Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies humanities Professor Deborah Orr has launched a new website dedicated to Contemplative Education.
“Contemplative education is rapidly emerging as the next major development in teaching and learning,” says Orr. “In contemplative education praxis the student is understood as a fully integrated individual and so teaching addresses the student’s body, mind, spirit and behaviour as an integrated whole. This pedagogical praxis facilitates the fulfillment of the aims of traditional humanistic education, to develop graduates who are not only technically proficient but who also function as informed and compassionate members of the broader community.”
Orr has recently published a paper that surveys the uses of mindfulness meditation, the most frequently employed contemplative practice in this burgeoning field. Mindfulness medification develops focus, concentration and creativity. For a fuller discussion on the role of mindfulness meditation in contemplative education, see Orr’s paper titled, “Thinking Outside the Academic Box: An Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation for Education” in Other Education: The Journal for Alternative Education.
The purpose of the Contemplative Education website, says Orr, is to provide a virtual commons for scholars, researchers, teachers and students who are working in or interested in exploring the rapidly growing field of contemplative education. Orr’s goal for launching the website is to enable information sharing, collaboration or projects related to contemplative education, mentoring of students and a wide range of other activities.
“The site is designed so that you can register and post your information, including your CV, publications links, projects and much more,” says Orr. “You can search the site for colleagues and material that interest you. You can also post announcements for upcoming events, calls for papers and conference presentations and new publications. As well, it provides a source of information and contacts for those interested in exploring the possibilities of this new pedagogical methodology and research area, but who are not yet registered. Both registration and searching are free and so I urge you to register and become a part of the growing and exciting contemplative education community.
“While the site is now open to York University faculty and students, we urge you to share this information with those outside of the University, those who will be interested and may want to register.”
A “Contact us” link enables visitors to suggest ideas and suggestions on how to make the site more useful and user friendly. The site will be expanded to include content of interest to national and international educators and students researching or working in contemplative education. For more information, visit the Contemplative Education website. Sanja Begic, learning technology support specialist, and Kaziwa Salih, graduate assistant, worked with Orr to prepare the website.