Contemplative Pedagogy (CP) is an approach to education that uses contemplative practices, attention to the full student experience, and an interest in transformative learning to create more meaningful course environments. According to Daniel Barbezat and Mirabai Bush in Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning, contemplative pedagogy “can help develop empathy and communication skills, improve focus and attention, reduce stress and enhance creativity, supporting a loving and compassionate approach to life.” CTL supports the integration of contemplative pedagogy into course design and teaching through:
- Regular contemplative pedagogy meetings
- Individual consultations
- Online resources
Contemplative Pedagogy Group
CTL supports UMass’ strategic interest in deep engagement with course concepts, student resiliency, stress management, inclusive teaching, and sense of belonging through regular contemplative pedagogy meetings during the academic year. Our group attracts educators and administrators from across the disciplines, including over 200 non-unique participants per year. All are welcome to attend. Meetings typically involve sharing teaching experiences and resources related to contemplative pedagogy and mindful education. To join the mailing list, contact Brian Baldi.
In Fall 2021, the Contemplative Pedagogy Group meets on the following dates:
- Friday, September 17, 10-11:30AM, "Re-Entering Our Classes: Establishing Intentional Learning Environments" (Brian Baldi, CTL, and Lena Fletcher, Environmental Conservation)
- Friday, October 22, 10-11:30AM, "Pedagogy of Love" (Facilitators: Lena Fletcher, Environmental Conservation, Stephen Fernandez, College of Engineering)
- Friday, November 19, 10-11:30AM, "Racial Reckoning, Intergenerational Trauma, and Mindfulness" (Facilitators: K.C. Nat Turner, Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies and Kavitha Rao, Center for Whole Communities)
- Friday, December 10, 10-11:30AM, "Reflecting on the Semester" (Brian Baldi, CTL, and Lena Fletcher, Environmental Conservation)
- Friday, February 4, 10-11:30AM, "Grounding Ourselves for Teaching" (Brian Baldi, CTL; Lena Fletcher, Environmental Conservation; and Katja Hahn D'Errico, CESL)
- Friday, March 4, 10-11:30AM, "Contemplative Teaching Practice Share" (Brian Baldi, CTL and Lena Fletcher, Environmental Conservation)
- Friday, April 22, 10-11:30AM, topic TBD
- Friday, May 20, 10-11:30AM, "Guided Contemplative Nature Tour" (Madeleine Charney, Libraries)
For a full list of contemplative pedagogy programming since 2016, see our past programming list.
UMass Courses & CP
UMass faculty from disciplines as varied as anthropology, education, service learning, natural resources conservation, biochemistry, and history use contemplative pedagogy in their teaching. To learn which of your colleagues use these techniques, please see our list of UMass Courses Taught with Contemplative Pedagogy.
Contemplative pedagogy is a growing field supported by an ever-expanding list of resources and perspectives. CTL has compiled a resource page containing links to classroom exercises, articles, books, webinars, journals, research centers, and other resources that can support your interest in using contemplative techniques in the classroom.
Faculty, librarians, students, and staff at UMass Amherst have access to a variety of contemplative and mindful resources and activities, including the UMass Student Meditation Group, UMass Meditates, contemplative resources, and various mindfulness opportunities.
For more information, contact Brian Baldi.