Open Minds at Pacific Spirit School
Progressive Ideas in Education--Distinguished Speaker Series
"Awake Minds, Open Hearts: Promises and Perils of Contemplative Education"
UBC Professor Daniel Vokey
Daniel will share observations on the recently-created and rapidly-growing area of Contemplative Education, which seeks to incorporate contemplative practices into education to assist students in connecting to what they find most meaningful and in quieting their minds in the midst of action and distraction. The 'Tree of Contemplative Practices' describes some of the ways in which contemplative practices are currently in use in academic settings and secular organizations. Recent research in this field has supported claims that contemplative practices can develop capacities for deep concentration, develop greater empathy and communication skills, improve focus and attention, reduce stress and enhance creativity.
Daniel will discuss the relationships between various contemplative practices, as well as the conditions under which the inclusion of individual contemplative practices in schools can promote transformation towards conditions of social justice and ecological respect. Daniel will also discuss research findings concerning the losses and gains of introducing contemplative practices independently of the religious and philosophical traditions in which they were developed.
Attendees will be invited to share their questions about and experiences with the educational potential of various forms of contemplative practice.
In his teaching and writing, Dr. Vokey draws upon academic research in religious studies and in the philosophy of education; professional experience facilitating wilderness-based leadership development programs (Outward Bound); and contemplative practice in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. Currently, his work considers the theory and practice of teaching professional ethics for educators, the nature of philosophical contributions to educational research, and the relevance of teachings and practices from the world’s wisdom traditions for transformative initiatives in higher education. Author of "Moral Discourse in a Pluralistic World", he currently serves as Co-Editor of "Paideusis: The Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society".
All are welcome. Light refreshments will be provided.