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Marilyn J. Llewellyn
Bringing Forth a World: Spirituality as Pedagogy

The Union Institute Graduate College
Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Teaching
March 1998
Advisor: Rose Marie Duhon-Sells, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor McNeese State University
and Faculty Member The Union Institute Graduate College


An assistant professor in the Division of Teacher Education at Carlow College, I earned my doctorate in curriculum and teaching from The Union Institute Graduate University in Cincinnati, Ohio. For nearly 20 years, I taught at the elementary and high school level. I was also an elementary school principal. My work at Carlow involves teaching an undergraduate course in elementary curriculum and supervising student teachers. I work with Carlow graduate students who are writing their thesis and I serve on several doctoral committees for Union Institute learners. My interests include peace education, spirituality and education, diversity and equity in the classroom, urban education, qualitative dissertation research and interpretive inquiry.

Current Research Involvement

I am currently in the process of researching and writing a chapter for an edited book tentatively entitled, The Authority to Imagine: Ontology and Dissertation Writing in Education. My chapter is titled The Dark Night of the Soul and the Authority to Imagine: From Ontological Dissonance to Ontological Authenticity. In the chapter I explore how in living through the darkness of the dissertation process I came to embrace the authority to imagine and crafted a dissertation that was ontologically coherent and embodied who I am as an educator. Also, I am involved in inquiry related to the urgent need for teachers in urban classrooms and pedagogical practices in teacher education programs that are useful in the preparation of preservice teachers for sustained success in the urban classroom.


Ellis, A. and M. Llewellyn. (1997). Dealing With Differences: Taking Action on Class, Race, Gender, and Disability. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, A Sage Publications Co.

Llewellyn, M. (1997). Educating for Peace: Imagination, Participation and Action. In Rose Duhon-Sells, (Ed.), Exploring Self Science Through Peace Education and Conflict Resolution. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.

Llewellyn, M. (1998). Bringing Forth a World: Spirituality as Pedagogy. UMI ProQuest Digital Dissertation #AAT9825673.

Dissertation Abstract:

This interpretive study explores spirituality, pedagogy and education. The intent is to articulate an understanding of spirituality as pedagogy and to portray the transformative possibilities in being and learning together in such a way as to make them accessible to other interested educators. The study is intended to further the conversations related to spirituality and education within curriculum theorizing discourses and to contribute to the field of curriculum studies. The following questions guided the study: 1) What brought me to the study of spirituality as pedagogy?; 2) What life events have shaped my spirituality and pedagogy?; 3) How are my spirituality and pedagogy manifested in the ³Dealing With Prejudice² pilot curriculum and the experience of co-authoring the book Dealing With Differences: Taking Action on Class, Race, Gender, and Disability?; 4) Through a series of meditative writings, how can deeper understandings of spirituality as pedagogy be generated and articulated ?; 5) How can essential lessons of spirituality as pedagogy be portrayed? Each question is addressed in a chapter. Chapter 1 discusses the context of the study and presents the use of spiritual inquiry as a method for engaging in the study. Through narrative portrayals in Chapter 2, life events that have shaped my spirituality and pedagogy are presented as an educational memoir. Chapter 3 is a focused account of one manifestation of ³Bringing Forth a World² through the curriculum project Dealing With Prejudice, which culminated in the book Dealing With Differences, co-authored with Angele Ellis from our work in an urban high school. Using meditative writings in Chapter 4, I ponder various themes embedded in these life events that reveal deeper understandings of spirituality and pedagogy. Chapter 5 explicates the essential lessons learned and the educational contribution spirituality as pedagogy offers to curriculum studies. New metaphors are needed to shape an understanding of schools as being places where growing as a human being is of the utmost value and teaching is a human encounter rooted in relationships marked by faith, trust, care and love. Spirituality as pedagogy is the embodiment of the act of teaching as inseparable from one's very being.

UMI ProQuest Digital Dissertation #AAT9825673

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