Contemplative pedagogy & transformational learning

The Journal of Transformative Education has just published a wonderful collection of articles that they have published over the last 12 years.

This issue contains 9 papers published in the Journal for Transformative Education during the past 11 years. These years have seen significant growth and expansion in the field, particularly in the area of mindfulness. I read recently that mindfulness has become the ‘‘buzzword’’ of the decade. In 2012, there were 550,000 Google searches a month on the key word ‘‘mindfulness’’ (Wilson, 2014, p. 3). Wilson (2014) writes, ‘‘We now have advocates for and practitioners of mindful eating, mindful sex, mindful parenting, mindfulness at work, mindful sports, mindful divorce lawyers, mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based addiction recovery, and on and on’’ (p. 3). Although two papers in this collection focus on mindfulness, as a whole, these papers deal with a diverse set of issues related to contemplative education.

Opening the Contemplative Mind in the Classroom

Tobin Hart, 2004

Meditation: Its Role in Transformative Learning and in the Fostering of an Integrative Vision for Higher Education

Phyllis Robinson, 2004

Interiority and Education: Exploring the Neurophenomenology of Contemplation and Its Potential Role in Learning

Tobin Hart, 2008

Authentic Ways of Knowing, Authentic Ways of Being: Nurturing a Professional Community of Learning and Praxis

Hilary Dencev and Rupert Collister, 2010

Advancing a Second-Person Contemplative Approach for Collective Wisdom and Leadership Development

Olen Gunnlaugson, 2011

A Portrait of Contemplative Teaching: Embracing Wholeness

Kathryn Byrnes, 2012

Following Contemplative Education Students’ Transformation Through Their “Ground-of-Being” Experiences

Patricia Fay Morgan, 2012

Inner Alchemy: Transforming Dilemmas in Education Through Mindfulness

Leigh Burrows, 2015

A Brief History of the Current Reemergence of Contemplative Education

Patricia Fay Morgan, 2014

Mindfulness as a digital literacy

I am excited to be presenting some ideas on mindfulness as a digital literacy at the STARS conference on student retention and success next week in Perth. It is a paper that I have co-authored with my colleague Warren Summers. It outlines an approach to mindful attention in online interactions that we first began thinking about when developing an online community with our Zen group. This paper applies it to developing digital literacies with students.

O’Donnell, M., Summers, W., Fascinating Attention: Digital literacies in the FACE of digital distractions, STARS 2016 Perth, 29 June – 2 July

ABSTRACT: Adjusting to new modes of digital behaviour and a developing digital identity is a critical part of the transition experience in higher education as students move from recreational to professional approaches to digital connection and communication. This paper argues that digital literacies must include socioemotional literacies that enable digital encounters as embodied practices with a full range of cognitive, attentional, affective, and somatic elements. Drawing on the psychology of mindfulness literature we present a model for developing focused attention and embracing the digital as a space of creativity and engagement rather than as a space for passive exploration of information.

We have also set up a website with some resources, which will be developed further over the next twelve months as we begin to work with different groups using the model.