This summer I read Rachel Kessler's book The Soul of Education. She currently directs the Passageways Institute
She argues that there are many gateways into soulful education -- she discusses deep connection, silence and solitude, meaning and purpose, joy, creativity, transcendence and initiation as part and parcel of meaningful learning. Providing children with the opportunity to be with each other and adults in an authentic way is essential for their development into adults. Yet, our culture discourages this kind of connection, and much of our time together is spent on the surface. Although the work is focused on teens, it raises questions about how to create genuine opportunities for kids to deal with the hard "meaning of life" questions that are on their minds. She also argues that kids/communities need ceremonies and traditions that mark rites of passage -- this is largely missing in my life and I'm curious about how others bring rituals into your lives in a way that stays simple, genuine and meaningful.