Grand Canyon-Photo by Garry ForgerThe Confluencenter in collaboration with the Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA) has been awarded a small grant from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society to establish a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) to study Contemplative Pedagogies practices on the UA campus.

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society transforms higher education by supporting and encouraging the use of contemplative/introspective practices and perspectives to create active learning and research environments that look deeply into experience and meaning for all in service of a more just and compassionate society. 

Contemplative pedagogy involves the use of classroom practices that cultivate students’ attention, emotion regulation and engagement with material, and that promote personal insight and mindful dialogue at the heart of education at its most transformative.

Dr. Alfred Kaszniak, Professor of Psychology and OIA Pedagogy Fellow, will be the primary investigator for the grant, and will coordinate the efforts of an interdisciplinary team that identifies a core of student learning outcomes (SLOs) for UA instructors introducing contemplative perspectives and practices into their classrooms.  In addition, an inventory of contemplative exercises and instructional assessment tools will be made available.

Contemplative Pedagogies Introduced to UA Campus

Contemplative Pedagogies Initial Meeting

Contemplative Pedagogy Faculty Leanrning Community Launch Meeting
September 23, 2014

The initial plan is to have everyone who expressed an interest, both those who attended the launch meeting and those who couldn't make it, complete a survey indicating their experience/interest level in Contemplative Pedagogy Practices (CPP).

From these respondents, a group of people will be asked (as volunteers) to lead three workshops (repeated, not on new topics each time) during October and November of 2014.  This will introduce interested members to a certain pedagogic approaches (yoga, mindfulness, etc.).  CP FLC members could attend as they wished, dipping their toes in various waters. Then, in December, the larger group will convene again, and everyone (in person or online) will sign up for a CPP group, most likely a group of 6-8 people connected by an interest in a specific CPP approach. 

In Spring 2015, those smaller groups will meet independently, and according to their schedules, to try out a technique in their classroom, discuss assessment and results, and possibly observe each other's classes.  Then, at the end of the Spring semester, everyone will re-convene again to share notes.  Materials on various CPP techniques will be shared on the CP FLC website as documents, papers, recording or whatever format is appropriate.

Over Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, the group will expand and, then, in Spring of 2016, organize a campus-wide conference to showcase certain pedagogic approaches.

Access the PowerPoint presentation presented by Ingrid Novodvorsky FLC (PDF).

Actual Timeline:

Spring 2014-Al Kaszniak approaches OIA about applying for a grant from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Summer 2014-Grant of $5k awarded.

September 2014-First meeting of the Contemplative Pedagogies Faculty/Professional Learning Community.   Website and email list are created.

Throughout 2014 and 2015 monthly meetings are held where specific strategies for mindful teaching are discussed and demonstrated.

April 2016-3 day weekend Symposium on Contemplative Pedagogy is held on the UA Campus.  Dan Barbezat is brought in as the keynote speaker.  49 people attended this symposium, mostly UA people, but also participation by Pima CC, individuals from Maricopa and Northern Arizona University.

Erin Dokter and Garry Forger use the experience and expertise gathered from this group to propose a UA class “Mindful Teaching and Learning: Theory to Practice.”  Which was offered for the first time in the Spring 2019 semester.