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by Yeo Yeong Fu

What is spirituality?
Imam Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) interpreted
the word spiritual as matters related to
mind, desires, soul and spirit
In easy words, spiritual is non-physical
matters which cannot be seen by human
It concerns with the inner feeling related to
thinking, soul, characteristics, quality, aims
and beliefs

Stages of spiritual development

According to Islamic point of view, the
spiritual development of individuals can be
seen according to the four stages of
development :
Early childhood (2 6 years)
Middle childhood (7 12 years)
Early adolescence (12 15 years)
Adolescence (15 20 years)

Early childhood (2 6 years)

Posses feeling of attachment to caregivers
Godlike concept can only understand
through pictures
Begin to be awared of the greatness of
God, basic level of moral values and good

Middle childhood (7 12 years)

Spiritual concept begins to establish
through religious or moral education
Able to follow religious practice correctly
Begin to understand the principles of
religious faith

Early adolescence (12 15 years)

Values of God, sin and reward can be
understood conceptually
Need spiritual satisfaction to face
challenges of life
Environmental and peer group influences
are important in their spiritual development

Adolescence (15 20 years)

Begin to have a strong belief in religion
Belief the existence of God, sin, reward
and the punishment date
Begin to think of god and characteristics
related to God in abstract form
Begin to question spiritual aspects

Piagets moral development

Piaget identified two stages of moral
thinking typical of children :
Heteronomous morality being
governed by others regarding right and
Autonomous morality being governed
by oneself regarding right and wrong

Heteronomous morality
From aged 5 to 10 years old
View rules as handed down by authorities
(God, parents, teachers), as having a
permanent existing, as unchangeable and
as requiring strict obedience
Characterized by relations of constraint

Autonomous morality
From age 10 years and above
Children view rules as flexible, socially
agreed-on principles that can be revised to
suit the will of the majority
As children mature and have opportunities
for experiences with peers and adult,
moral thinking may change to relations of

Moral behavior
Prosocial behavior
Good values that can be seen in a human. For
example share, care of, and assist others.
It is important to teach good values to the
children starting from preschool and primary
By taking emphasis on moral behavior, we can
reduced or avoided the societal problem
including violence.

Moral behavior
Developing moral behavior in classroom:
Be a good model for children
Read stories to children that exemplify
prosocial behaviors
Conduct classroom routines and activities
so they are as free of conflict as possible
When real conflict occurs, provide practice
in conflict resolution

Implication for teachers

All of the theories have implication for
primary-grade classroom practice:
All teachers must like and respect children
The classroom climate must support
individual values
Students must have opportunities to make
moral decisions and judgements and
discuss the results of their decisions

Implication for teachers

Childrens out-of-classroom experiences
can also prompt discussion of moral
The important with any approach is that
students have many chances to actually
practice their moral decision making