Intention, Method, and Evaluation: The 6th Annual ACMHE Conference
Conference schedule as of October 3rd
October 10-12, 2014 | University of Washington | Seattle, WA
Friday, October 10th
|5:00 – 7:00 pm||Registration, Mary Gates Hall Commons|
|6:00 – 7:00||Reception with refreshments, Mary Gates Hall Commons|
|7:15 – 8:30||Welcoming Song, Introductory Remarks and Introduction to Home Groups, Kane 110|
Saturday, October 11th
|8:00 – 8:30 am||Contemplative Practice, Kane 110|
|8:35 – 10:00||Introduction and Keynote Address, Kane 110
“Toward mindful assessments: Inquiry in and as practice”
Keynote address by Peter Felten, Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and Associate Professor of History at Elon University. Learn more.
|10:15 – 11:15||Parallel Session 1
Reimagining Contemplative Pedagogy through the Lens of Bodyfulness (Winans, Green)
Reimagining Contemplative Pedagogy through the Lens of Bodyfulness
Amy Winans, Associate Professor of English, English and Creative Writing, Susquehanna University
In the first issue of The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, Christine Caldwell offers bodyfulness as a new paradigm, one that might elucidate the role of the embodied self in experience, awareness, interconnectedness, and insight. Even contemplative practitioners and teachers, she suggests, often privilege the mind and a disembodied mindfulness over the body and its role in awareness and experience. This session emerges from our interests in the ways that bodyfulness informs our work with beginning teachers, students engaged in service learning, and people struggling emotionally as they engage with difference. Through first-person experiences in a contemplative lab, participants will engage in body-centered practices with the intention of deepening learning and understanding more fully the role of somatic practices in teaching. We will ground our discussion in practical concerns by addressing student resistance to body-awareness, student reflections on body-centered experiences, and approaches to assessment.
Amy Winans is an Associate Professor of English at Susquehanna University. Emerging from her yoga and Zen meditation practice, contemplative pedagogy has become integral to her work helping students navigate emotions associated with experiences of difference. Her research appears in journals including College English, Curriculum Inquiry, and Pedagogy.
Ann E. Green teaches writing and service-learning courses on environmental justice; narrative and medicine; and race, class, and gender at Saint Joseph’s University. She has published in College Composition and Communication and Academe. She is interested in how contemplative practices affect students’ reflections on service learning.
Assessing Contemplative Practices in Classrooms Using Qualitative Data: Challenging Opportunities (Oliver)
Assessing Contemplative Practices in Classrooms Using Qualitative Data: Challenging Opportunities
Peter Oliver, Associate Professor, Education, University of Hartford
A persistent challenge in the skillful application of contemplative practices rests in assessing their effectiveness. While quantitative and qualitative methods have been successful in measuring the effectiveness of contemplative practices, quantitative methodologies are often perceived as the more valid and reliable approaches.However, given the complexities of classroom teaching and the myriad ways students learn and create meaning from experiences, quantitative methods alone may be insufficient to thoroughly assess the impact of contemplative practices. Qualitative methods provide a “rich” source of information that researchers can use to effectively measure the impact of contemplative classroom practices with a variety of educational approaches.
In this interactive session, a focused discussion will address the opportunities and challenges of identifying and gathering qualitative data for the study of contemplative practices in the classroom. Opportunities for collaboration among participants will also be encouraged.
Peter Oliver is a professor at the University of Hartford where he has taught courses in education and self-awareness for 25 years. Peter is also nationally certified as a Professional Counselor with extensive experience in mindfulness meditation and the healing arts. He researches mindfulness and its impact on student development.
Thematic Session 1A: Faculty Learning Communities as a Catalyst for Contemplative Pedagogy Projects (Scida/Hepler) and The Learning Record: Contemplative Practice, Student Evaluation, and Program Assessment (Syverson)
Faculty Learning Communities as a Catalyst for Contemplative Pedagogy Projects
30-Minute Thematic (Group 1A, Presentation 1)
Emily Scida, Associate Professor, Dept. of Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese, University of Virginia
This session explores two contemplative pedagogy projects supported by a grant from UVA’s Teaching Resource Center and the ACMHE and developed through participation in a faculty learning community.The first project integrated contemplative approaches into an undergraduate course on “The Arts and Public Policy” to deepen engagement with course materials, support critical self-reflection, and foster comfort with ambiguity. Techniques included reflective writing assignments and an in-class opening ritual. The second project investigated the effect of contemplative practices ongraduate student stress, teacher self-efficacy, and compassion in a graduate-level foreign language pedagogy course. Students engaged in short contemplative practices during class time as well as in a teacher centering assignment. We will discuss the results of these projects as well as future plans to investigate the impact of contemplative approaches in our respective courses, emphasizing each of our unique intentions and motivations behind bringing these practices into our classrooms.
Lindsey Hepler, MA, is Associate Director of OpenGrounds and Lecturer in Arts Administration at the University of Virginia. Her teaching, research, and cross-disciplinary projects explore the intersections of contemplative pedagogy, the arts, and creativity to reveal their potential to transformhigher education. She is a devoted practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga.
Emily Scida is Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Spanish and Italian Language Programs at the University of Virginia. She teaches courses in Spanish linguistics and foreign language pedagogy. Her research interests include teacher development, technology integration, applied linguistics, and contemplative pedagogy.
The Learning Record: Contemplative Practice, Student Evaluation, and Program Assessment
30-Minute Thematic (Group 1A, Presentation 2)
Margaret Syverson, Associate Professor, Rhetoric and Writing, University of Texas at Austin
One of the most challenging aspects of integrating and legitimizing contemplative practice in higher education is the issue of assessment. Some finesse this issue by bracketing the contemplative aspects of the course outside of assessment as “unassessable,” having students “self-assess,” or having them respond to surveys about the contribution of contemplative practices to their learning, for example. These approaches, however, have limited value. There is a humane, authentic way to provide assessment for contemplative practices and the courses that include them that will meet even the most rigorous expectations from departments, disciplines, students, and institutions. Since 1988, the Learning Record, an evidence-based approach, has provided just such an assessment system, for thousands of students, teachers, and schools, at every level. This presentation will provide an overview of the Learning Record model, and describe its potential for providing authentic student evaluation and program assessment for contemplative teaching and learning.
Margaret Syverson is a Resident Teacher and Director at Appamada, a center for contemporary Zen practice and inquiry in Austin, Texas. She is also an associate professor in the Rhetoric and Writing Department at the University of Texas at Austin, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses.
The Pedagogy of Compassion (Hill/Bhagat)
The Pedagogy of Compassion
Renée Hill, Associate Professor, History and Philosophy, Virginia State University
In Fall, 2013, Renée Hill and Ram Bhagat taught a course at Virginia State University entitled “The Philosophy of Compassion.” They would like to share and discuss the intentions behind the development of the class as well as the ensuing results (along with concerns about the stated and unstated purposes of the class). The course delved into the careful consideration and witnessing of compassion, reviewed compassion-oriented literature, and included practices like meditation and mindfulness which support the growth of compassion. This conference session would incorporate exercises used in the class and encourage open discussion and analysis of class goals, methodology and outcomes, which would be most helpful for future iterations of the course. As the Dalai Lama states: “Compassion is not religious business; it is human business. It is not luxury; it is essential for our own peace and mental stability; it is essential for human survival.”
Renee Hill is a philosophy professor at Virginia State University. She has taught courses investigating how one might approach justice and reconciliation after genocide, and continues to probe ways that contemplative practices can enhance learning and the exploration and practice of justice.
Ram Bhagat is an educator and facilitator proficient in several conflict resolution methodologies. He traveled to Burundi to learn Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities, or HROC, a conflict resolution strategy which was developed by the survivors of genocide in Rwanda. His nonprofit organization, Drums Not Guns, works with at-risk youth in the Richmond, Virginia area.
Thematic Session 1B: Racial Mindfulness: Paying Attention to “Racial Moments” (Karis) and Things Fell Apart, What Will Emerge? (Klatt)
Racial Mindfulness: Paying Attention to “Racial Moments”
30-Minute Thematic (Group 1B, Presentation 1)
Terri Karis, Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin-Stout
In this session participants will learn about a SOTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) project in which students practiced racial mindfulness using a systematic self-observation method of paying attention to their own race-related thoughts, feelings and experiences. Bringing awareness to habitual patterns undermines the normative “white relational practice” of not noticing dynamics of race and racism, which although well-intentioned, contributes to a culture of racial disconnection and racial disparity. Findings included six factors that characterized the learning process of white students moving from emotional reactivity to deepened racial understanding: noticing thoughts and feelings; staying with the process even when emotionally uncomfortable; accepting ambiguity and not-knowing; awareness of previously unconscious racialized worldviews; awareness of whiteness; and imagining perspectives of people of color. We will discuss teacher behaviors that compassionately support student learning, including how to stimulate curiosity and avoid defensiveness.
Terri A. Karis, Ph.D. is Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Her publications include Multiracial Couples: Black and White Voices and The Psychology of Whiteness: Moving Beyond Separation to Connection. Dr. Karis studies how students learn about race, and maintains a psychotherapy practice.
Things Fell Apart, What Will Emerge?
30-Minute Thematic (Group 1B, Presentation 2)
Suzanne Klatt, Co-Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, and Clinical Faculty, Family Studies and Social Work, Miami University Hamilton
As a college educator utilizing mindfulness in her courses and keenly interested in the well-being of the university and surrounding community, I extend mindfulness practices beyond the college classroom to university faculty/staff and local community organizations. This session focuses on a mindfulness program/research project, its inherent challenges, and retrospective thoughts about contemplative methods. I provided the Mindful Schools curriculum to two local after school program (ASP) locations. My intention was to evaluate the program’s impact on youth anxiety given the challenges for youth at these local K-6 schools with low performing and economically disadvantaged (ED) school (school A = 99% ED; school B = 87% ED). Things fell apart, although the ASP director requested mindfulness practices and support for his ASP staff. Join me as we brainstorm about how to create a more contemplative method for the follow up ASP staff project. Chodron, P. (1997). Things Fall Apart. Boston: Shambhala.
Suzanne Klatt, PhD, received her BS in Business from Indiana University, MSW from The Ohio State University, and her PhD in Educational Leadership from Miami University. Her practice specialty and scholarship interests include university community partnerships, residential educators, and mindfulness based interventions and practices across multiple ages and various contexts.
Contemplative Moving Arts as Self-Cultivation Practice for Educators (Cohen/Gordon/Park/Bai)
Contemplative Moving Arts as Self-Cultivation Practice for Educators
Avraham Cohen, Professor, Counselor Education, City University of Seattle (Vancouver BC, Canada Site)
We introduce Ki Aikido as a moving contemplative art that cultivates fine-grained intersubjectivity. We show that such arts, historically martial, can provide unparalleled educational opportunity for optimal human awakening, responsiveness, and relationality for educators. Participants will have opportunity to experience self-cultivation forms and the related inner world awareness and life energy expressions. We will demonstrate how inner work processes and perspectives can be integrated with “moving” arts in the service of liberating the “soul” of the educator, enhancing classroom experience for students individually, and developing the classroom community. Our approach offers a Way (“do” or 道) for personal growth and development of educators, students, and communities within educational environments, and suggests that this Way-Making is core to all aspects of education. Our presentation is consistent with and responsive to contemporary research regarding the impact of personal and interpersonal dynamics in classrooms.
Avraham Cohen, Ph.D. (UBC), R.C.C., C.C.C. is Professor and Associate Director for the Full-Time Masters in Counselling Program at City University of Seattle in Vancouver, Canada. His experience in education and psychotherapy spans forty years. His forthcoming books are Speaking of Learning and Becoming Fully Human within Educational Environments.
Michael Gordon, MSc. in Consciousness & Transpersonal Psychology, is a private practice psychotherapist in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and writes and speaks extensively on contemplative psychology and mindfulness. He is a 5th Dan Aikido teacher, has taught meditation to women in prison, and lectured at Simon Fraser University on “Everyday Enlightenment.”
Sean Park, PhD, is an educator, artist, mover and shaker. He recently defended his doctorate at Simon Fraser University on Eastern philosophies and contemplative practices of embodiment as artistic, therapeutic, and spiritual means of helping educators become more integrated. Sean is currently completing his training as a registered clinical counselor in Vancouver, Canada.
Heesoon Bai, PhD, Professor at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver BC, Canada, teaches educational philosophy, with a focus on ethics, moral education, eco-education, and history of educational theories and ideas. Her scholarship integrates Western and Eastern philosophies, and contemplative philosophies and practice. View her published works online: http://summit.sfu.ca/collection/204
Minding the Threshold: Contemplative Pedagogies and Threshold Concepts (Love)
Minding the Threshold: Contemplative Pedagogies and Threshold Concepts
Jane Love, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Teaching & Learning, Furman University
Threshold concepts (TCs) bridge pedagogy with disciplinary content on a level that is practical, yet appealingly (for faculty) theoretical. As “sticking points” or “bottlenecks” in course content, TCs pose particular challenges for students, and, once grasped, usher them across a “threshold” in disciplinary understanding. TC concept originators Land and Meyer describe TCs as “transformative, troublesome, irreversible, integrative, bounded, discursive, and liminal.”* Unsurprisingly, the literature focuses on “troublesomeness” and “liminality” as salient features of the TC experience. This session will be structured as a round table discussion of how mindfulness practices might aid students as they encounter TCs. Could mindfulness improve students’ metacognitive awareness of dissonance, confusion, and frustration? increase tolerance for liminality and ability to generate meaning in the face of intellectual challenge? Participants may be invited to brainstorm mindfulness activities for a TC in their own field, with open discussion exploring the potential obstacles and benefits of this approach.*http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/~mflanaga/thresholds.html
Jane Love directs the Center for Teaching & Learning at Furman University. Her background in literary theory shapes her current interest in a “hermeneutics” of learning, threshold experiences, and the the role of mindfulness in the production of meaning.
