Wisdom in higher education: discussions with education academics utilising The Bhagavad Gita

Shelly Rampal, Sue Erica Smith, Anna Soter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: In this paper we seek to provide insight as to how wisdom is, or might be, perceived and enacted in Higher Education contexts. Selected constructs of wisdom derived from The Bhagavad Gita provided a platform from which seven invited College of Education faculty participants considered their own framings of wisdom in the contexts of their own professional and personal lives. Design/methodology/approach: This case study has drawn upon constructs of wisdom proffered by key Indian scholars who share this epistemological stance. A three-stage process was deployed, comprised of an introductory close-ended survey, an open-ended questionnaire to determine personalised insights and semi-structured interviews to clarify and member-check the data. Findings: The participant academics' reflections offered a convergence on rich potential to pursue wisdom in Education and promote ethics, integrity, skilful action and inclusion. Furthermore, a general concern among the group of seven faculty who participated, was a perceived lack of humility in academia. Research limitations/implications: A sample of seven participants precludes generalizable findings. Some ambiguities of constructs like “Love of God”, “Duty” and “Inner peace” provided space for participants to interrogate their own understandings. Originality/value: “Wisdom” in Higher Education has not been an explicit topic of research until relatively recently. Based on the present study, which entailed in-depth written responses to questions that asked faculty respondents about their perceptions of the place and role of “wisdom” in Higher Education settings, we can, however, suggest possible directions for wisdom-focused research in pluricultural Higher Education contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Research Journal
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2022

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