Rediscover, Reawaken, Renew: The Potential Role of Spiritual Retreat Centres in Environmental Adult Education

  • Janet Groen University of Calgary
Keywords: Adult Learning, Environmental Education, Spirituality and Adult Learning

Abstract

Do spiritual retreat centres have a role to play in fostering environmental awareness and action?  Using an interpretive case study methodology, this research study explored the perspectives of staff members working at two religiously based spiritual retreat centres in Western Canada to explore this question and to determine how this is translated into practice through educational programming and daily operations. The findings reveal that while place based pedagogical approaches is relied upon as an entry way into environmental adult education, there is a realization that more overt programming, focused on the environment, is required to catalyze awareness and action in their retreatants. In addition, the level of alignment between espoused environmental values and operational practices played an important role in communicating, implicitly, each retreat centre’s level of commitment to fostering environmental citizenship. 

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Published
2016-01-20