Thematic Session 1C: Adoption of Contemplative Practices: Using Theoretical Lens for Empirical Assessment (Fagan/Rizer) and The Limits of “Outcome” Learning and Standards for Meditational Pedagogies (Mah y Busch)
Adoption of Contemplative Practices: Using Theoretical Lens for Empirical Assessment
30-Minute Thematic (Group 1C, Presentation 1)
Mary Helen Fagan, Associate Professor, Management and Marketing, College of Business and Technology, University of Texas at Tyler
Contemplative practices can be viewed as innovations, as new ideas which are diffused among members of a social system through various channels over time (Rogers, 2003). As such, scholars can use different theoretical lens to empirically analyze various factors that may facilitate and/or create barriers to the adoption of contemplative practices among students, faculty, staff and administrators in higher education. For example, the presenters used a theoretical model built on the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Health Belief Model to study the relationships between student attitudes and student intentions to practice mindfulness meditation and to participate in meditation training. This type of assessment can both inform practitioners who are planning to introduce contemplative practices as well as provide the basis for scholarly contributions. This presentation will explore some of the theories, methods and practical considerations that can support this type of assessment of contemplative practices in higher education.
Dr. Mary Helen Fagan is an Associate Professor of Information Systems and Management in the College of Business and Technology at the University of Texas at Tyler.
Dr. Carol Rizer is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Texas at Tyler.
The Limits of “Outcome” Learning and Standards for Meditational Pedagogies
30-Minute Thematic (Group 1C, Presentation 2)
Juan Mah Y Busch, Associate Professor, English/Chicana/o Studies, Loyola Marymount University
In the world of education, the language itself has become a site of struggle. In order to demonstrate the credibility of a course, we are asked to assess in terms established by the idea of “outcomes” and “closing the assessment loop,” thereby undermine the unique pedagogical force of their practices. How, then, do we measure immeasurables? How do we evaluate a student’s development of a deeper imagination or calm, a sense of wonder and awe, or confident creativity? In this presentation I first describe the violence done to contemplative pedagogies by conventional language of learning outcomes. I then distinguish between two types of contemplative pedagogies, the concentrative and the receptive. Among pedagogies based on receptive forms of meditation, the focus of attention should not be on outcomes as much as on standards for who can teach receptive contemplative pedagogies, and on how we demonstrate the viability of a course.
Juan D. Mah y Busch researches and publishes on the interplay between awareness and agency. With a specialization in literary and cultural studies–especially their postcolonial, feminist and marxist strands– and formal training in meditation, his writings and courses explore the relationship among power, awareness, and lived experience. His current research pursues two related strands. Through critical ethical theory, aisthesis, and the study of literature, he writes about the role of aesthetic agency for an ethics of survival and life. He also has published on the interaction between critical and contemplative pedagogies. Juan lives in Northeast Los Angeles with Irene and their children, Iza, Josué and Serén.
|11:30 – 12:30 pm||Parallel Session 2
Measurable Indicators of What Matters Most (Sable)
Measurable Indicators of What Matters Most
60-Minute Interactive Room 231
David Sable, Instructor, Interdisciplinary, Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University
This workshop will apply a set of mindfulness-based introspective and interactive practices based on five years of research with undergraduates. Participants will develop measurable indicators of effectiveness for using contemplative practices in their classrooms. Introspective practice will include mindfulness meditation and contemplation techniques that include focusing on such questions as what matters most in your teaching, what do your students need to retain three months or three years after the course is over, and what is your intention for introducing contemplative practices to your students? Having focused on the questions, participants will add creativity by gaining awareness of their underlying “felt sense” and preparing a brief journal entry. Interactive practice with peers will include mindful listening and authentic reflective inquiry with guided instruction based on the same principles employed in in mindfulness and awareness meditation. Finally, participants will be invited to integrate existing methods of assessment with new iteration of indicators through guided creative dialogue.
David Sable, PhD, began teaching university students in 2000. In 2012, David completed the Interdisciplinary PhD program at Dalhousie University in Canada. His thesis on the impacts of reflective practices on learning was nominated for Best Thesis in the Social Sciences and his work was published in first issue of The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry.
Thematic Group 2A: Contemplative Interviewing: How contemplative research methods may support evaluation (Morgan) and Second-Person Inquiry in Contemplative Course Design and Assessment (Baugher/Merrill)
Contemplative Interviewing: How contemplative research methods may support evaluation
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2A, Presentation 1)
Patricia Morgan, Student Life and Learning, University of New South Wales
It is frequently suggested that an important aspect of contemplative education is the need for the contemplative practitioner/theorist/educator. It is assumed that the refined states of consciousness experienced by students in contemplative education classes needs to be known experientially by those guiding or researching them. My presentation supports this and questions why the contemplative state of consciousness is not commonly present in the research setting. Drawing from fieldwork at four universities in the US it examines the use of a contemplative interviewing method that the presenter developed over the course of the fieldwork. It compares elements of this fundamentally qualitative approach with those of traditional scientistic methods exploring questions of authenticity and rigor. The presentation outlines important elements of the technique, particularly its engagement with students’ pre-figurative experience, and suggests how these may provide a starting point for the development of assessment methods congruent with the contemplative state of consciousness.
In her early work as a video artist, Dr. Patricia Morgan explored the ways that her abstract trance videos could induce relaxation. This led to postgraduate research into the impacts of environment on health and on to a community arts practice. In 2007 she received an Australian government scholarship to complete an interdisciplinary PhD in Contemplative Education, which she was awarded in 2013. Patricia is currently developing Contemplative Education courses at UNSW, Sydney, Australia.
Second-Person Inquiry in Contemplative Course Design and Assessment
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2A, Presentation 2)
John Baugher, Associate Director for Contemplative Learning, Contemplative Sciences Center, University of Virginia
This paper draws on original research on assessment in a contemplative social science course on grief and suffering. Our approach is based on two observations. First, discussions concerning assessment in contemplative pedagogy have centered on post-hoc student self-reports, whereas discussions of assessment in higher education more broadly stress the importance of assessing learning outcomes through assignments integral to coursework. Second, to date most contemplative initiatives in higher education have emphasized first-person modes of inquiry to balance the more mainstream focus on third-person analysis. Very little attention has been given to the value of second-person inquiry. Our data illustrate the power of assessing student learning through assignments that combine first- and second-person modalities. Our findings suggests that incorporating the second-person “we” into pedagogical initiatives–including course design, assignments, and assessment–may be crucial for harnessing the critical pedagogic potential of contemplative approaches.
John Baugher is Associate Director for Contemplative Learning in the Contemplative Sciences Center at University of Virginia. His publications include Leading with Spirit, Presence, and Authenticity (Jossey-Bass, 2014), a co-edited volume in the International Leadership Association (ILA) series on Building Leadership Bridges. John holds a Ph.D. in sociology (Tulane University, 2001).
Joshua Merrill completed his B.A. in sociology at University of Southern Maine. His primary interests are compassionate caregiving and combining critical and contemplative pedagogies in higher education. Joshua is currently a direct caregiver for several elderly men. He intends to pursue graduate studies in contemplative social science.
Mindful Dissonance: Reframing Student “Resistance” to Learning about Oppression (Berila/Laker)
Mindful Dissonance: Reframing Student “Resistance” to Learning about Oppression
Beth Berila, Director, Women’s Studies Program, Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department, St. Cloud State University
This dialogue will explore mindfulness practices that can help students sit with uncomfortable discussions in diversity classrooms. Rather than seeing student responses to learning about oppression as “resistance,” we will reframe them as the inevitable dissonance that occurs when a student’s worldview is called into question. Drawing on contemplative pedagogy, we will discuss how to help students recognize the cognitive and embodied dissonance that results from disrupting their familiar paradigms. Contemplative practices can help learn to respond with compassion to their own reactions and those of others in order to recognize the process for what it is: the complex unlearning of oppression. Students can then disentangle their immediate responses to see how narratives of oppression have woven themselves into deeply held beliefs. Participants will have the opportunity to share challenging moments from their own teaching experience and share insights about how to best address them.
Beth Berila is a yoga teacher and the Director of the Women’s Studies Program at St. Cloud State University. Her work merges embodiment, feminism, yoga, and mindful education. She is the author of “Contemplating the Effects of Oppression: Integrating Mindfulness into Diversity Classrooms,” published in The Journal of Contemplative Inquiry.
Jason Laker is a Professor of Counselor Education at San Jose State University; formerly Dean of Student Affairs and Faculty in Women’s and Cultural Studies at Queen’s University (Canada). He is a teacher, scholar, consultant and trainer about issues of identity, diversity and intergroup dialogue.
Thematic Group 2B: Use of Mindfulness to Transition Students with Disabilities into College (Solar) and Re-Languaging Mindfulness to Maintain the Spirit of Integrity through Inclusivity (Hentschel)
Use of Mindfulness to Transition Students with Disabilities into College
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2B, Presentation 1)
Ernest Solar, Assistant Professor, School of Education and Human Services, Mount St. Mary’s University
Transition from secondary education to college is a stressful time for students, but more so for students with a disability. Upon entering college many students with disabilities no longer take advantage of services to help them succeed in the classroom. However, through mindfulness a student with a disability has the opportunity to learn how to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and become more mindful of his or her actions. Even though there has been a limited number of research studies showing the effectiveness of mindfulness practices with secondary students with a disability, this randomized wait-list control study demonstrates that students with a disability are able to learn and practice mindfulness. The results of the study indicated effect sizes of d = -.46 for perceived stress and d = -.22 for anxiety. The results show the intention of contemplative practices to be effective for students with a disability transition into college.
Ernest Solar is an Assistant Professor at Mount St. Mary’s University in the School of Education and Human Services. He has been incorporating contemplative practices in the classroom with students with an emotional disability for the past ten years in therapeutic and public schools.
Re-Languaging Mindfulness to Maintain the Spirit of Integrity through Inclusivity
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2B, Presentation 2)
Margit Hentschel, Director, Center for Mindfulness, Colorado State University
As we continue to forward mindfulness education in academic settings, it is important to maintain the integrity and spirit of its intention. Reproducing mindfulness practices through a lens of the patriarchal language unintentionally replicates the very nature of what we are working to unravel. Re-languaging mindfulness education through feminist pedagogy and community inclusivity aims to dismantle the authoritarian structures and constructs that have not served humanity well. My presentation offers a new way to critically analyze the language that is readily being adopted in mindfulness academies and challenges the notion of rigor, resiliency, and reduction through etymological based definitions by reframing the language with words to encourage vision, inspiration, and hope for more positive outcomes.
Margit Hentschel, PhD, is the Founder and Co-Director of Colorado State University’s Center for Mindfulness. She also serves as Director for the Office of Service-Learning at CSU’s Institute for Learning and Teaching. Her office is dedicated to carrying out CSU’s commitment to mindfulness practices and community service-learning through outreach, inclusivity, instructional innovation and effectiveness.
Thematic Session 2C: Person/Planet Politics: Teaching for a New Earth (Litfin) and Depth Sustainability: A Portfolio Approach to a Contemplative Classroom (Paun)
Person/Planet Politics: Teaching for a New Earth
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2C, Presentation 1)
Karen Litfin, Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Washington
This paper draws on my two decades of teaching “person/planet politics,” which encourages students to ask themselves in relation to global environmental problems: “Who am I in relation to this?” The first section explores ways of working consciously with the dark emotions–fear, anger, grief, despair, and guilt–elicited by the potentially overwhelming nature of these issues. The second section focuses on somatic experience as a gateway to a genuinely creative response to living on a new Earth. As literally being of the Earth, our bodies offer a window into the generativity and sense of sufficiency that could provide a cornerstone of a sustainability culture. Finally, I address the tremendous developmental challenge for young people coming of age at the dawn of the Anthropocene. In this context, we college instructors are called upon to step beyond our traditional roles into a more profound quality of mentorship that involves supplementing cognitive learning with practices for personal resilience.
Karen Litfin is Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Washington. In her research and teaching, she integrates the cognitive, emotive, and practical dimensions of sustainability. That commitment led her to write a book on the integration of ecology, economics, community, and consciousness in communities around the world: http://www.ecovillagebook.com.
Depth Sustainability: A Portfolio Approach to a Contemplative Classroom
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2C, Presentation 2)
Dorothy Paun, Associate Professor, College of the Environment, University of Washington
Contemplative practices like meditation and journaling are active exercises obvious to participants. This presentation will discuss less apparent reflective components that could enhance a core contemplative practice. A portfolio approach, using multiple contemplative methods simultaneously, involves three modes of delivery: silent, subtle, and straightforward. Silent contemplative practices are mentoring by example and energy clearing, to name two examples. Subtle contemplative practice examples are consciously choosing: a particular classroom (e.g., one having a sanctuary feel or a visual/kinetic connection to nature); when the course is taught (days of the week and time); and turning off all electronic devices. Another example, with the potential for enduring contemplation, is mindfully redesigning course content, beyond the/any disciplinary focus, to include environmental and social responsibility considerations through integrative examples, exercises, assignments, and discussions. Straightforward (this word isn’t the most mindful descriptor and is used because it begins with the letter S) contemplative practices are many, see the Tree of Contemplative Practices.
Using a portfolio of contemplative practices provides diversification, while lowering risk. Risk refers to not effectively reaching, or having a perceived negative impact, on some students when measuring the outcome of contemplative practices (e.g., lack of student participation, negative feedback in course evaluations).
Dorothy Paun is an associate professor at the University of Washington and has degrees in international marketing (PhD), international finance (MBA), and natural resources (BS). She received the Fulbright Distinguished Chair Research Award, the Marketing Science Alpha Kappa Psi Research Award, and has over 100 publications and presentations. Dorothy has been a visiting professor abroad (Università Bocconi in Italy, the Helsinki School of Economics and Business in Finland, and the University of British Columbia in Canada) and prior to her academic career was a stockbroker and Alaskan park ranger.
