July 8, 2014
Richard Brady, founder and director of the Mindfulness in Education Network and Minding Your Life: Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning has written a number of articles on mindfulness in education.
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. I relate experiences that led me to develop a personal contemplative practice and describe how, over time, my practice affected my teaching. I focus especially on contemplative methods I’ve begun using in teaching a tenth grade mathematics
course. In the process I examine the dimensions of centering, questioning, awareness, and community that are central to the contemplative element of the course. To give the reader a taste of the course, I include poetry, stories, and quotations that I share with my students. I conclude with a discussion of outcomes from the first year of the course, changes I’ve made in response to what I’ve learned, and new questions that have arisen.