Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences

June 28-29, 2011: The Mindful Educator

 

The Mindful Educator

Transformative Learning through Reflective Practices

DATES June 28-29, 2011
LOCATION George Mason University
REGISTRATION To register online, click here
To register by mail, download a registration form
EVENT FLYER Download event flyer here

Join Us

For an engaging 2-day institute designed to create classroom dialogues that bring about positive and permanent shifts in motivation and performance using mindfulness and reflective practices. For educators – teachers, administrators, librarians, counselors – working with students in grades Pre-K through 12.

Expand the Possibilites

  • Educate for wholeness
  • Develop meaningful connections with students
  • Sharpen attention and awareness
  • Translate intentions into results
  • Expand creativity in the classroom

Create

Professional learning communities that promote commitment, cooperation, compassion, and contribution.

Guide

Conscious, purposeful, and thoughtful inquiry.

Develop

  • Reflective practices
  • Strategies and materials
  • Collegial relationships

Goals for Participants

  • To stimulate participants’ ideas for educating the whole person, including heart and spirit in addition to intellect.
  • To work toward creating a healthy environment for teaching and learning.
  • To develop skills and techniques for building reflective practices into the classroom to build students’ self awareness.
  • To begin or continue to build educators’ mindfulness practices to better equip them to manage stress, cultivate spirit even during unstable times, and to serve as a mindfulness role model to their students.

Typical Day Schedule

7:30    Optional Mindfulness Practice
8:30    Check In and Breakfast
8:45    Mindfulness Practice Instruction
9:30    Speaker and Small-Group Discussions
12:00  Lunch
1:00    Smaller Sessions – Pick from Three Topics
2:30    Professional Learning Community Meetings
4:00    Closing of the Day

Background

What are the tools that can lead to transformation in K-12 education? A growing body of research and theoretical thinking suggests that pedagogical methods rooted in mindfulness and reflective practice can enhance classroom instruction. This three-day institute will explore threads of promising research and practice in these areas. As one practitioner has described it:

Contemplative pedagogy is a young and growing approach in American education. It invites new possibilities for the emergence of creativity and promotes depth of understanding and a more personal relationship with course content. The path to contemplative learning is different for each educator who travels it… The dimensions of centering, questioning, awareness, and community [are] central to the contemplative element. Richard Brady

Published research includes a report in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care (2005, Elsevier Publishing) on mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and Tai Chi as tools for educational programs appropriate for middle school–aged children. This five-week study was with inner-city middle school students in Boston.

Another report, published in the Journal of Transformative Education (2007, Sage Publications) describes positive results from contemplative methods used in teaching a 10th-grade mathematics course.

The far-reaching possibilities mindfulness and education are summarized in an extensive report from the Garrison Institute (2005) entitled “Contemplation and Education: Current Status of Programs Using Contemplative Techniques in K-12.” Their conclusions include this statement, which is a reflection of our rationale for the 2010 summer institute at George Mason University:

Despite methodological and pedagogical differences, contemplative programs share a common set of outcomes consistent with those of mainstream education. The main short-term or immediate outcomes include enhancing students’ learning and academic performance, improving the school’s social climate as well as promoting emotional balance and pro-social behaviors. These programs also share common long-term or ultimate outcomes including the development of noble qualities such as peacefulness, internal calm, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, patience, generosity and love.

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