligent, fun, challenging, fair and creative. The more we can develop meaning and a spirituality in teaching, the more we may meet these demands to attend to the students’ enthusiasm, frustration, uncertainty, impatience, fears and dreams. Part I of the essay will explore some Levinasian-inspired ways how spirituality might coincide with good teaching. From raising the question, “What makes a good teacher?”, the essay will touch upon Levinas’ ideas of otherness, encounter and passivity as a means to develop the notion of transcendental knowledge and the ethical qualities of good teaching. Part II studies the connection between lecturing and Levinas’ philosophy by way of examining misconceptions of encountering students from another culture and of developing a spirituality and response of ethics and prayer. Given the diverse cultural landscape in Australia, developing a responsible ethic and spirituality of openness towards encountering cultural difference in the classroom, can hopefully do much to inspire and re-imagine a profound sense of being Australian.
Morrison, G. (2012). Good teaching, spirituality and the challenge of encountering cultural difference in australia. In A. Ata (ed.). Catholics and Catholicism in Australia: Challenges and achievements (pp. 183-193), Kew East, VIC: David Lovell Publishing.