Embodying Deep Practice: A Pedagogical Approach (Eckard)
Embodying Deep Practice: A Pedagogical Approach
Bonnie Eckard, Professor, School of Film, Dance and Theatre, Arizona State University
This workshop introduces a pedagogical methodology that intersects deep practice, as outlined by Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code, and Viewpoints, a physical approach to actor training developed for the theatre by director Anne Bogart. By referencing recent research in neuroscience, the workshop will demonstrate how scientific understandings of cognition can support the embodied practice of Viewpoints, a practice that encourages physical, emotional, and sensory awareness. The workshop will introduce practical classroom techniques and examples of how students can incorporate this training beyond the classroom. We will examine and discuss several models for assessment and long-term evaluation. Workshop attendees are welcome to observe or participate.
Bonnie J. Eckard is Professor of Theatre in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre at Arizona State University. Current research involves exploration of myth and personal narrative using movement, music, and text. Her most recent research and publications explore embodied cognition and performance and intersections between perception/cognition and theatre.
Be. Still. Move: Creative Contemplative Movement (Briggs)
Be. Still. Move: Creative Contemplative Movement
Stephanie Briggs, Assistant Professor, English, Community College of Baltimore County
In dancer Louise Steinman’s book, The Knowing Body, she writes of how her notion of “practice” changed while studying dance at Naropa University with Barbara Dilley. It was while “practicing paying attention” that she discovered how “practice” intersected with daily life. Based on the fact that there is a strong connection between movement, improved cognition, and mindfulness, movement in the classroom enhances students’ learning and lives by setting intentions, paying attention, and making choices that provide insights towards achieving goals set in the classroom and beyond. Participants in this practice session experience movement-based exercises that can be used in the classroom, outdoors, or alternative open indoor space. Movement-based learning through the use of gesturing, storytelling, observation, and reflection allows both students and instructors to be more self-aware, engage in stillness to fully examine new ideas, and open up to movement as a practice of deeper knowing.
Stephanie Briggs, Assistant Professor, English, at the Community College of Baltimore County, has studied movement with Meredith Monk, Elaine Yuen, and Gabrielle Roth. She currently is leading contemplative workshops on her campus and assisting in developing a Faculty Learning Community on Contemplative Pedagogy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Thematic Group 2D: Mindfulness for Helping Professionals: An evaluation of a live, on-line, 8-week professional development program (Crowder) and Evaluating the Mindfulness of Graduate Social Work Students (Kessen/Turner)
Mindfulness for Helping Professionals: An evaluation of a live, on-line, 8-week professional development program
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2D, Presentation 1)
Rachael Crowder, Assistant Professor, Social Work, University of Calgary
An area of higher education where contemplative methods are being used, but not often discussed, is in professional development. In regulated health and social care professions, “helping professionals” must acquire a minimum number of continuing education credits to remain licensed. These professionals also experience high rates of job-related stress and burnout. This paper presents the results of the evaluation of an 8-week mindfulness program with helping professionals held via an on-line, live classroom. Surveys were administered on-line to two cohorts of professionals (n=26) during the fall of 2013 and winter of 2014. The effectiveness of the program for ameliorating and preventing burnout was measured using psychometric surveys and qualitative questions were asked to solicit feedback on the strengths and weakness of the program. Participants’ narratives regarding their perceived benefits to personal wellbeing, as well as the professional application of new mindfulness skills acquired are featured.
Rachael Crowder, PhD, RSW, is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, and is also a mindfulness teacher trained in both Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.
Evaluating the Mindfulness of Graduate Social Work Students
30-Minute Thematic (Group 2D, Presentation 2)
Christine Kessen, Associate Professor, Social Work, Marywood University
Mindfulness, defined as nonjudgmental present moment awareness, is often considered an essential skill for human service providers. One intention of required social work practice courses coupled with internships is to foster this skill. Traditional methods include didactic presentations, experiential exercises, demonstrations, and feedback from peers and supervisors. To enhance the evaluation process, we administered the MAAS (the trait Mindful Awareness Attention Scale) to the 100 students entering the MSW program in 2010 at a university in northeastern United States. We again administered the MAAS to the same students during their last semester prior to graduation. Contrary to expectations, we found a significant decrease in mindfulness from student entry to graduation. In focus groups and interviews, students reported that supervision in field placements helped them to be mindful. However the stress of graduate school as well as life stressors decreased this skill. Students recommended increased training in mindfulness practices.
Christine Kessen, DSW, LCSW, has been a practitioner and teacher of meditation practices for the past fifteen years. As an associate professor of social work at Marywood University in Pennsylvania, Professor Kessen teaches graduate social work courses on practice, ethics, and spirituality. She is currently conducting research on contemplative practices.
Kielty Turner, an Assistant Professor at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, teaches both research and practice courses to social work students. Licensed as a clinical social worker, Dr. Turner has experience in the treatment and prevention of addictive disorders. Her research interests relate to the application of mindfulness skills training.
|12:45 – 1:45||Lunch, Mary Gates Hall Commons|
|2:00 – 3:15||Parallel Session 3
Dissecting the Butterfly: Contemplative Critique and Evaluation in the Arts (Miller)
Dissecting the Butterfly: Contemplative Critique and Evaluation in the Arts
Mark Miller, Professor of Music, School of the Arts, Naropa University
Every artist knows that judgment is antithetical to the creative process, yet critical assessment is necessary for artistic growth and maturity. How can we evaluate a student’s creative work when premature critical dissection can kill the very work we seek to evaluate? In fact, guiding students toward an understanding of constructive criticism is in itself an invitation to mindfulness/awareness practice. In this interactive presentation, we will identify key characteristics of an awareness-based approach to creativity including the practice of not knowing, the role of sense perception and imagination, and the cultivation of personal presence and effective collaboration. We will then identify a contemplative framework for assessment that centralizes the artist’s point of view, and includes peer evaluation as well as faculty input.
Mark Miller (MFA, CalArts) has performed and recorded on flute and saxophone with Tuck and Patti, David Friesen, David Darling, Paul McCandless, R. Carlos Nakai, and Nawang Khechog. His work with pianist Peter Kater was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013. Mark serves as Professor of Music at Naropa University.
Negotiating a Contemplative Studies Minor: Curriculum Intentions and Evaluation Methods (McCown/Roussel)
Negotiating a Contemplative Studies Minor: Curriculum Intentions and Evaluation Methods
Donald McCown, Assistant Professor, Health, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
This presentation will share a two-year narrative of misunderstandings, frustrations, and, finally, collaborations leading to establishment of an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Contemplative Studies at a public university. We’ll describe strategies for overcoming three major challenges in curriculum development: fitting with the dominant discourse of science and evidence-based practice; justifying the value of body-based practice courses; and addressing concerns about market demand for program completers. We’ll detail successful plans for academic assessment of the program. More important, we’ll detail a plan for evaluation of the transformation of students’ ways of being – from wellness to academic and creative achievement – that includes faculty-student collaboration on a mixed-method research project to generate data on outcomes from six core courses and the whole program, which will help guide refinement of the curriculum. The presentation will encourage participants in dialogue to explore challenges in their own institutions, exchange ideas, and generate new strategies for success.
Donald McCown is Assistant Professor of Health, Co-Director of the Center for Contemplative Studies, and Program Director for the Minor in Contemplative Studies at West Chester University. He is primary author of Teaching Mindfulness and New World Mindfulness, and author of The Ethical Space of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice.
Emily Roussel is a graduate student in Public Health, with a concentration in Integrative Health, at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is currently interning at the Center for Contemplative Studies at the university.
Healing the Healer: Contemplative Practices for Vulnerable Populations (Griffin/Johnson/Lolis)
Healing the Healer: Contemplative Practices for Vulnerable Populations
Clyde Griffin, Jr., Professor, School for Human Services and Education, Metropolitan College Of New York
At Metropolitan College of New York, we use contemplative practices to heal vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations are populations of injured people. They are those citizens at the edge of our society who frequently suffer from poverty, ill-health, and much stress and anxiety due to their low socioeconomic position. In the Human Services Program at Metropolitan College of New York, we educate human services professionals to empower these populations so that they can take greater charge of their own lives. However, the students we educate are often as injured and vulnerable as those they are trying to help. Through the integration of contemplative practices in General Education courses as well as in courses specific to the Human Services Program, including field seminars, we intend to provide our students with contemplative practice tools for healing both themselves and those they are trying to heal. Our assessment is done through student logs and field projects in vulnerable communities.
Dr. Clyde Griffin, Jr. holds an undergraduate degree in Romance languages and literature from Ohio State University, a Masters in English as a Second Language and a doctorate in Applied Linguistics and Literature from Teachers’ College, Columbia. From 2003 to 2013, he was the Chair of the Human Services Program at Metropolitan College of New York.
Professor Natasha Johnson earned her Juris Doctorate from CUNY School of Law and her BA degree from Columbia University. She is an activist, advocate, educator and lecturer. She served as an Anti-Trafficking Legal Specialist in the Solomon Islands and has worked with homeless foster care and at risk LGBT youth in New York City.
Lefki Lolis is a licensed mental health counselor. Her educational background combined with psychoanalytic approaches integrated with yoga breath meditation along with neuro-linguistic programming provide her clients with a variety of therapeutic techniques with at risk students to develop acknowledgement, strategies and resolution. She has worked in the NYC High schools as educator, counselor, dean and acting principal. Her work with at risk students led her to co-pilot programs with the Board of Education and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her expertise includes various mental health topics including trauma, stress management/depression, crisis intervention, and career counseling. Currently at Metropolitan College, she integrates classroom group work, self-discussions and takes the students through time lines of self-discovery into the core topics. A few of the classes taught are Social and Developmental Psychology, Models of Counseling, Theories of Learning and Cognitive Development, and Critical Thinking and Writing through the Study of Literature, where students again utilize literature for self-discovery and writing. Lefki also has a private practice where a confidential setting is provided for individual’s couples and families to help manage life defeating and self-destructive habits and behavioral patterns.
Thematic Group 3A: Self-Reflection Assessment Tools for Teaching Evaluation of Artwork and Participation (Franklin) and Contemplating Self and Other in Transformative Teaching and Learning (Lynam)
Self-Reflection Assessment Tools for Teaching Evaluation of Artwork and Participation
30-Minute Thematic (Group 3A, Presentation 1)
Michael Franklin, Professor and Coordinator, Graduate Art Therapy Program, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, Naropa University
It has been my experience that instructors struggle when grading subjective assignments like art. Reasons for this resistance can range from students blindly liking their work because they put a lot of time into it to downright paralysis when it comes to grading subjective material. This continuum of challenges reveals an opportunity for contemplative-based grading methods. For 25 years I have been working on the same piece of paper: a self-reflection tool for slowing down the evaluation of artwork. Although art can be experienced as an array of protracted technologies (printmaking, carving, editing film), when it comes to evaluation, students can impulsively rush through the process with limited self-examination skills. Therefore this presentation addresses:
Dr. Michael Franklin coordinates the Art Therapy program at Naropa University. Prior to Naropa, he practiced as a clinician and directed programs at Bowling Green State University and the College of Saint Teresa. Michael is an international lecturer and accomplished author. His research addresses art as contemplative practice encompassing meditation, social engagement/karma-yoga and art-based research.
Contemplating Self and Other in Transformative Teaching and Learning
30-Minute Thematic (Group 3A, Presentation 2)
Abigail Lynam, Faculty, Pacific Integral
Contemplative practices can support a deepening understanding and compassion for self and others. These practices can also catalyze a widening or of our circles of care, identity, and responsibility from self-centric, to socio-centric, and to world-centric identities. Understanding these patterns of development is important for transformative teaching and learning and can serve as a form of contemplative practice. This paper discusses the results of a recent study that examined the personal, professional impacts of introducing a constructive developmental framework to faculty and students in a post secondary program in sustainability education. Participants explored the developmental framework and its application to teaching and mentorship, by developing literacy, engaging in collaborative action inquiry, and learning about their own development through the use of a developmental assessment and coaching. The findings demonstrate that learning about adult development (including one’s own) supports increased self-awareness and self-knowledge, understanding and compassion for others, and skill development for working well with worldview diversity.
Abigail Lynam, PhD, taught for 15 years in graduate and undergraduate environmental studies, sustainability, and transformative leadership. Her research and teaching integrates human interiors (values, worldviews, identity, and culture) and exteriors (behavior and systems) towards cultivating transformative social and ecological change agents. She teaches for Antioch Seattle, Prescott College, and the Generating Transformative Change leadership program.
Is there a Role for the “Heart-Opening Practices” in Higher Education? (Rasmussen/Anderson/Bai/Cohen/Roomy)
Is there a Role for the “Heart-Opening Practices” in Higher Education?
Derek Rasmussen, Doctoral Programs, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University
Our panel explores the role of the heart-opening practices known as the Four Immeasurables in Theravada Buddhism: loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. These are an important suite of contemplative practices that have been somewhat neglected – arguably since antiquity – as part of a trend both East and West of privileging the “mind” over the “heart.” In light of contemporary research in affect regulation and its importance in cognitive performance and psychological and physical wellbeing, we explore the non-sectarian cultivation of the Four Immeasurables. Rasmussen focuses on sympathetic joy and equanimity as important practices to support educators and activists interested in social justice. Roomy addresses self-compassion in Western psychotherapeutic research, adapting Buddhist views of compassion. Cohen and Bai discuss psychosocial issues that impair heart-opening and offer “inner work” for repair. Anderson discusses the challenges involved in cultivating the conditions for contemplative inquiry to take root in the academy.
Derek Rasmussen is a meditation teacher trained in the Burmese and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. He has worked for Inuit organizations on education, economic, and social issues for 20 years. Currently, he is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. View his publications online at sfu.academia.edu/DerekRasmussen
Dr. Laurie Anderson is the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University’s downtown Vancouver campus, and an Adjunct Professor in SFU’s Faculty of Education. Laurie co-developed SFU’s new MEd in Contemplative Inquiry and Approaches with Dr Heesoon Bai, was Director of Instruction and Interim Superintendent of Schools in Vancouver.
