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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.30 - Tuning in to inner ways of knowing: Contemplative practices in higher education

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Contemplative practices in higher education have the potential to significantly impact the quality of teaching and learning. Practices such as mindfulness and introspection activities, meditation, yoga, journaling, drawing, music, reflective visual prompts, storytelling and even the use of non-conventional instructional spaces such as teaching classes in natural surrounds can help students contemplate course content in new ways (Barbezat & Pingree, 2012). For instructors, teaching and practicing such activities can help us maintain a connection to a sense of purpose of the work we do (Palmer & Zajonc, 2010). For students, contemplative practices can increase their abilities to problem solve, focus attention, forge deeper connections with material, and build compassion (Barbezat & Pingree, 2012). Teaching and learning centres can play an important role in supporting faculty members, instructors and TAs by introducing programs that use and practice these activities. This session aims to provide a discussion space for sharing participants’ ideas and experiences with contemplative practices, both within the classroom and as institutional initiatives. We will discuss our own experience introducing and exploring contemplative activities, both personally and through our work in the teaching centre. We will also discuss the challenges of incorporating this type of pedagogy in academic settings that are increasingly assessment driven.

Barbezat, D. & Pingree, A. (2012). Contemplative pedagogy: The special role of teaching and learning centres. In J.E. Groccia & L.a Cruz (Eds.), To Improve the Academy (pp.177- 183.) Vol. 31, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

Palmer, P.J. & Zajonc, A. (2010). The heart of higher education: A call to renewal. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

avatar for Lianne Fisher

Lianne Fisher

Educational Developer, Brock University
Lianne Fisher works in educational development at the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation at Brock University.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon EF

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