Development of spiritual intelligence through education is of great importance as it is the fountainhead of human values. According to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, if spirituality were absent from our lives, there would be no human values. Spirituality as a component of intelligence has the potential of providing a diversity-inclusive framework for addressing issues of value education in institutions and workplaces. When seen as a component of intelligence, spirituality is deemed a higher cognitive level and a stage intellectual awakening leading to a holistic view of things.
Howard Gardner, proponent of the theory of multiple intelligences has suggested an "existential intelligence" to the academic world
to create methods, materials and tools for measuring and developing it. When seen in this light, spirituality is a higher order thinking that takes you to from the world of things to a world of holistic meaning and unity. It needs to be clarified that concept of spiritual intelligence is distinct from religiosity; it is a universal human endowment and potential.
Spiritualism has become an area of knowledge itself with a wealth of information available on the topic. Keeping that in view, Robert Emmons defines spiritual intelligence as "the adaptive use of spiritual information to facilitate everyday problem solving and goal attainment." According to him, humans have a potential to transcend the physical and material to experience heightened states of consciousness. He also feels that by developing spiritual intelligence, human beings can sanctify everyday experience and become virtuous.
On the other hand, Frances Vaughan holds that the spiritual intelligence is concerned with the inner life of mind and spirit and its relationship to being in the world. According to Daniel Goleman, the four quadrants of spiritual intelligence are the higher self and ego-self awareness; universal awareness; higher self-mastery; and spiritual presence.
David B. King views spiritual intelligence as a set of adaptive mental capacities based on non-material and transcendent aspects of reality, and stresses the need to nourish continuously the spirit as we nourish our bodies. He suggests that to develop our spiritual intelligence, we must scrupulously keep ourselves away from things that are harmful to our spirit, for instance, arrogance, bias, revenge, dishonesty, greed, lust, etc.
Unfortunately, there are no takers for the idea of incorporating development of spiritual intelligence as a curricular practice in educational institutions. For, it requires hard on the part of teachers to function as role models of spirituality as well as adapt the curriculum and transact it with the methods that promote spiritual intelligence.