Heesoon Bai, Professor at Simon Fraser University, teaches educational philosophy, with a focus on ethics and moral education, eco-education, and history of educational theories and ideas. Her scholarship is informed by the integration of Western and Eastern philosophies, and contemplative philosophies and practice. View her published works online at http://summit.sfu.ca/collection/204
Avraham Cohen, Ph.D. (UBC), R.C.C., C.C.C. is Professor and Associate Director for the Full-Time Masters in Counselling Program at City University of Seattle in Vancouver, Canada. His experience in education and psychotherapy spans forty years. His forthcoming books are Speaking of Learning and Becoming Fully Human within Educational Environments.
Amy Roomy, M.Ed. (University of Victoria), R.C.C., is a Ph.D. student in Education at Simon Fraser University. She has been a Concurrent Disorders Clinician in mental health and addictions for nearly ten years. Years of practice and study in Buddhism and Western psychotherapy have enabled her to integrate these fields in secular curriculum for self-compassion.
Feldenkrais Somatic Method of Education: Mindfulness, Movement and Social Change (Fonow/Goldsand)
Feldenkrais Somatic Method of Education: Mindfulness, Movement and Social Change
Mary Margaret Fonow, Professor and Director, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University
Participants will be lead through an Awareness through Movement Feldenkrais lesson by a certified practitioner. As a contemplative practice this approach to working with people expands their repertoire of movements, enhances awareness and improves function. The lesson consists of comfortable, easy movements that gradually evolve into movements of greater range and complexity. The emphasis is on learning which movements work better and noticing the quality of these changes in your body. Through increased awareness, you will learn to abandon habitual patterns of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination. We will also present the results of an evaluation study we conducted with our students at ASU that explores the relationship between Feldenkrais, mindfulness and body awareness. Our goal is to help college students become more embodied leaders and activist for social justice and social change. How do we stay present as we learn how to lead others and ourselves?
Mary Margaret Fonow is Professor and Director of the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. She has published extensively on leadership and activism and with Rich Goldsand developed a course on transformational leadership and embodied activism.
Richard Goldsand is a guild-certified Feldenkrais practitioner and trainer. He has a private practice and teaches in the department of Dance and the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University.
Assessing Assessment: Pedagogical Reform and the Koan of Accountability (Freinkel/Rumbarger)
Assessing Assessment: Pedagogical Reform and the Koan of Accountability
Lisa Myobun Freinkel, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, English and Comparative Literature, University of Oregon
“Assessment” is everywhere on most North American campuses, from the increased emphasis on accountability standards, to the surging popularity of “business intelligence” software measuring productivity and success. Indeed, according to the National Academy for Academic Leadership, “The ability to engage in high-quality assessment has become a sine qua non for the college-level educator.” The NAAL goes on to define “assessment [as] a process of determining ‘what is.’” This wide-angled view of the matter reveals our dilemma: assessment at once harmonizes with and undermines a contemplative approach. Contemplative practice builds, first of all, a more capacious acknowledgment of “what is”; contemplative mind offers itself to the world of phenomena in all its specificity and presence. At the same time, however, to “determine” this specificity we must impose settled demarcations on a world that is ever in flux. Our panel assesses the dilemma of assessment based on our work in pedagogical reform.
Lisa Myobun Freinkel is Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. Her research addresses topics in poetics, digital humanities, comparative religion and philosophy. Founder of UO’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program, she teaches meditation in hospital, university and prison contexts.
Lee Rumbarger directs U Oregon’s Teaching Effectiveness Program and currently leads campus efforts to develop learning outcomes for all gen ed courses. Before coming to Oregon she directed the Vassar College Writing Center. She holds a doctorate in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
|3:15 – 3:30||Break with refreshments, Mary Gates Hall Commons|
|3:30 – 4:30 pm||Poster Session, Mary Gates Hall Commons
Click for Poster Descriptions
Education: Key to a Quantum Perspective
Carmel Ashton, Independent Scholar
John Bell’s mathematical insight into entanglement is clear: “no theory compatible with quantum theory can require spatially separate events to be independent” (Bell, 1964). Science gives us this intellectual understanding. However real knowing as human experience, is largely dependent upon individuals reaching into those “farther reaches,” described by Maslow and later researchers. Inclusive post-formal, post-conventional, and higher levels provide an experiential realization: We and the world are one. Much of what we do as individuals and a species violates this fundamental principal. Diverse disciplines provide evidence for interrelatedness of global crises, from personal and community health to the failure of natural systems. At the heart of each, a crisis of perception, stemming from “epidemic failures in human development” (Ploitkin). Recent developmental theories provide clues. Evidence demands a focus in education for life-long vertical development, facilitating the experience of the essential nature of reality: UNITY.
Carmel Ashton worked in Australia in education, health, and psychology. Ph.D & M.Psych (University of Newcastle); B.Ed. (Canberra University); trained & applied eastern philosophies for 35 years. Strongly committed to the evolution of consciousness via education, she is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the ACMHE, and is a Community Group Leader for IONS.
Arts-Based and Contemplative Practices in Research and Teaching: Honoring Presence
Heesoon Bai, Professor, Education, Simon Fraser University
We explore in collaborative and individual ways, the contemplative and artistic practices that inform our ways of being, knowing, and not knowing in the world. We are a diverse group of ten artists, researchers, and teachers, grounded in an eclectic mix of worldviews and spiritual traditions, including Buddhist, Christian, Indigenous, and spiritual feminist. We work across a range of artistic disciplines (ex. dance, visual art, music, performance ritual, performative autoethnography, poetry, creative non-fiction). In our work, we offer a vision of the interrelationships among art, spirituality, research, and teaching that challenges the sense of risk often engendered by such connections in the academy and other settings. Drawing from our arts practices, we offer insights into creative ways of being present – in the moment – and also open to what is not yet known. Our desire is to promote and sustain mindful, creative, and compassionate lives as artists, teachers, and researchers.
Heesoon Bai, Professor at Simon Fraser University, teaches educational philosophy, with a focus on ethics and moral education, eco-education, and history of educational theories and ideas. Her scholarship is informed by the integration of Western and Eastern philosophies, and contemplative philosophies and practice. View her published works online at http://summit.sfu.ca/collection/204
Carl Leggo is a poet and professor at the University of British Columbia. His books include: Growing Up Perpendicular on the Side of a Hill; View from My Mother’s House; Come-By-Chance; Teaching to Wonder: Responding to Poetry in the Secondary Classroom; and Sailing in a Concrete Boat: A Teacher’s Journey.
Susan Walsh is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her research involves innovative forms of writing, contemplation and art practices, often in the context of women and teaching. She is co-steward of a set of graduate courses in contemplative and holistic education.
The Intersubjective Turn in Contemplative Education: Theory and Practice
Heesoon Bai, Professor, Education, Simon Fraser University
Contemplative approaches to learning are a fast growing movement in higher education. A group of us are engaged in a book project within this movement: the intersubjective turn in contemplative education (CE). The intersubjective (second-person), relational mode of contemplative practice is not as well established or known as the subjective (first-person) mode. This lacuna in the CE field is ironic in that contemplative practice (e.g., vipassana meditation) renders us essentially relational and co-emergent. In support for various calls in CE for cultivating intersubjectivity, such as education for ecological consciousness, democratic education, leadership education, peace education, relational pedagogy, and collaborative research methodology, our poster-session work on the intersubjective turn in contemplative education delves into: 1) showing that intersubjectivity requires the work of presencing, attunement and resonance; and 2) illustrating many specific forms of intersubjective practice, such as dialogue, heart-opening practices (e.g., devotio, metta), collaborative writing, psychotherapeutic alliance, and aikido.
Heesoon Bai, Professor at Simon Fraser University, teaches educational philosophy, with a focus on ethics and moral education, eco-education, and history of educational theories and ideas. Her scholarship is informed by the integration of Western and Eastern philosophies, and contemplative philosophies and practice. View her published works online at http://summit.sfu.ca/collection/204.
Charles Scott is an Associate Professor at City University of Seattle (Canada) and an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University. His research and teaching interests include intersubjective approaches to contemplative practice and dialogical approaches in education.
Contemplative-Composition Education: Exploring the Possibility of a Synergy
Kate Chaterdon, Graduate Student Writing Instructor, English, University of Arizona
As a writing instructor who is interested in bringing contemplative practices into her teaching, I am always surprised by the lack of scholarship that directly connects contemplative practices to the conventional goals of the undergraduate writing classroom (e.g. deep engagement with texts and concepts, reflection on and awareness of one’s writing process, thoughtful writing, awareness of the needs of one’s audience, etc.). In my efforts to better understand how contemplative practices might be implemented in the writing classroom in order to support conventional curricular goals, I am teaching a class this semester called “Writing Into Awareness,” which attempts to fuse these two spheres. This poster will present the outline of this course, and illustrate how I intend to use contemplative practice to help me reach the stated goals of the course.
Kate Chaterdon is a PhD candidate and writing instructor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. For her dissertation, Kate will explore the various ways that contemplative practices might be brought into the writing classroom, in order to help instructors better reach their pedagogical goals.
Mindful Silence and Centering in Teacher Education
Elizabeth Dorman, Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, Fort Lewis College
For the past three years, I have intentionally integrated mindfulness practices into my undergraduate and graduate education courses. We begin each class meeting with a few minutes of what I call “silence and centering.” Typically I teach a specific meditation strategy, such as certain techniques for focusing on one’s breath. I often preface the period of silence with a brief example from my own life, connected to a meditation-oriented teaching and relevant to students’ lives as well. In this poster session, I will present: 1) my original and evolving intentions for integrating this practice; 2) specific examples of techniques I teach to students; 3) methods of how I have evaluated the effectiveness of the practice and its impact on students over the years; 4) reflections on how I have adapted the practice over the years based on student feedback and my own analysis; and 5) ways I hope to deepen students’ interactions with the practice and its impact on them in the future.
Dr. Beth Dorman is currently on the Teacher Education faculty at Fort Lewis College, a public liberal arts college in Durango, CO. She is interested in mindfulness and contemplative practices in teacher education and the effects on teacher development, particularly in diverse contexts and in courses that integrate multicultural perspectives.
‘Beholding’ Biophilia: Research and Creative Expressions of Connectivity Dianne Draper, Professor, Geography, University of Calgary
Global efforts to re-understand human-earth relations, debates about how to live sustainably on Earth, and a recognized need to engage undergraduate students more deeply in their environmental education, prompted me to incorporate contemplative elements in teaching. In integrating a creative expression component into formal research assignments, I intended that students would have opportunity to (a) open to their personal connections with nature (biophilia), potentially deepening their awareness and appreciation of the intrinsic beauty and diversity of the natural world, (b) link their experiential connections, understandings, and insights to course concepts, and (c) consider the stewardship actions they could take to help ensure future environmental sustainability. These efforts began in 2010, before I was aware of ACMHE: here, I reflect critically on the variable effectiveness of the methods and evaluative tools employed and suggest ways to help students learn to know and think differently about their (environmental) values and actions.
Dianne Draper is a Full Professor in the Department of Geography (and an Adjunct Professor of Planning in the Faculty of Environmental Design) at the University of Calgary, Alberta.
Creation Process Practice Using ‘Zines; an Approach Towards Social Justice
Cheryl Grady, Campus Minister, St. Thomas More Church
Aligned with contemplative pedagogy’s intention to develop empathy in participants, this poster describes a research proposal which will investigate a method of creation process practice using reflective writing and creating ‘zine articles. A “zine” story is similar to a magazine article, and is a way to write about a topic in a personalized way. Historically, zines have been a medium for strong, outspoken women to express opinions on feminist topics. Zines are employed here, in this research, as reflective writing which leverages both creativity and imagination. Participants, college students enrolled in women’s studies course, will engage in reflective practice that incorporates both cognitive thinking and bodily awareness and culminates in writing a zine article. Students will reflect on the perspective of a targeted social identity (e.g., race, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification). Assessment of student learning will be based on the evidence of critical reflection regarding social justice issues.
Cheryl Grady holds a Masters in the Theology of Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and is currently working towards a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies from Plymouth State University. She practices Ignatian Spirituality using imaginative prayer and has recently begun integrating these practices into a pedagogical approach towards social justice.
Contemplative Practices’ Role in Sustainability Education: A Community Clarifies Intentions
Jean MacGregor, Director, Curriculum for the Bioregion, Washington Center for Undergraduate Education, The Evergreen State College
A sustainable future – where human needs are met without destroying the very systems on which our lives depend – is humanity’s most urgent challenge. In response, campuses are adopting “green practices,” encouraging faculty to build sustainability concepts into their courses, and creating sustainability majors or minors. In Washington State, the Curriculum for the Bioregion initiative convenes inter-institutional faculty learning communities, who meet over time to develop and share sustainability teaching ideas. One of these communities, “Sustainability and Contemplative Practice,” has focused more on pedagogy than content. Meeting since 2009, this community has explored how reflection and contemplation can support students’ learning and emotional wellbeing when encountering highly complex, daunting global issues. Key to this exploration has been clarifying our varied intentions for students’ learning and development. Our poster will describe our faculty learning community, present our intentions for students’ learning, and suggest some ways these goals are manifested in students’ work.
Jean MacGregor directs Curriculum for the Bioregion, the largest inter-institutional sustainability-across-the-curriculum initiative in the United States. The project convenes ongoing faculty learning communities, groups of educators who support one other as they create innovative curriculum and teaching approaches that prepare and inspire students to shape a more sustainable future.
David M. Levy is Professor at the Information School, University of Washington, in Seattle, where he focuses on bringing mindfulness training and other contemplative practices to address problems of information overload and acceleration.
Mike Gillespie, retired teacher of philosophy and the humanities at University of Nebraska and University of Washington, believes shared inquiry into how to live well (philosophy) most comes to life when it responds to issues of well-being, especially views of reality and value brought to the fore by human-earth systems interactions.
Personal Peace Process: Transforming Self and The World
Donna J. McInnis, Professor, Dept. of Humanities, Faculty of Letters, Soka University Japan
Very often, courses on social and cultural transformation focus on problems but fail to offer the next step – concrete possibilities for action that civil society can take to cultivate peace and well-being and to constructively effect social change. Students enroll in my Peace Studies course because they desire to make the world a better place. Their notion of peace work however is focused on change in the world “out there”. Few have considered their own personal peace process and the vital importance that contemplative practice and cultivating inner peace – “becoming the change” – may play in the effectiveness of their peace work. This paper reflects upon two decades of teaching, in Japan, for caring, compassion, connection and active social engagement. Discussion will focus upon the challenges and the positive changes experienced by both teacher and learner, and how contemplative practices continue to inform their lives.
Donna McInnis is a Professor in the Department of Humanities, Faculty of Letters, and is a member of the Soka University Peace Research Institute at Soka University in Hachioji, Japan. She teaches and develops courses which focus on Nonviolent Communication, Nurturing Inner Peace, Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, and Encouraging Active Social Engagement.
A Critical Examination of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Medical Student Well-Being
John Rettger, Director of Mindfulness, Early Life Stress & Pediatric Anxiety Program, Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School Of Medicine
This study reviews current research methods, assessment strategies, findings, and study limitations, and makes recommendations for developing future research to support mindfulness for medical student training. Medical students experience high levels of psychological, physical, academic, financial, and relationship stress. Students without strong coping skills may develop impairments such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, relationship strain and compassion fatigue. Researchers report positive outcomes in reducing a range of these symptoms in medical students through mindfulness interventions. The current literature is limited by small sample sizes, overreliance on self-report data, a lack of mindfulness assessment, and a small number of studies and randomized controlled trials in this emerging field. Future studies need to replicate previous findings and advance research by attempting to assess changes in mindfulness and elucidate moderator and mediator variables to design efficient and effective mindfulness programs for medical students with limited time available for participation.
Dr. John Rettger is the Director of Mindfulness, and Research Lab Manager in the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Early Life Stress & Pediatric Anxiety Program. He has lectured on mindfulness at Stanford in a variety of settings including the residency program; Psychiatry Grand Rounds; and the Dept. of Religious Studies.
An Approach to Integrating Mindfulness into the Social Work Curriculum
Sue Rickers, Assistant Professor, Social Work, Bemidji State University
It is a commonly held understanding that social workers face an abundance and variety of challenges in their work, potentially resulting in stress, burnout, and abandonment of the field. Consequently, an important part of social work education is acknowledging and preparing students for the challenges they will face as professionals. Mindfulness is one approach that can benefit social work students as they embark in the profession. This poster will provide an overview of the use of mindfulness in the social work profession. The central focus of the poster will be to present an approach to integrating mindfulness throughout the social work curriculum. Four specific courses will be highlighted and will include how mindfulness can be integrated into the curriculum for these courses. The four courses include: an introductory course, a theory course, a practice course, and a research course. Included in the approach is a look at how the integration of mindfulness into the curriculum can be evaluated.
Dr. Sue Rickers is an Assistant Professor in Social Work at Bemidji State University. She is interested in the implications of mindfulness and self-compassion for social work practice as well as integrating these approaches into the social work curriculum. She has 10+ years of experience as a rural social worker.
The Effects of Contemplative Pedagogy on Students’ Well-being in Taiwan
Zack Walsh, Ph.D. Student, Religion, Claremont School Of Theology
This study analyzes the effects of contemplative pedagogy on the well-being of undergraduate and graduate students at a secular Buddhist university in Taiwan. While students are required to complete academic courses teaching them to critically evaluate and produce Buddhist scholarship, they are also required to participate in the college’s semi-monastic community life and complete several contemplative courses and retreats which teach them to cultivate Buddhist values and practices in daily life. Since the education is divided into academic and practicum components, student assessments are likewise divided between students’ performance in the classroom and the degree to which students participate in community life and contemplative training exercises. In this presentation, the effects of contemplative pedagogy on student well-being will be analyzed using a Chinese translation of the Gross National Happiness survey.
Zack Walsh received his B.A. in East Asian Studies from Denison University and his M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Fo Guang University. Now, he’s a PhD student in Religion at the Claremont School of Theology and a member of the Institute for the Postmodern Development of China.
Diagnostic, Formative Assessment in the Mindfulness Classroom
Sharon Solloway, Professor, Developmental Instruction, Bloomsburg University
My university classroom supports students’ explorations of self-awareness regarding personal motivations in academic decisions, intrapersonal and interpersonal relationship decisions, and the ethics of their decisions as they enhance their experiences with meditation and mindfulness practice. I am developing two online assessment tools, Solloway Mindfulness Journal (SMJ) and Lectical Solloway Mindfulness Assessment (LSMA) that support assessment as a learning experience for both the teacher and student. The SMJ supports student and teacher assessment of journal content across course self-awareness explorations. The LSMA captures how mindfulness practitioners appear to understand concepts central to mindfulness practice. Evolving cognitive growth on the LSMA is measured on a Letical© scale. The Lectical© score is a measure of the complexity of the student’s thinking about the mindfulness themes addressed in the student’s responses to five themes. Both provide ongoing feedback loops for student and teacher. The effectiveness for growth for both will be shown through student examples.
Sharon G. Solloway completed her Ph.D. in Applied Behavioral Studies at Oklahoma State University in 1999. She teaches at Bloomsburg University. Her current research interests integrate the Lectical Solloway Mindfulness Assessment and the Solloway Mindfulness Journal as interactive assessments in courses with mindfulness practice as part of the course content.
From Surviving to Thriving: Practicing Mindfulness as Higher Education Leaders
Jane Fried, Professor of Counseling, Central Connecticut State University
Higher education leaders must navigate multiple complexities: campus politics, supervision of faculty and staff, inclusivity of voices within dynamic environments, and resource and conflict management. Being an administrator in the constantly changing chaos of higher education can feel, to use Peter Vaill’s metaphor, like being in “permanent whitewater.” How do we, as leaders, maintain a sense of calm and balance in this environment? What can we do to humanize our workplaces and the institutions within which they’re located? How can the intentions of the few begin to transform stressed and stressful institutions? In this roundtable, leaders from around the country who are practicing and providing mindfulness in their lives and on their campuses share ideas, strategies and practices. Given the scarcity of resources around contemplative practices, administration and leadership, one goal for the session is to cultivate ideas for a possible publication.
Jane Fried is a Professor of Counseling at Central Connecticut State University. She uses mindfulness and engaged learning methods in her classes to help students learn to welcome the Others in their lives. She is the author of Transformative Learning Through Engagement, a text on experiential learning in student life.
Catherine Wilson Gillespie, Ph.D., was a professor of education for 17 years and is now the Associate Dean at Drake University School of Education, where she coordinates student services, supervises staff, and facilitates accreditation. Her contemplative practices include silence, deep listening, journaling, and lectio divina.
Creativity and Creative Assessment: Labyrinths and Student Learning Research Results
Nina Johnson, Lecturer, English and Modern Languages, Thompson Rivers University
This paper will present the research results from a pilot project titled “Labyrinths and Student Learning: The Effects of Contemplative Practices on Anxiety, Concentration, and Creativity.” The study investigated the relationships between mindfulness practice using finger labyrinths and the potential to reduce anxiety, improve concentration, and enhance creativity. The study involved a Creative Writing class (ENGL 2060: Introduction to Short Fiction) in the Fall 2013 semester at TRU and collected data using pre-tests, journal surveys, test surveys, and focus groups. In particular, a “labyrinth journal” with a fold-out finger labyrinth design became an innovative data collection tool which was central to the study. This Scholarship of Teaching and Learning project combined contemplative scholarship and neuroscience to support transformational learning for Creative Writing students.
Nina Johnson is a literature and creative writing instructor in the English Department at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC. She is a certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator and a member of The Labyrinth Society Research Committee. As a TRU Teaching and Learning Scholar, she researches the relationships between mindfulness, anxiety, concentration, and creativity.
Creativity as a Catalyst for Mindfulness
Khipra Nichols, Associate Professor, Industrial Design, Rhode Island School Of Design
Mindfulness has emerged as a contemplative practice in elementary and middle schools. The beneficial qualities of this practice would also enhance traditional design process especially in the areas of ideation and user empathy.I have been interested the intersection of design thinking and contemplative study, so I created a course called Creativity as a Catalyst for Mindfulness. In spring 2014 my design students and I worked with local middle school teachers and students to invent fresh products, games, and activities that use creativity as a catalyst for mindfulness within middle school art curriculums. My students and I practiced weekly meditation in order to better understand the implications and possibilities of this challenge first hand. The design students presented working prototypes of highly successful new product designs appropriate for use in middle school art education. Their designs were met with resounding approval from the educators whose classes participated in our project.
Khipra Nichols is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. He designed for Hasbro Toy where he co-created popular toys, like My Little Pony, and Mr. Potato Head, while studying meditation, and is currently interested in combining contemplative study with design education.
Contemplative Practices for Service-Learning: A reflective assessment
Kielty Turner, Assistant Professor, Social Work, Marywood University
Guatemala, a country of incredible beauty, faces many historical and economic challenges. Twelve members of our University journaled our experiences while on a 12 day service trip to Guatemala. Journal writing has been identified as a “special form of reflection through which new meaning can be created, new understandings of problems can be circumscribed and new ways of organizing experiences can be developed” (Bringle & Hatcher, 1999, p. 113). In addition to journaling, our service learning community also participated in daily reflections/prayer, processing our experiences. Acceptance and compassion were identified in the journals as important lessons of the service learning trip. The presentation will include examples of our journal entries, reflective activities, and photos from our time in Guatemala. Presentation participants will discuss ideas for the successful integration of contemplative practices in service learning as well as the challenges of contemplative service learning.
Kielty Turner, an Assistant Professor at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, teaches both research and practice courses to social work students. Licensed as a clinical social worker, Dr. Turner has experience in the treatment and prevention of addictive disorders. Her research interests relate to the application of mindfulness skills training.
A phenomenological inquiry into contemplative practices in an undergraduate arts class
Meadow Jones, Graduate Student, Library And Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
There has been a rising interest amongst educators in the use of contemplative practices in educational settings. Specifically, there is increasing interest in how such practices affect overall behavioral and performance outcomes in schools, with the hope that their use will foster increased student engagement and scholarship. In an undergraduate video arts class in which students explore writing and film-making, I investigated how embodiment practices affected the students’ artistic production. I explored contemplative practices in the classroom in relation to class participation, student attitudes towards the class, and what the students actually produced; their videos and their writings. Two findings appeared to emerge. The first was that as contemplative practices were introduced into the classroom, the films the students created offered a more reflective narrative than in their earlier submissions. The second was that many of the student’s films began to feature semi-autobiographical content in which they described overcoming distractions and inhibitions. In both cases, compared to their initial offerings their post-contemplative practice submissions showed a greater attempt at a complex synthetic communication in all forms of artistic production. These observations suggest an emerging role for embodiment and contemplative practices in higher educational pedagogy as a potentially new and innovative method for fostering student engagement and scholarship.
|4:45 – 5:45 pm||Parallel Session 4
Contemplating Enormity: Climate Change (Litfin/Lynam)
Contemplating Enormity: Climate Change
Abigail Lynam, Faculty, Pacific Integral
Abigail Lynam, PhD, taught for 15 years in graduate and undergraduate environmental studies, sustainability, and transformative leadership. Her research focuses on the personal and professional impacts of integrating developmental awareness (constructive development theory) in post-secondary sustainability education. She teaches part-time for Antioch Seattle, Prescott College, and the Generating Transformative Change leadership program.
Karen Litfin is Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Washington. In her research and teaching, she integrates the cognitive, emotive, and practical dimensions of sustainability. That commitment led her to write a book on the integration of ecology, economics, community, and consciousness in communities around the world: http://www.ecovillagebook.com
Thematic Group 4A: The Tao of Supervision: Firmness and Flexibility in Teacher Training (Bleich) and “We Teach Who We Are”: Reclaiming Heart in Higher Education (Reid)
The Tao of Supervision: Firmness and Flexibility in Teacher Training
30-Minute Thematic (Group 4A, Presentation 1)
Bill Bleich, Associate Director MFA in Writing for the Screen+Stage/Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Lecturer, Radio/TV/Film, Northwestern University
This thematic paper describes an evolving teacher training framework based on contemplative principles rooted in philosophical Taoism developed while supervising pairs of graduate student to team teach undergraduate screenwriting classes at Northwestern University. Core Taoist principles of yin/yang/, balance/harmony, and creativity/receptivity will be highlighted within a pragmatic supervisory context of firmness and flexibility. Key interactions will include the development of syllabi, facilitation and supervision of lectures, discussion groups and workshops, and maintaing focus on fostering student engagement within the context of a collaborative learning environment. Six years of formative and summative student evaluation data of these supervised classed will be analyzed to assess the effectiveness of the Taoist principles which guided the training framework. Reflections on the evolution of this framework over the years and proposals for alternative evaluation techniques will conclude the presentation.
Bill Bleich is a Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting and Associate Chair of the Department of Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University. A student of Taoism and a decades long practitioner of Qi Gong, he graduated UCLA Film School and the Boalt Hall School of Law and is a member of the California Bar.
“We Teach Who We Are”: Reclaiming Heart in Higher Education
30-Minute Thematic (Group 4A, Presentation 2)
Julia Reid, Education, University of Melbourne
Findings are first presented from research into renewal processes and practices for teachers. A range of contemplative methods were used within six sessions during a three month period to support a small group of participants to revitalise their sense of engagement and fulfilment in their classrooms. Each participant experienced, and had maintained four months later, a strong sense of “coming home to self,” through reconnecting with discarded or forgotten aspects of themselves. Importantly, this emphasised heart and intuitive knowing rather than only cognitive aspects of teaching. An evaluation of the methods used is discussed, with particular emphasis given to the contemplative environment and the mediating tools used by the facilitator. These findings have subsequently informed both curriculum content and teaching methodology within the drama strand for Early Childhood and Primary preservice teachers at University of Melbourne. The presentation addresses early evidence of the efficacy of these contemplative methods in this context.
