Contemplative Pedagogy

Contemplative pedagogy involves the instructor, the students and the changes created by their interaction. The students and the instructor bring their own personal history, experiences, and beliefs into the classroom. The interaction begins with those individual pieces of the puzzle but is soon flavored with bits of new perspectives from each other’s personal context. Tiny slivers of light are cast into the recesses of our own experiences and there can be room for questioning and re-assessing. Eventually we leave the classroom with more context and perhaps a slightly different picture woven from the elements of conversation that took place. In our role as instructor, what should we consider? This quote, from the Contemplative Pedagogy website, may be of interest:

Contemplative pedagogy not only offers fresh challenges and perspectives to students. As educators contemplative pedagogy provides us with a beautiful yet formidable challenge – to really turn up and be present. If we are to encourage our students to bring themselves more fully into the classroom, to be there not just as students but as human beings, with all the complexity that entails, we have no choice but to show up too. It is imperative that if we are to bring contemplative pedagogy into the classroom that we have some knowledge of our own internal lives and the beauty and fear that can arise from deepening self-awareness. It would be irresponsible to encourage students into deeper self-awareness if we have not started to explore this ourselves. Furthermore contemplative pedagogy blurs the line of traditional educational power arrangements and insists that as educators we are also prepared to remain students, open to the wisdom and knowledge of those we teach.

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