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Publications by Rachael Kessler


The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion and Character at School (ASCD, 2000). This book is available at or To learn more about this groundbreaking book, please visit the Soul of Education page.

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators. Maurice Elias, et al. (Eds.) Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD, 1997).

The Mysteries Sourcebook, (author/editor) teachers’ manual published by Crossroads School in 1990. A 300 page compendium of essays, curricula and lesson plans. (This book is out of print.)


“Adversity as Ally” in Sam Intrator (Ed.), Forward by Parker Palmer, Stories of the Courage to Teach: Honoring the Teacher’s Heart. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (2002).

“Education for Integrity” by Rachael Kessler with Catherine Fink. Nucci, L. P., & Narvaez, D. (Eds.) Handbook of Moral and Character Education. New York: Routledge (2008).

“Education for Integrity: Connection, Compassion, and Character” in Riane Eisler and Ron Miller (Eds.), Educating for a Culture of Peace. Portsmith, New Hampshire: Heinemann (2004).

“Eros and the Erotic Shadow in Teaching and Learning” in Jack P. Miller and Yoshiharu Nakagawa (Eds.), Nurturing Our Wholeness: Perspectives on Spirituality in Education. Brandon, VT: The Foundation for Educational Renewal (2002).

“Grief as a Gateway to Love in Teaching” in Dan Liston and Jim Garrison (Eds.), Teaching, Loving, and Learning. New York: Routledge (2003).

“Nourishing Souls in Secular Schools” in Mike Seymour (Ed.), Educating for Humanity: Rethinking the Purposes of Education. Boulder, Colorado: Paradigm Publishers (2004).

“Nourishing the Soul of Students” in Mike Seymore (Ed.), Educating for Humanity. London: Paradigm Press (2004).

“PassageWays: A Model for Fostering the Spiritual Development of Students and Teachers in Schools” in Peter Cobb (ed.), Gateways to Spirituality: Pre-School through Grade Twelve. New York, New York: Peter Lang Publishing (2005).

“Soul of Students, Soul of Teacher: Welcoming the Inner Life to School” in Linda Lantieri (Ed.), Schools with Spirit: Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers. Boston: Beacon Press (2001).

“The Heart of the Matter: Social and Emotional Learning as a Foundation for Conflict Resolution Education” in Tricia S. Jones and Randy Compton (Eds.), Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass (2003).

“The Senior Passage Course” in Maurice Elias and Harriet Arnold (eds.), The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press (2006).

“The ‘Senior Passage’ Course” in Mahdi, Christopher & Meade (Eds.), Crossroads: The Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage. Chicago IL: Open Court Press (1996).


“Exploring the Mysteries of Life” in Mind/Body/Health Digest, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1990, Rachael Kessler

“Fostering Connection, Compassion, and Character at School” in Independent School Journal, Winter 2002, Rachael Kessler

“Helping Students Confront a World of Change and Crisis” in Curriculum Quarterly, Spring, 1989, Crossroads School, Rachael Kessler

“Initiation – Saying Good-bye to Childhood” in Educational Leadership, December 1999/January 2000, Volume 57, Number 4, Rachael Kessler

“Nurturing Deep Connections: Five Principles for Welcoming Soul into School Leadership” in The School Administrator, 2002, Rachael Kessler.
(This article, included in the issue on “Spirituality in Leadership”, was sent to every school district superintendent in the country. The article describes five principles for welcoming soul into school leadership with an emphasis on deep connection to self and others and focuses on building a school community where learning can thrive and teaching can feel, once again, like a calling.)

“Nurturing Deep Connections:Five Principles for Welcoming Soul Into School Leadership” in The School Administrator, September 2002, Number 8, Volume 59, Rachael Kessler

“Nourishing Soul in Adolescents: Integrating Heart, Spirit, and Community in Youth Work” in Community Youth Development Journal, Spring 2000, Volume 1, Number 2, Rachael Kessler

“Nourishing Students In Secular Schools” in Educational Leadership, Volume 56, Number 4, Dec 1998/Jan 1999, Rachael Kessler

“Nourishing Young Souls in Secular Schools” in Spirituality & Health, Summer 2000, Rachael Kessler

“Nourishing Students in Secular Schools” in Educational Leadership, Devember 1998/January 1999, Rachael Kessler.
(How do facilitators make a place for soul in group work? What does a classroom look like in which soul is vital to the enterprise of education or youth development? What are the experiences that nourish spiritual development of adolescents without violating the deeply held beliefs of youth, families, or facilitators?)

“Passages: Fostering Community, Heart and Spirit in Adolescent Education” in New Horizons for Learning’s Virtual Building, March 1997, Rachael Kessler

“Seven Ways to the Soul of Students: Feeding the Awakening Spirit as Part of School Life” in Green Money Journal, Volume 14, Winter 2005-06, Rachael Kessler

“Social and Emotional Learning; An Emerging Field Builds a Foundation for Peace” in Holistic Education Review, Number 4, Rachael Kessler

“Teens Talk about Sexuality, Sex and Television” in Television and Children, Fall, 1983, Rachael Kessler

“The Mysteries Program: Educating Adolescents for Today’s World” in Holistic Education Review, Winter, 1990, Rachael Kessler

“The Teaching Presence” as published in Virginia Journal of Education, November 2000, Volume 94, Number 2, Rachael Kessler.
Increasing numbers of educators are taking on the challenge of integrating “emotional intelligence” as a key aspect in the classroom and throughout school life. Expressing feelings is central to this work. What are the skills and qualities that allow teachers to safely invite students to open their hearts in the classroom and to talk honestly about what matters most to them? Beyond curriculum, methods and theory, a more elusive quality profoundly affect the learning that is possible –the teacher’s own way of being with students.

“The Teaching Presence” in Holistic Education Review, Winter, 1991, Rachael Kessler

“The Search for Spirituality in Jewish Education: Inviting Soul into the Classroom” in Jewish Educational Leadership, Winter 2007 (5:2), Rachael Kessler

“The Spirit of Catholic Education: Inviting the Soul into the Classroom, Part 1″ in Today’s Catholic Teacher, November and December 2006, Rachael Kessler

“The Spirit of Catholic Education: Inviting the Soul into the Classroom, Part 2” in Today’s Catholic Teacher, January and February 2007, Rachael Kessler

“Welcoming the Inner Life at School” in Educational Horizons, Volume 84, Number 4, Summer 2006, Rachael Kessler

Audio & Video

“Honoring Young Voices: A Vision for Education” (1992) 50 minute video illustrating the origins of PassageWays in the “Mysteries Program.”

“Teaching Connection, Compassion, and Character with Rachael Kessler”. New Dimensions Media, Program 3088, April 2006.

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