Inspiration as a Thought-Provoking Concept for Values Education

  • Theo van der Zee


In this chapter, the author probes the question of how schools can promote learning in the present-day context. He argues that teachers can form learners by inspiring them. In support of the argument he presents the notion of inspiration as a thought-provoking concept, in both a theoretical and a practical sense. He explains his idea of inspiration and how it functions with reference to a recent study. This empirical study focuses on the extent to which inspiration is ascribed to teachers in Catholic schools and how it is thought to influence learners. The research findings can contribute to reflection on learners’ education generally and to values education in particular.


Religious Tradition Weak Learner Mental Causation Catholic School Formative Project 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aristotle. (1995). Politics. Book I and II. (Translation and commentary by T. J. Saunders). Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  2. Brennan, N., Archer, P., & McCormack, T. (Eds). (1991). The Catholic school in contemporary society. Dublin: CMRS.Google Scholar
  3. Bryk, A. S., Lee, V. E., & Holland, P. B. (1993). Catholic schools and the common good. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Carr, D. (2003). Making sense of education. An introduction to the philosophy and theory of education and teaching. London: Routledge Farmer.Google Scholar
  5. Carr, D. (2005). Personal and interpersonal relationships in education and teaching: a virtue ethical perspective. British Journal of Educational Studies, 53, 255–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coleman, J. S., Hoffer, T., & Kilgore, S. (1982). High school achievement: Public, Catholic, and private schools compared. New York: Basic.Google Scholar
  7. De Jong, A. T. M. (2007). Towards a participative identity: Catholic education in the Netherlands in search of a new approach. In G. Grace & J. O’Keefe (Eds.), International handbook of Catholic education. Challenges for school systems in the 21st century (pp. 367–384). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Den Hartog, D. N. (1997). Inspirational leadership. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit.Google Scholar
  9. Frissen, P. H. A. (2007). De staat van verschil. Een kritiek van de gelijkheid. Amsterdam: Van Gennep.Google Scholar
  10. Good, T. L., Biddle, B. J., & Brophy, J. E. (1975). Teachers make a difference. New York etc.: Holt, Rinehout & Winston.Google Scholar
  11. Hattie, J. A. C. (2009). Visible learning. A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Hermans, C. A. M. (1993). Vorming in perspectief. Grondslagenstudie over identiteit van katholiek onderwijs. Baarn: Gooi & Sticht.Google Scholar
  13. Hill, P. T., Foster, G. E., & Gendler, T. (1990). High schools with character. Santa Monica, CA: Rand.Google Scholar
  14. Lovat, T. J., & Clement, N. D. (2008). The pedagogical imperative of values education. Journal of Values and Beliefs, 29, 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character, strengths and virtues. A handbook and classification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Searle, J. R. (1983). Intentionality, an essay in the philosophy of mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Searle, J. R. (2001). Rationality in action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Shuell, T. J. (1996). Teaching and learning in a classroom context. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 726–764). New York etc.: Simon & Schuster Macmillan.Google Scholar
  19. Sullivan, J. (2001). Catholic education: Distinctive and inclusive. Dordrecht; Boston; London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Van der Ven, J. A. (1998). Formation of the moral self. Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans.Google Scholar
  21. Van der Zee, T., & De Jong, A. (2009). Teachers as a source of inspiration in Catholic schools. Journal of Empirical Theology, 22, 7–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Young, I. M. (1990). Justice and the politics of difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations