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Community and Contemplation: The College Course as an Advent

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Taylor Huntley

on 14 November 2014

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Transcript of Community and Contemplation: The College Course as an Advent

Defining Contemplation
Intention, attention, and attiutude (goleman)

Jogging, climbing and other activities can be contemplative, but not if you're problem solving and thinking about the past or future

Single point concentration or mindfulness meditation

Finding a deeper sense of purpose or connection to something that's more than yourself. A deeper meaning that helps you be present

By investigating inwardly our own nature as beings and particularly, the nature of our own minds through careful and systematic self-observation, wemay be able to live lives of greater satifaction, harmony, and wisdom.

Contemplation Practice may exercise the Amygdala and Prefrontal cortex
These parts of the brain control self-management (control of ones emotions) and social awareness (empathy)
Study by Parker and
Zajonc, 2010
69% of college students consider it very important that their college enhance their self-understanding

67% of students want their college to play a role in developing their personal values

48% say it is very important that college encourage their personal expression of spirituality
Community and Contemplation: The College Course as an Adventure Expedition
Bob Stremba Ed.D.
& Taylor Huntley

Fort Lewis College
Adventure Education Degree Program

The College Course as an Adventure Expedition
Student Co-created means potentially unpredictable outcomes (i.e. Adventure)
Student empowerment to help lead and facilitate learning
Holistic learning that supplies opportunity for students and instructors to bring heart, mind and body into the learning experience
Stages of group development and setting clear expectations (i.e full value contract, positive learning environment, group learning norms)

Contemplative Exercise:
Cultivating Attention

1. Find a posture on the floor that is comfortable and conducive to concentration

2. Settle Mind and Body

3. Single Point Concentration (breath, paperclip

5. Return conciousness to the room

6. Find a partner and discuss your experience
What Defines Contemplative Practice?
"By investigating inwardly our own nature as beings and particularly, the nature of our own minds through careful and systematic self-observation, we may be able to live lives of greater satisfaction, harmony, and wisdom."
- Jon Kabat-Zinn
Value in Contemplative Pedagogy and Contemplative Practice
Contemplative Practice and Mindfulness training can enhance ones capacity to hold attention (Jha, Krompinger & blaime, 2007)

Promotes psychological well-being that combats stresses and anxieties that higher education can present (Baer, 2003)

Cultivates empathy, altruism, compassion and other qualities essential for interpersonal relationships (Stanford CCARE Research)

Complements the direct experiential engagement promoted by educationalists such as: Dewey, Piaget and Freire, to deepen understanding of texts, content, theories, natural phenomena, the arts, other culture, and more.

Inherently aids in honing development in Gardners Multiple Intellegence Theories


Broadly, we've been failing our students. The fundamental job of undergraduate education is to help students grow up, learn who they are, search for larger purpose for their lives, and to leave college better human beings.
- Harry Lewis, Excellence Without a Soul
Solos are used in many adventure programs and in college and university outdoor education and recreation programs (Knapp & Smith, 2005)
Meditation, Contemplation, Mindfulness
http://www.communityscience.com/pdfs/Sense%20of%20Community%20Index-2(SCI-2).pdf

Let's Practice
Contemplative Exercise

Lemniscate of Attention
How to use the adventure expedition as a powerful metaphor for college classroom teaching and learning.

How to foster academic engagement and success through building a supportive community of learners,

How to incorporate contemplative awareness and practice into college teaching and learning.

How to combine community with contemplative practice to enhance college teaching and student learning.

Workshop Outcomes

The Contemplation Correlation Model
(Bush, 2013; Goleman, 2002; Dale, 69; Creswell, way, Eisenberger, and Lieberman, 2007)
Which promotes academic success through cultivating intimate relationships between students, their class experience and course content.
Leads to further student engagement in participation and curriculum =
An Authentic Experience that foster a positive Learning environment through exercising regulation of one emotions (Self Management) and Empathy (Social Awareness) =
The Professor + Specific Contemplative Discipline + Unique Students group =
Vision of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education:

The view on which contemporary higher education is constructed is too limited. Its impoverished and largely reductive understanding of the world inevitably leads to partial solutions to the problems we face in such areas as education, health care, agriculture and economics. We need an education that embraces and develops an enlarged view, one that has room in it for the exploration of meaning, purpose and values and how to serve our common human future.
We seek to recast the traditional foundations for education into a truly integrative, transformative, and communal enterprise that cultivates the whole person in the fullest possible way.

Why include contemplative practice in higher education?

Harry Lewis, Excellence Without a Soul:
Broadly, we’ve been failing our students. The fundamental job of undergraduate education is to help students grow up, learn who they are, search for a larger purpose for their lives, and to leave college better human beings.

Empathy
Compassion
Trust
Closeness w/others

Learning

Nature
Attention
Focus
Deep engagement
Clear thinking

Intrapersonal Development
Community
Interpersonal Development
Contemplative Practice
Tree of Community Building
Contemplative Practice Cultivates:
Attention, creativity, insight
Students’ understanding of texts, theories, natural phenomena.
Deep engagement and intimacy with object of study
Ability to maintain preparedness and orient attention
Ability to process information quickly and accurately; mental flexibility
Emotional balance and regulation
Students’ interest in exploring personal meaning (know thyself)
Self-compassion, which relates to wisdom, personal initiative, happiness, optimism, and happiness
Engagement with complexity and contradiction, leading to an inquiry into what matters most deeply to us.
Contemplative Practice Reduces:
Stress, anxiety (difficulty staying focused, tiredness, preoccupied with past or future, rushing through activities)
Depression



Intrapersonal Benefits of Contemplative Practice

Contemplative Practice Cultivates:
Empathy, altruism, and compassion
Compassionate civic engagement
Compassionate listening
Loss of self-absorption, which opens us to see other cultures, which leads to action across cultures
Suspension of judgment, open mindedness
A sense of trust and closeness with others.
Ability to approach stressful interpersonal events as challenges rather than threats; lowers impulsivity.
Positive change in quality of interpersonal relationships
Self compassion, which correlates to better ability to handle negative interpersonal events




Interpersonal Benefits of Contemplative Practice


Outcomes
Define contemplative practice

Understand parallels between interpersonal/ intrapersonal development in contemplation and nature

Understand contemplative practice and how it pertains to adventure eduction and the college classroom

Objectives
Nature Cultivates:
Attention
Brain’s ability to focus (be here now)
Ability to think clearly.
Ability to learn
Creativity—ability to see patterns
Ability to delay gratification
Ability to resolve minor personal problems
Sense of peace
More restorative than physical activities like rock climbing (Louv)

Nature Reduces:
Stress
Mild depression


Intrapersonal Benefits of Nature

Nature Cultivates:
Self control
Empathy
Compassion


Nature Reduces:
Aggression and violence
Impulsivity
Irritability


Interpersonal Benefits of Nature

Sources:

Jaffe, E. (2010) This side of paradise: Discovering why the human mind needs nature. Observer, 23 (5). Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2010/m (October 8, 2013)

Louv, R. (2011) Get your mind dirty. Outside. Retrieved from:
http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/media/books/Get-Your-Mind-Dirty.html (October 8, 2013)

Presentations at the Ninth Annual Symposium on Contemplative Pedagogy, Smith College, MA. August 4-9, 2013. The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Shapiro, S., Brown, K. W. & Astin, J. (2008) Toward the integration of meditation into higher education: A review of research. The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.


Sources:

Jaffe, E. (2010) This side of paradise: Discovering why the human mind needs nature. Observer, 23 (5). Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2010/m (October 8, 2013)

Louv, R. (2011) Get your mind dirty. Outside. Retrieved from:
http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/media/books/Get-Your-Mind-Dirty.html (October 8, 2013)

Presentations at the Ninth Annual Symposium on Contemplative Pedagogy, Smith College, MA. August 4-9, 2013. The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Shapiro, S., Brown, K. W. & Astin, J. (2008) Toward the integration of meditation into higher education: A review of research. The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Contemplation and Nature: A catalyst for learning within Adventure Education and the college classroom
Taylor Huntley
Experience and Nature
Nov. 13, 2014
"By investigating inwardly our own nature as beings and particularly, the nature of our own minds through careful and systematic self-observation, we may be able to live lives of greater satisfaction, harmony, and wisdom."
- Jon Kabat-Zinn
What is Adventure Education?
"Whether the attention come by grace of genius or by dint of will, the longer one does attend to a topic the more mastery of it one has. And the faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgement, character and will. No one is
compos sui
if he has it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education
par excellence
." - William James
"A type of education that utilizes specific risk-taking activities, such as ropes courses and mountaineering, to foster personal growth. It's philosophy is built upon three main tenets: using experience to enhance the educational process, building moral character and developing a willingness to take risks" Wurdinger 1997, Hunt 1990)
Adventure Education holds specific focus in how one gets along in a group and how one gets along with themselves.
Creswell, Way, Eisenberger, and Liberman, 2007
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