Julia Reid works within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (UofM) as a clinical specialist in the Masters of Teaching (Primary) and as an arts educator in the Early Childhood and Primary streams. Publications include “Shower singing and other essentials,” in Education in the Arts, Oxford University Press 2009/2012.
Mindful Assessment for the new millennium: Re-envisioning evaluation and research (Bullock)
B Grace Bullock, Senior Research Scientist, Mind & Life Institute
Mindfulness is used in a broad array of contexts and settings from healthcare and education, to business and the military. While mindfulness-based programs are booming, the tools to evaluate the effects of these programs are lacking. We will explore the need for a mindful assessment framework, and consider innovative, strategies for examining personal, relational and systemic transformation. We will reflect on what is needed to bridge the gap between traditional methods of evaluation and the evolving needs of mindfulness-oriented educators, researchers and systems, through discussion and thought-provoking exercises that challenge us to reframe how we think about mindfulness-based evaluation and research.
B Grace Bullock, PhD, is a scientist-practitioner with extensive experience in integrating evidence-based psychotherapy and contemplative practices. She specializes in developing innovative assessment tools including observational and audio-based coding systems, most notably the Family Affective Attitude Rating Scale (FAARS). She is currently modifying the FAARS for mindfulness-based studies, and developing an inquiry-centered assessment framework for individual, relational and systems-based education, research, and practice. Grace has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and has presented extensively at national and international conferences. She is a Senior Research Scientist at the Mind & Life Institute, and the former Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
Eliciting Mindfulness through Poems of Witness (Strange)
Eliciting Mindfulness through Poems of Witness
Sharan Strange, Senior Lecturer, English, Spelman College
Contemplative practices are highly personal acts tempered by awareness of the collective dimension of human experience, the fundamental relationship of self to others. The practice of art-making heightens one’s sense of particularized consciousness, the parsing of one’s experience and the transformation of it into a language that seeks communication both of the individuality and the universality of that experience. In that way, the artist’s role becomes that of witness and “truth-teller” in her own life and others’ lives. As such, the poet seeks to transform language itself, or, rather, the experience of it so that it more viscerally conveys the range of life from its most base to its most sublime reaches, triggering new states of perception and understanding. Among these compelling renderings are powerful evocations of the experience of—as well as survival of—oppression, abuse, and trauma. In this session we’ll examine contemporary poems of witness—works that elicit mindfulness as they engage our sense of awareness, connection, perspective, and empathy—and practice the use of language (image, emblem, sound, silence) that can create acts of mutual exchange between poem and audience, opening us up to fuller, transcendent moments of being.
Sharan Strange has presented her poetry and essays in numerous publications in the U.S. and abroad and at academic and arts institutions and conferences for over 20 years. She teaches creative writing at Spelman College.
Thematic Group 4B: Adapted Lectio Divina Practice for Literature and Other Courses (Serverius) and Lectio Scholastica: Designing Assignments and Assessments for Reflective Reading (Burton)
Adapted Lectio Divina Practice for Literature and Other Courses
30-Minute Thematic (Group 4B, Presentation 1)
Cristina Serverius, Ph.D. Candidate, Comparative Literature, Brown University
The close reading/viewing exercise I developed for my classes is based on the contemplative practice of lectio divina. I will discuss my experience with a semester-long observation of a Rembrandt self-portrait in a course I taught. While I used the exercise in a literature class, it easily translates to other fields in the humanities and the sciences. If you can find a small element (a poem, paragraph, map, equation, formula) worthy of daily observation for the duration of the course, you can work with this exercise. Instead of conducting research, for this assignment, students observe, over and over again, and they write about their observations. The object of study is kept small, and the instructions are minimal in order to encourage student creativity and risk-taking. I will discuss the outcome of this project in the context of related pedagogical approaches, such as the use of case studies, and metacognition.
Cristina Serverius is a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature at Brown University, and am a student in the M.Ed. program in Contemplative Inquiry & Approaches at Simon Fraser University. I have been studying and using contemplative pedagogy for about four years, and have also taken MBSR, MBEI (through the Prison Mindfulness Institute), and Mindful Schools courses.
Lectio Scholastica: Designing Assignments and Assessments for Reflective Reading
30-Minute Thematic (Group 4B, Presentation 2)
Vicki Burton, Professor, English, Oregon State University
The Benedictine practice of lectio divina offers a reflective method of reading widely adapted by practitioners of contemplative pedagogy (Barbezat and Bush). My presentation will discuss an academic near-relative of lectio divina that I call lectio scholastica, after St. Benedict’s sister, St. Scholastica. This assignment design provides a structure enabling college students to develop contemplative habits of mind and habits of writing through daily low-stakes reflective writing about assigned readings. End-of-course assessment of student experience with lectio scholastica indicates gains that include slower, more focused reading, increased attention to and retention of key concepts, meta-cognitive awareness of personal change over time, and fuller engagement with class discussions of readings. My presentation will explore a tested assignment design which has been shared with faculty across disciplines, provide tools for students’ self-assessment of learning, and discuss specific experiences with and implications for using lectio scholastica with undergraduates and graduate students.
Vicki Burton is Professor of English and directs the Writing Intensive Curriculum at Oregon State University where she teaches courses in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literature. She is the author of Spiritual Literacy in John Wesley’s Methodism, along with scholarly articles focusing on rhetoric and spirituality of women and the working classes.
How does our intention shape our discourse? (Murray)
How does our intention shape our discourse?
Terry Murray, Associate Professor, Education, State University of New York New Paltz
As we read scholars’ papers, as we conduct research, and as we attend conferences, we engage with ideas that are framed in multiple ways. What we explore in this field may be described as “contemplative education,” “mindfulness education,” “meditation,” “contemplative science,” “inner and relational fitness,” “engaged teaching,” “transformative education,” or “social and emotional learning.” Why do authors, researchers, and presenters choose to use one of these particular descriptors? How intentional is their choice in using one of these terms? What are the internal and external factors that influence their use of this specific form of discourse to frame their work? In this roundtable discussion, participants will explore these questions, drawing on their own experiences in the field and reflecting on the factors that have influenced their own approach. The facilitator will frame this discussion with a brief summary of exploratory interviews with researchers and practitioners in this field and the patterns that emerged.
Terry Murray is an Associate Professor in the Humanistic/Multicultural Education Program at SUNY New Paltz. His scholarly interests focus on self-knowledge development, contemplative inquiry, and spirituality in education. He has presented and has been involved in the planning of contemplative events sponsored by the ACMHE and the Garrison Institute. He is a co-founder of the SUNY Contemplative Network.
A Contemplative Approach to World Literature: Intention, Method and Assessment (Keator)
A Contemplative Approach to World Literature: Intention, Method and Assessment
Mary Keator, Full Time Instructor, English, Westfield State University
A literary text provides a window into the human condition and an opportunity for transformation; however, first students need to encounter themselves in relation with a text. I have used contemplative practices for the past six years as a method of encounter. At first, these practices seem strange to students, but once they begin to engage in contemplative practices, they begin to experience them. This experience creates a shift in their thinking and self-understanding; they become more self-reflective; listen more attentively to the text, each other and themselves. After fifteen weeks of steady practice, I notice a shift in students’ awareness, dialogue and writing. In this interactive session, participants will experiment with contemplative methods such as chanting, meditation, lectio divina and intersubjective dialogue, and then discuss possible assessments. In addition, I will share samples from student’s writings and other projects assigned to assess their learning.
Mary Keator is Full Time Instructor in the English Department at Westfield State University, an Adjunct Lecturer in the Religious Studies Department at Our Lady of the Elms College, and is currently working on a PhD in Humanities at Salve Regina University. She has been teaching yoga for over twenty years and is a Member of Spiritual Directors International and the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education.
Thematic Group 4C: Cyber-Contemplation: Teaching and Assessing Contemplative Practices in Online Classes (Compson) and Media Studies for a Living World (Bybee/Merskin)
Cyber-Contemplation: Teaching and Assessing Contemplative Practices in Online Classes
30-Minute Thematic (Group 4C, Presentation 1)
Jane Compson, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington at Tacoma
For some years I have been teaching an upper-division class called Philosophy, Religion and the Environment. When first assigned it, I thought it a topic particularly well-suited for contemplative pedagogical techniques. However, particular challenges came from the fact this course is fully online with no face-to-face time at all. In this session I will discuss ways that I have integrated contemplative practices into this course, encouraging students to develop and explore a relationship with a chosen “non-human teacher” in ways that are intended to complement and deepen their inquiry with the course materials. I will discuss how I evaluate these exercises week to week, how they are integrated into the final project for the course and how they are assessed. Students have responded very favorably to these contemplative techniques; I will share some of their responses, and also discuss some of the challenges I have encountered.
Jane Compson is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington at Tacoma. She teaches classes in applied ethics and comparative religion. Her research interests include the application of practices from contemplative traditions to contemporary contexts such as healthcare and education.
Media Studies for a Living World
30-Minute Thematic (Group 4C, Presentation 2)
Carl Bybee, Associate Professor, Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon
The field of Media Studies, emerging within the instrumental vision of modernity, has, for the most part, not confronted its unspoken modernist assumptions. Two of the most crucial noted by Bruno Latour are: (1) the deep belief that the world can be divided into the living and the non-living, and (2) the related postulate that living beings can be divided into human and non-human. This has allowed us to “knowingly” celebrate the information age and/or the digital age. It has permitted us to be captivated by the spectacle of communication machines, while concealing the relationship between these machines, these technologies, our bodies, and the rest of the living world. We suggest, following Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others, that integrating contemplative, animal, and science and technology studies offers a correction to living/non-living and human/non-human dualisms, and a conceptualization of Media Studies that moves beyond modernity to an appreciation of interbeing.
Carl Bybee, PhD, is Co-Director of the Oregon Media Literacy Project and Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Oregon. His research/teaching focus on democratic theory and practice, consumer culture and the environment, and the intersection of media studies, the ecological imagination and contemplative studies and practice.
Debra Merskin, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Oregon. Her research examines the intersections of race, gender, and species. Published work appears in numerous journals as well as in her books Media, Minorities, & Meaning and Sexing the Media.
|5:45 – 6:30 pm||Home Groups Reflection and Discussion, Mary Gates Hall Commons, other spaces on campus|
|6:30 – 7:45 pm||Reception and Dinner, Mary Gates Hall Commons|
Sunday, October 12th
|8:00 – 8:30 am||Contemplative Practice, Kane 110|
|8:45 – 9:45 am||Parallel Session 5
Dwelling in Possibility: Poetry as Practice to Cultivate This Skill (Chess)
Dwelling in Possibility: Poetry as Practice to Cultivate This Skill
Richard Chess, Professor, Literature & Language, University of North Carolina Asheville
“I dwell in Possibility,” writes Emily Dickinson in one of her poems. How is it possible to dwell (rest) in possibility (restlessness)? Isn’t dwelling (having answers) incompatible with possibility (asking questions)? Are some poems both dwelling places and places in which questions are raised and raised without answers, without end? Can the practice of reading (and writing) poetry cultivate the ability for us to dwell in possibility? In this interactive session, we’ll read a little, engage in a few contemplative practices, and consider how poetry might help some of us – and our students – experience what’s it like to dwell, if only for a moment, in possibility. I will also share some insights gained from teaching an undergraduate course in reading poetry in which one of the intentions is to see what it’s like to dwell in possibility.
Richard Chess is the author of three books of poetry, Tekiah, Chair in the Desert, and Third Temple. He is the Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Contemplating Feminist Research Methodology (DiLorenzo)
Contemplating Feminist Research Methodology
Lynn DiLorenzo, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Naropa University
Feminist and other emancipatory knowledges (critical race theory, postcolonial theory, queer studies) have contributed significantly to our experience and interpretation of the social world. A contemplative approach can inform feminist scholarship (and vice versa) raising interesting questions about how we might assess both the learning outcomes and “goodness” of contemplative education and begin to formulate a contemplative paradigm for inquiry. Feminist tenets of dialogism, reflexivity, an emphasis on lived experience, consciousness raising and social action parallel contemplative values of non-dualism, awareness, awakening, and compassionate engagement. From these we can imagine evaluative criteria that shift our angle of vision, focus of inquiry, methods, ethics, basis for interpretation and application of knowledge toward contemplative ideals of healing, empowerment, and a more humane, enlightened society. “Contemplating” the postmodern, epistemological dilemmas arising from these critical perspectives on research may be a fruitful direction for developing contemplative capacity in higher education.
Dr. Lynn DiLorenzo is the Program Lead for the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at Naropa University. Her research and teaching interests have focused on feminist theory and methodology, issues of diversity and equity in higher education, and more recently the interrelationships between interdisciplinary, feminist, and contemplative pedagogy and approaches to inquiry.
Thematic Group 5A: The Impact of Teaching Mindfulness and Meditation in Higher Education (Williams) and Harnessing Neuroplasticity and Compassion in Academia: Tale of two courses (Barili)
The Impact of Teaching Mindfulness and Meditation in Higher Education
30-Minute Thematic (Group 5A, Presentation 1)
Susanna Williams, Associate Director, Mindfulness Center, University of Virginia
UVa’s institution-wide initiative in contemplation is exploring cross-disciplinary models in teaching mindfulness and assessing its impact on students. Several models will be presented along with research results on the impact of a large Buddhist Meditation class on multiple characteristics of 230 college students. This course included weekly lectures about meditation and experiential meditation labs. Primary aims of this study were evaluating changes in measures of well-being and whether these changes were mediated by mindfulness. Students were surveyed at beginning, middle and end of course. Variables showing significant changes included increased meaning, self-compassion, positive coping; and decreased anxiety, negative emotion, and negative coping. In testing whether changes in these variables were mediated by level of mindfulness, we found mindfulness practice a significant predictor of meaning, self-compassion, anxiety, and negative emotion. These findings suggest that positive impacts of meditation can be achieved for large numbers of students via a traditional college course.
