Adolescent spirituality in relation to teacher spirituality and school context
The fundamental aim of Christian education is to restore the broken relationship between God and the student. Based on this fundamental aim of education, this study was conducted mainly for the purpose ofinvestigating the relationship between student spirituality, teacher spirituality, and certain school context factors such as teacher roles, religious activities, school atmosphere, and peer influence. The best predictive model for student spirituality was also explored. Respondents were 88 teachers and 519 students from 10 junior high schools in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The instruments used in this study were the ChristianSpiritual Participation Profile for teacher spirituality and demographics, Student Spiritual Growth Scale for student spirituality and demographics, and the School Spiritual Environment Scale, which werecompleted by the studentsto determine the impact of school context. Results showed that both teachers and students were high in their spirituality. Teacher spirituality had a significant but weak correlation with their pastoral role(r = .13) and religious activities (r = .16) in school. This showed that teachers who perform a pastoral role and who perceive religious activities more positively tend to have higher levels of spirituality. Student spirituality, on the other hand, significantly correlated with all school context factors—teachers’ professional role (r = .51), parental role (r = .32), and pastoral role (r = .50); religious activities (r = .27); school atmosphere (r = .45); and peer influence (r = .33). It did not, however, correlate with teacher spirituality. Further analysis showed that 5 of the variables studied were best predictors of student spirituality. These were, namely, teachers’ professional role (β = 0.257), teachers’ pastoral role (β = 0.251), peer influence (β = 0.172), school atmosphere (β = 0.170), and religious activities (β = 0.112). These variables accounted for 41% of the variance in the extent of spirituality among the student respondents. The results indicate that student spirituality is influenced by what they see in their teachers and what they experience in school, but not directly by the self-assessed level of spirituality of their teachers. This suggests that teacherscan have greater spiritual impact on students by teaching well and by nurturing students’ spiritual life through prayer. The social nature of relationships among peers, staff, teachers, and administrators had a stronger influence on student spirituality than the more direct influence of religious activities. It is recommended that further qualitative and/or mixed studies be conductedto investigatethe relationship of teachers’ parental role to student spirituality. More areas of school life may also be explored to determine their impact on student spirituality.