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Pathmaps: Transformative Experiences
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Transformative Experiences

There are transformative events in life that shape our understanding of all facets of the spiritual realm. These events—times of doubt, joy, love, fear, suffering, death—add richness to our lives’ journeys and (especially with the right kind of guidance) develop our inner resources, our values and beliefs, and our spiritual integrity as a whole.

Classroom Activities

Death of a Pet
This activity, for lower and middle school students, explores the transformative experience of losing a loved one. Link to activity

Urban Vision Quest
This activity explores the tradition of Vision Quests, and how to seek answers in metaphoric and symbolic ways. For upper school students. Link to activity

Prayer Slips at the Western Wall
While students are learning about the Hebrew Scriptures, they may learn how Jewish people pray when at the Western Wall and have a chance to develop a meaningful ritual of their own. For middle and upper school students. Link to activity

See all Pathmaps Activities for Transformative Experiences by clicking on the "More in this Section" link above [Please note that some of these activities are for CSEE Members Only]

Questions for Students

What helps you deal with suffering or difficult times?

Have you gone through experiences that have changed the way you look at the world or yourself?

What song, poem, book, movie, concert, play or other performance has made an impact on my life and how I see the world?

What changes you from a child into an adult? How is an adult different from a child?

Questions for Schools

What can we do to help students understand that transformative experiences occur, and what they are?

To what degree are academic classes and moments seen as possible "transformers"?

How do we help students process painful experiences in a way that will foster growth?

How does our current curricular programming encourage transformative experiences and do we want to be more intentional about cultivating this awareness in our students? (In each discipline and in programs like retreat, study abroad, service, athletics etc.)

What skills or tools would we like our students to be equipped with to help them navigate and reflect on transformative experiences?

Values & Beliefs
Intentional Action
Meaning & Purpose
Awe & Mystery
Self-Knowledge / Self-Worth


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