Susanna Williams, PhD, is Associate Director of the UVA Mindfulness Center. She teaches mindfulness in multiple academic contexts–such as Mindful Writing, Mindfulness for Law Students and Mindfulness for Upward Bound Teachers–and her research involves assessing the impact of teaching these contemplative practice in higher education.
Harnessing Neuroplasticity and Compassion in Academia: Tale of two courses
30-Minute Thematic (Group 5A, Presentation 2)
Amelia Barili, Senior Lecturer, Spanish and Portugues, UC Berkeley
How can we develop and implement courses that engage our students in personal transformation and civic engagement, while at the same time convincing our colleagues of the academic “rigor” of these courses? I will attempt to answer this key question by discussing the creation and development of two courses–one for undergraduates and one for older adults–that I teach at UC Berkeley and the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute. Both courses have a strong academic and personal reflection component. Both include meditation and service learning, and I have taught both more than once. They are titled “Biographical and Autobiographical Writing: Telling the Stories of the Undocumented” and “Each one Helps one: Neuroplasticity in Action.” They are based on my research on how to foster creative thinking and life-long learning. I will examine the Intention, Methodology and Evaluation for each course, as well as the challenges I met and how I overcame them.
Amelia Barili, a UCB faculty member, recognized the connection between students desire to serve others and the needs of the community. She has developed an innovative pedagogy that integrates the most recent findings of cognitive science and neurobiology with meditation and service learning. She received the Chancellor’s Award for Public Service in 2008.
Thematic Group 5B: Bridging the Connection Between What We Measure and What We Find Important (Senehi) and Relational Presence in Higher Education: Practicing Peacemaking and Relationship Building (Mahaffy)
Bridging the Connection Between What We Measure and What We Find Important
30-Minute Thematic (Group 5B, Presentation 1)
Gerard Senehi, Founder and President, Open Future Institute
There is an interrelationship between the content we feel is most important and the results we choose to measure. When Open Future Institute launched its BigQuestions Project, we we were asked to produce measuring tools. It was not clear if the current tools available to assess “emotional intelligence” would capture our core objectives. Two questions were posed: How do we measure intangible aspects of inner development? And what aspects of inner development do we support? In this session, Founder and President Gerard Senehi will speak about the path the Institute took to align its objectives with six clear assessment categories, and how these categories ultimately reinforced and deepened our vision of what BigQuestions Project would accomplish. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the coevolution of assessment tools and teaching objectives, and, most importantly, the reasons why assessment tools should not be treated as an afterthought.
Gerard Senehi is Founder and President of Open Future Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the evolution of culture. He is also Founder of BigQuestions Project, supporting high school and university students to define their lives with purpose.
Relational Presence in Higher Education: Practicing Peacemaking and Relationship Building
30-Minute Thematic (Group 5B, Presentation 2)
Samuel Mahaffy, Director, Samuel Mahaffy & Associates
Decision making as it is often practiced in institutions of higher education is killing our spirits. Personal agendas and contests to win tenure often leave faculty, schools and administration deeply divided and ineffective. Relational Presence finds a way to move beyond confrontation, division and duality. This methodology grows out of the author’s Ph.D. research at Tilburg University in the Netherlands through the Taos Institute on Relational Presence: The Spatiality of Decision Making through a Relational Constructionist Lens. The approach allows the multi-voice perspective to emerge in the context of learning communities. It allows whole people to show up for faculty and department meetings. Relational Presence makes room not just for intellects, opinions and ideas, but also for the soul to show up. The Twelve Aspects of Relational Presence have fueled a global conversation about peacemaking. The approach has also brought healing to university faculty deeply divided by divisive conflict.
Samuel Mahaffy is a facilitator of conflict transformation in organizations including universities. His research on Relational Presence in decision making has catalyzed a global conversation about peacemaking. He is the author of Relational Presence: Decision Making beyond Consensus. He earned his Ph.D. from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.
Establishing Contemplative Practices for Holistic Sustainability (Stebbins Collins)
Establishing Contemplative Practices for Holistic Sustainability
Susal Stebbins Collins, Contemplative Life Advisor, Hampshire College
Humanity is faced with massive challenges and new possibilities from intermingled climate, environmental, economic, and social disruptions. Current college students are both deeply impacted and key leaders on transitioning towards a positive sustainable future. Contemplative practices that develop awareness, wisdom, empathy/compassion, capacity for response, and commitment to benefitting all beings have much to offer in these circumstances. This session invites participants to share current and proposed work to assist students and academic communities to engage in a vision of holistic sustainability from environmental/climate, social justice/community, and economic/resource perspectives. The presenter will briefly share information and guide a practice from Hampshire College’s “Engaged Mindfulness for Holistic Sustainability” program (a collaboration between the Contemplative Life Advisor and the student group “Students Exploring Contemplative Practices for Social Change”), and guide group sharing and discussion.
Susal Stebbins Collins has been working as a teacher and activist at the nexus of social, environmental, and economic sustainability and inner transformation for three decades. She currently serves as the Contemplative Life Advisor at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and as a New England Transition Town Trainer.
Listening to Self, Listening to Others: Mindfulness and Compassionate Communication (Smith)
Listening to Self, Listening to Others: Mindfulness and Compassionate Communication
Louise Smith, Dean of Community Life, Antioch College
Listening to Self, Listening to Others is a class that has been offered at Antioch College for the past two years. Its intention is to foster in participants the ability to be available to another person in the act of listening.The class employs exercises in self-awareness, skills of mindful listening, emotional intelligence and dialogical art practices. The session will incorporate individual and group work utilizing a variety approaches to building awareness and practicing compassionate communication. We will also reflect on the structure of the class, the outcomes that have occurred at Antioch in the last two years, signature assignments that take the work out of the classroom, and into the community and how assessment activities altered the syllabus this year. Participants will leave the sessions with several shared exercises and assessment activities that can be adapted for a variety of environments.
Louise Smith, LPCC, is the Dean of Community Life at Antioch College. This fall, she will return to teaching Performance, as she had for 15 years prior to the 2008 closure of the college. She has an MS Ed. in Counseling from University of Dayton and certification from the C.G Jung Institute in Chicago.
Thematic Group 5C: Using Buddhist Contemplation to Teach Buddhist Contemplation (Gorvine) and Secular and Non-secular Mindfulness: A Comparison (Nguyen)
Using Buddhist Contemplation to Teach Buddhist Contemplation
30-Minute Thematic (Thematic Group 5C, Presentation 1)
William Gorvine, Associate Professor, Religious Studies, Hendrix College
This presentation shares reflections based on an ongoing experiment in integrating “engaged learning” into a newly designed undergraduate course on Buddhist contemplation at a Methodist-affiliated liberal arts college. While such a synthesis might seem to be an obvious undertaking for anyone interested in contemplative pedagogy, a course like this necessitates some key decisions. Should one prioritize accessible, non-academic readings to introduce meditation? If so, how might these be paired effectively with scriptural and academic sources? Is practice best maintained as a variation of a non-threatening, secularized invitation–such as the sitting and walking components of MBSR–or can we effectively explore contemplative techniques reflecting a diversity of Buddhist traditions over the semester? Does this require us to integrate others who more fully embody particular approaches? These and other questions, along with student responses, will guide the session.
Bill Gorvine is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Hendrix College, where his teaching reflects his training in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies. His research has focused on the religious biographies of a contemplative in the Tibetan Bon lineage, within which he has studied and practiced over the years.
Secular and Non-secular Mindfulness: A Comparison
30-Minute Thematic (Thematic Group 5C, Presentation 2)
Cuong Nguyen, Teacher Education, Michigan State University
This paper compares and contrasts the concept of mindfuness as theorized by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, and Ellen Langer, an American social psychologist. While Thich Nhat Hanh studies mindfulness from the religious, philosophical, and ethical perspective, Langer empirically studies how mindfulness affects such psychological phenomena as creativity, aging, self-acceptance, etc. In particular, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches meditation-based mindfulness while Langer studies “mindfulness without meditation.” Despite these differences, both Thich Nhat Hanh and Elllen Langer consider mindfulness as a means/tool that can bring about positive transformation to human life. From my vantage point, they complement each other perfectly in introducing the concept of mindfulness to the West.
Cuong Nguyen is a graduate student in teacher education at Michigan State University. A teacher educator from Vietnam, he is interested in educational philosophy, especially how mindfulness can be incorporated into education and teacher education. He has attended several retreats led by Thich Nhat Hanh and other Buddhist teachers.
Thematic Group 5D: Incorporating Contemplative Inquiry and Mindfulness Practices into Business Education (Yang/Durnin) and Evaluation of Business Ethics Pedagogy that Incorporates Meditation (Culham)
Incorporating Contemplative Inquiry and Mindfulness Practices into Business Education
30-Minute Thematic (Thematic Group 5D, Presentation 1)
Chulguen (Charlie) Yang, Associate Professor, Management/MIS, Southern Connecticut State University
The primary goal of this project is to explore possible ways to incorporate the philosophy and various methods of contemplative practices into business education. We strongly advocate that applied mindfulness is a powerful mindset and it provides useful tools that can be readily adopted in the business classroom. We believe that rational instrument analysis has been overemphasized in conventional business education. Utilizing an evolutionary psychological framework to understand the inherited–almost hardwired–habits of our minds, we differentiate rational instrument analysis from the mindful learning of resonant leadership and self-management skills attained through awareness and attention. We therefore provide a couple of mindfulness practices that we have been using in our classroom to enhance business students’ self-awareness and their emotional skills. We also discuss practical issues of embedding contemplative philosophy and mindfulness practices into business curriculum and of assessing learning outcomes, especially in the context of advancing quality business education.
Chulguen (Charlie) Yang, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Management/MIS at Southern Connecticut State University, where he teaches Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, and Creativity and Innovation. His research interests include evolutionary psychology and its applications in management and organization studies, storytelling/gossip, and mindfulness/spirituality in organizations.
Ellen D. Durnin, Ph.D. is the Dean of the School of Business at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Durnin holds a BA in Sociology from Wagner College, a MA in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Business from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her teaching and research focus on negotiations and conflict resolution.
Evaluation of Business Ethics Pedagogy that Incorporates Meditation
30-Minute Thematic (Group 5D, Presentation 2)
Tom Culham, Center for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia
This presentation will discuss the development and application of means to evaluate business school ethics pedagogy which employs the following features: inner work through development of emotional intelligence, reflective journaling, meditation and cognitive learning through instruction and case study work. The pedagogy for business ethics is based on a combination of eastern and western philosophy, neuroscience, psychology that integrates conscious and unconscious aspects of mind to inform ethics decision making. An interesting aspect of this work is to understand the contribution of contemplative exercises to ethics education. The presentation will include a demonstration of the contemplative exercises employed in classes.
Tom Culham is Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Ethics UBC with 30 years of business experience managing large multidisciplinary technical projects. His Ph.D. thesis (2012), published by Information Age Publishing, developed a novel pedagogy for ethics education of business leaders that included inner work and contemplative practices. It is based on recent neuroscience, psychology and reference to western and Asian traditional ethical philosophies.
|10:00 – 11:00 am||Parallel Session 6
Creating a holistic, healing community through contemplative practice (Anderson Sathe)
Creating a holistic, healing community through contemplative practice
Laurie Anderson Sathe, Professor, Holistic Health Studies, St. Catherine University
The Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies holistic pedagogical approach to education promotes personal and community healing. In our program, healing involves the physical body, emotions and thoughts, spiritual beliefs and rituals, cultural identity and practices, community interconnectedness and environmental influences. Through the use of contemplative practices such as meditation, Tai Chi, relaxation, imagery and creative art exercises we provide students the space for integration and wholeness. Evaluation of this approach resides in the narratives of alumni personal and community transformation. In this session, through a process of contemplative practices, dialogue and circle process we will engage with our personal and collective imagination and wisdom for creating healing communities. We will begin with a process of creating community within the group of participants, engage in a grounding and meditative practice, and through creative and circle process we will further explore what has emerged for us for our own communities.
Laurie Anderson Sathe, EdD, is Program Director and Associate Professor of the Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies Program at the University of St. Catherine, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Thematic Group 6A: Yoga: It’s not all about touching your toes (Schuetz) and Third-Millennium Pedagogical and Public Health Implications of Contemplative Practice (Lee)
Yoga: It’s not all about touching your toes
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6A, Presentation 1)
Pam Schuetz, Instructor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
Yoga is often perceived as a practice devoted to the stretching and strengthening of the physical body. In reality, traditional yoga practice has less to do with touching your toes than with releasing cognitive and behavioral misunderstandings that impede quality of life off the mat. This thematic paper draws from ancient yoga sutras, current mind/body research and an evolving design for an undergraduate education policy class to demonstrate the mechanics and benefits of integrating yogic principles into contemplative framing of a traditional course. Relying on yogic principles rather than physical postures, this paper illustrates how instructors can enfold their course within a meditative yogic framework, empowering students to set clearer intentions and to self-evaluate progress toward intrinsically meaningful learning goals. Regardless of the course taught, this approach fosters student awareness of connections between individual cognitive and behavioral habit patterns and the quality of individual and community life outside the classroom.
Dr. Pam Schuetz is a former yoga instructor and current education researcher and instructor who is interested in facilitating successful student transitions into, through and out of college.
