Metacognitive Strategies in Higher Education: Development of Spiritual Intelligence Strategies Within Training of the Academic Staff

Metacognitive Strategies in Higher Education: Development of Spiritual Intelligence Strategies Within Training of the Academic Staff

Birnaz Nina (State University of Moldova, Moldova) and Butnari Nadejda (State University of Moldova, Moldova)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2218-8.ch006
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Technologies of the 21st century have brought about a new crisis of significance, which is determined by materialism, expedient attitude, narrowness generated by the self-centeredness, lack of sense and poverty of commitments. This state of affairs is also characteristic for the contemporary Higher Education, which is going through a decisive stage when it has to rethink the communication schemes methodologies as well as the spiritual interaction of intelligence. Didactic processes are re-directed towards more interactive communication, learning spaces and metacognitive strategies. University teachers, as the servant leaders of the successful education, have a special responsibility to develop competence for learning to learn and for social integration through a profession. Thus, the academics have a specific mission to demonstrate not only the deep knowledge, but also the spiritual intelligence. This chapter provides a novel model of spiritual intelligence raining of the Academic Staff. Conclusions and future research directions are provided at the end.
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The spiritual aspects of the human psyche were addressed with the advent of psychology as a science, both in the psychoanalytic currents, and in the humanities trends. It was observed that cognitive intelligence, measured by IQ scores, explains only a small portion of career success or wellbeing. Over the last few decades, various theories of intelligences include, among others, a spiritual intelligence component. For example, Emmons (2000) notes that spiritual intelligence emphasizes the abilities that draws on such themes to predict functioning and adaptation. Spiritual intelligence involves a set of abilities that draw on spiritual resources that are similar to emotional intelligence. However, the concept of spiritual intelligence is not similar with the concept of emotional intelligence. Interest in spiritual intelligence has become increasingly prevalent over the past twenty years.

Althouth the growth of interest in spiritual intelligence is due to a number of factors, the most influential ones include the spirituality, health, wellbeing and problem solving for valuable outcomes in real life. Emmons (2000) described five components for spiritual intelligence:

  • The ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems;

  • The ability to enter heightened states of consciousness;

  • The ability to capitalize everyday activities and relationships with a sense of the sacred;

  • The capacity for transcendence of the physical and material; and,

  • The capacity to be virtuous.

Althouth a variety of models of spiritual intelligence, either applicative or non-applicative, has been described in the scientific literature, there appears to be little research on how to develop spiritual intelligence strategies within training of academic staff. Since using spiritual intelligence in teacher training is a new area of investigation in the field of metacognitive strategies in Higher Education, the analysis of innovative models should be thoroughly explored. One of these models is SQ21 model that provide a validated instrument for self-assessment. Metcalf (2015) described a selection of twenty-one spiritual intelligence skills for development. Table 1 lists twenty-one spiritual intelligence skills, which could be used as a model for teacher training of the academic staff.

Table 1.
Twenty-one spiritual intelligence skills
Self/Self Awareness
     • Awareness of own worldview
     • Awareness of life purpose
     • Awareness of values
     • Complexity of inner thought
     • Awareness of self/self
Universal Awareness
     • Awareness of interconnectedness
     • Awareness of worldviews of others
     • Breath of time perception
     • Awareness of limitation/power of human perception
     • Awareness of spiritual laws
     • Experience of transcendence
Self/Self Mastery
     • Commitment to spiritual growth
     • Keeping higher self in charge
     • Living purpose and values
     • Sustaining faith
     • Seeking guidance from higher self
Social Mastery/Spiritual Presence
     • Wise and effective teacher / mentor
     • Wise and effective learder / change agent
     • Makes compassionate and wise decisions
     • A calming / healing presence
     • Aligned with the ebb and flow of life

(Metcalf, 2015)

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