Third-Millennium Pedagogical and Public Health Implications of Contemplative Practice
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6A, Presentation 2)
David Lee, Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Public Health Sciences, University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine
The evolving third-millennium health definition integrates physical, mental, and social well-being with other intangible/inexpressive qualities. This presentation will draw from the fields of psychiatry/psychology, religion, biology, and physics to propose a more comprehensive framework to accommodate the diversity of contemplative practice within this more balanced definition of health. Central to this proposed framework is the work of Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) who postulated that humanity is driven to a higher state of psychological and spiritual integration via collective unconscious processes. His theories were informed by his encounters with Eastern contemplative traditions and the work of prominent physicists of his day (Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli). This proposed health framework embeds contemplative practices as part of this psychological evolution, creates a theoretical foundation for the scientific investigation of numinous experience, and ultimately may serve as a roadmap for the further integration of these practices in diverse fields of higher education.
Dr. David Lee is a Professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He serves as Graduate Programs Director, overseeing MPH, MSPH, and PhD programs in public health, epidemiology, and biostatistics. His current research and teaching interests include public health applications of mindfulness practices.
Thematic Group 6B: Bees Buzzing Between Window Panes: Developing Student Attention through Metaphor (Craig) and Deepening Our Understanding of Reflective Writing's Contemplative Dimensions: Revisiting Dewey with an Eye Toward Assessment (Archibald)
Bees Buzzing Between Window Panes: Developing Student Attention through Metaphor
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6B, Presentation 1)
Chauna Craig, Professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Academics often dismiss creative writing classes as recreational, outlets for self-expression rather than in-roads to self-knowledge. Students, framed in a digital world of instantly shared “selfies,” may enroll in such classes expecting to poetically “tweet” whatever’s on their mind and be “liked” for it. But these assumptions cast creative writing in servitude to narcissism when, ideally, it should send us deeper into practices of self-examination and self-compassion, teaching students how to reach out and make connections, not just statements, in their writing and their lives. Creative writing has been under-theorized as a serious educational tool, and this presentation builds on previous considerations of writing as contemplative practice, discussing how metaphor can heighten rather than mask self-awareness. We will practice writing exercises suitable for focusing and centering students in any classroom and devote some time to considerations of why and how to assess self-awareness through writing.
Chauna Craig‘s creative work has appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies including Prairie Schooner, CALYX, Fourth Genre, and Sudden Stories. She teaches creative writing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she is on the Mindfulness Living Learning Committee and part of a mindfulness reflective practice teaching circle.
Deepening Our Understanding of Reflective Writing’s Contemplative Dimensions: Revisiting Dewey with an Eye Toward Assessment
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6B, Presentation 2)
Olivia Archibald, Professor and Director of Teaching Center, English, Saint Martin’s University
The importance of reflecting on experience and learning through the practice of reflective writing is supported by a large body of literature in education, composition studies, contemplative pedagogy, and other disciplines. Reflective writing’s potential to enrich curriculum with opportunities for focused attention, inquiry, discovery, and deepened learning encourages an “active, persistent, and careful consideration” of knowledge, a thought process that John Dewey calls the highest level of thinking in How We Think (1933/1998). Dewey’s ideas on reflective thought, inquiry, lived experience, affective learning, transformation, and cultivating habits of mind reverberate through his works in remarkably similar ways as what we find in contemplative pedagogy. Revisiting Dewey’s theories, particularly his concepts of reflection and the nature of thinking, offers new intentions and insights for understanding the contemplative dimensions of reflective writing while providing a well-defined depiction of what reflection can look like and potential assessment criteria that clearly identify competencies. Throughout this session, I will share reflective writing assignments I have designed, student comments about these assignments, and evaluation criteria/rubrics that I have used since 2007.
Olivia Archibald (PhD, University of Iowa) is a Professor of English at Saint Martin’s University. Her academic interests include creative nonfiction, essay & composition theory, early medieval literature, contemplative pedagogy, and literary criticism. Recent publications include “Representation, Ideology, and the Form of the Essay” (Writing & Pedagogy, 2009); “The Personal Essay as a Tool to Teach Academic Writing” (College Writing Toolkit, 2011); “Reconsidering the Essay’s Definition in the University Classroom: Writing, Disjunction, and the Active Nature of Thought” (Creativity and Discovery in University Writing, Equinox, forthcoming 2014); and Writing from the Inside: The Power of Reflective Writing in the Classroom (with M. Hall, Equinox, forthcoming 2015). Alongside teaching and research, she directs the teaching center. Writing and yoga are daily practices.
Integration of Contemplative Practice in an Academic Setting for Transformative Education (Jun)
Integration of Contemplative Practice in an Academic Setting for Transformative Education
Heesoon Jun, Professor, Psychology, Evergreen State College
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society defines contemplative practices as “quiet[ing] the mind in order to cultivate a personal capacity for deep concentration and insight.” This requires individuals’ awareness of their inner experience which has been accumulated through both subjective, first-person inquiry (personal inquiry) and objective, third-person inquiry (scientific inquiry). Integrating contemplative practice into classes is a challenging task because personal inquiry has been considered trivial in academic settings. The intention of the session is to discuss barriers of integrating contemplative practice and how to transcend them. The motivation is to share my several years of experience integrating contemplative practice in class and its effectiveness on students’ ability to be aware of self and others, integrate objective and subjective experience, engage in learning, and begin to see their authentic self through insight. Participants will learn concrete strategies as how to adapt to their situation through practice and discussion.
Heesoon Jun was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in a Buddhist family. She received her Ph.D. in educational psychology from University of Washington and is a Washington State licensed psychologist. She is a psychology professor at Evergreen State College where she has been integrating contemplative practice in classes. She devoted a chapter to contemplative practice in her book, Social Justice, Multicultural Counseling, and Practice. She has a part-time private practice in Olympia, Washington.
Visualizing consciousness: contemplative music as a catalyst for the creative process (Scilipoti/Nichols)
Visualizing consciousness: contemplative music as a catalyst for the creative process
Erika Scilipoti, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Psychology, Naropa University
Consciousness can be experienced and shared through a variety of media. Participants are invited to a guided meditation that starts with music and ends with creative expression through drawing and photography. The assessment of this contemplative practice takes place through the process journaling method that comprises a brief description of the experience, analysis of the experience, and the feelings about the experience. By tapping into one’s intuition, this practice encourages spontaneity, a sense of wonder, and sharing of drawings and photographs brings awareness of interconnectedness and empathy.
Erika Scilipoti is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Psychology at Naropa University. She received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 2011. She is interested in visual arts and how contemplative practices are related to the creative process and has developed new courses that focus on the relationship between the contemplative states of mind and the creative experience through photography. Her research interests lie in the forms of neural plasticity in the visual system and she has explored how contemplative practices may contribute to learning mechanisms.
Khipra Nichols is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. He designed for Hasbro Toy where he co-created popular toys, like My Little Pony and Mr. Potato Head, while studying meditation, and is currently interested in combining contemplative study with design education.
Homework before fieldwork: Mindful practices in qualitative research (Bhattacharya)
Homework before fieldwork: Mindful practices in qualitative research
Kakali Bhattacharya, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, Kansas State University
Evaluation of research has traditionally been from Western, positivist paradigms where the researcher and the researched are separated, as unrelated beings, thereby creating a false dichotomy between objective and subjective ways of knowing. In this session, participants will engage in the mindful practices used in my qualitative research classes to experience interrelatedness. A key part of this process is the understanding of self in relation to the research one studies so that one does not need to remain separate from what one studies. Practices such as arts-based inquiry, deep listening, storytelling, and silence create the potential for deeper inquiry into topics studied. The influence of such inquiries culminate into research that activates compassion and calls for action in various areas of social justice. In this session we will experience these practices and discuss how we understand the connection between intention, method, and evaluation of the process in our own work.
Kakali Bhattacharya is an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership in Kansas State University. Her interest lies in contemplative approaches to qualitative inquiry, transnational, race, class, and gender issues in higher education, and technology-integrated learning and social spaces. Currently she is exploring ways to integrate contemplative practices in online research classes.
Thematic Group 6C: Teaching as Mindful Leadership: Evaluating course-specific mindfulness-based practices (Slavik) and Mindfulness in Clinical Legal Education: A Model and Preliminary Data (Kelly/Napora)
Teaching as Mindful Leadership: Evaluating course-specific mindfulness-based practices
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6C, Presentation 1)
Christine Slavik, Ed.D. Candidate and Associate Professor, Child, Youth, and Family Studies, University of the Fraser Valley
When you lead with integrity, others know they can depend on you to connect them to the whole. Your example sets a standard for others to follow. Teaching with integrity, engagement, focus and presence is to be relationally responsible. This presentation explores the methods and results of teaching and learning which incorporates intentional mindfulness-based practices with Child and Youth Care students. A metacurriculur model of mindfulness is proposed as a means to teach, lead and learn with integrity, expanding existing curriculum, and integrating teaching of contemplative practices in deep and meaningful ways with subject matter instruction. The development of a specific tool to evaluate the use of mindfulness-based course activities is shared and the subsequent expansion of the primary research project will be discussed.
Christine Slavik is an Associate Professor in Child, Youth, and Family Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. Christine has a personal commitment to mindfulness-based practices and incorporates these strategies into her teaching, research and life, engaging with others to lead, learn and share meaning.
Mindfulness in Clinical Legal Education: A Model and Preliminary Data
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6C, Presentation 2)
Amber Kelly, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Social Work, Quinnipiac University NH-HSC
Presenters will share a 3-pronged approach to integrating mindfulness-based practices into a university-based clinical setting with law students, as well as the design and implementation of outcome measures to assess the impact on participants as compared to a control group. Preliminary data from this first-of-its-kind study will be discussed. Lawyers are often unacknowledged in their role as helping professionals. Their legal education does not prepare them to work with people in traumatic situations. When compared to other professions, lawyers experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and divorce. Mindfulness-based practices may be effective coping tools for these professionals. This study utilized first-, second- and third-person methodology to assess students’ personal and professional quality of life, empathy, emotional regulation, compassion, mindfulness, and relational communication. Phenomenological interviews were conducted to deepen and enrich quantitative findings, seeking to learn the lived experience of students as they participated in the clinic.
Amber Kelly is a Professor of Social Work, clinician, and clinical mindfulness researcher with a focus on trauma informed applications of mindfulness based practices. She has just recently joined the faculty of Quinnipiac University’s Department of Social Work where she will continue this work.
Dr. Lisa Napora is a Visiting Scholar at SUNY Buffalo, mindfulness researcher, and advocate of Contemplative Education. Her work focuses on raising awareness of the educational efficacy of contemplative practices via conceptual and relational bridging, and strategic research design, to facilitate system-wide infusion. She serves as a consultant in this field.
Thematic Group 6D: Assessing understanding through counterfactuals: Pedagogical methods in Tibetan Buddhism (Romano/Worthman) and Becoming Patient with Impatience: Qualitative Analysis of Students' Mindfulness Experiences (Roussel/McCown)
Assessing understanding through counterfactuals: Pedagogical methods in Tibetan Buddhism
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6D, Presentation 1)
Michael Romano, Neuroscience Education Fellow, Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, Emory University
The Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, a two-way exchange between Western science and Tibetan Buddhism, is a partnership between Emory University, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India. In June 2014, the authors met with senior Buddhist teachers at Drepung Loseling monastery in India, and inquired how deep understanding is assessed in the monastic system. Deployed in pedagogy and debate, counterfactuals support student learning of Buddhist concepts by analyzing and contrasting views, and understanding causal relationships. Counterfactuals train non-attachment to perspectives, and foster flexible letting go of thoughts and arguments. This reflexive method also may promote empathic skills among Western students through taking the perspective of the other, which naturally arises after one can evaluate multiple perspectives on one’s own views. The authors investigate how counterfactuals can facilitate problem solving and creativity, and best practices for assessing the benefit of this pedagogical practice.
Michael Romano, Ph.D., is a cognitive scientist with the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI). In collaboration with the ETSI teams (Biology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics), Tibetan translators, and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India, he is developing, implementing, and assessing innovative distance learning programs in science for Tibetan Buddhist monastics in India. As part of the two-way exchange between Western science and Tibetan Buddhism, Dr. Romano’s research investigates methods for integrating aspects of Tibetan Buddhist pedagogy and cognitive training techniques into Western education.
Carol M. Worthman, Professor of Anthropology at Emory University, is a medical anthropologist whose work spans over a dozen countries, investigating developmental and biocultural processes underlying disparities in mental and physical health. She has coordinated the neurosciences section of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative since its inception.
Becoming Patient with Impatience: Qualitative Analysis of Students’ Mindfulness Experiences
30-Minute Thematic (Group 6D, Presentation 2)
Emily Roussel, Graduate Student, West Chester University
As a pilot study for a larger project to assess a minor in contemplative studies, this study of a Mind-Body Health course that includes the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction curriculum offers important data. Analysis of 54 students’ final reflection papers suggests personal transformation: heightened self-awareness, deeper understanding of the mind/body connection, improved capacity for self-regulation, greater connection with present moment experience, enrichment of relationships, and improved overall quality of life. One student notes: “I feel better armed not only against the physical challenges of pain, but the psychological and emotional toll it takes on me as well. In terms of everyday stressors, meditation has helped me be more patient with my impatience, more calm to my neurotic moments, and more open to emotional, physical, and psychological discomfort in general.” These findings could help shape strategies for both assessment of personal impact on students and evaluation of contemplative courses and programs.
Emily Roussel is a graduate student in Public Health, with a concentration in Integrative Health, at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She is currently interning at the Center for Contemplative Studies at the university.
Donald McCown is Assistant Professor of Health, Co-Director of the Center for Contemplative Studies, and Program Director for the Minor in Contemplative Studies at West Chester University. He is the primary author of Teaching Mindfulness and New World Mindfulness, and author of The Ethical Space of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice.
|11:00 – 11:45 am||Home Groups Reflection and Discussion, with refreshments, Mary Gates Hall Commons|
|11:45 – 12:45 pm||“What Happens Next?” Open Forum and Conference Closing, Kane 110|