"Students' Voices for a Sustainable Future"

Project Summary:

This anthology will be comprised of the writings of graduate and recent graduate students on Contemplative education with a focus on mindfulness as it relates to developing a sustainable future. Note that the book title has been changed to more accurately reflect its focus.

Project Description:

See the book call on the Mindfulness and Contemplative Education website: http://www.contemplativeeducation.ca Students Learning for a Contemplative Future Society has developed a rapidly increasing interest in contemplative practices and spiritual experiences both outside of and within traditional educational establishments. Many students at all levels are now being taught a wide range of these practices in the classroom. Some are simply introduced, for instance, to mindfulness techniques for the purpose of developing the ability to enhance studying and to cope more effectively with the stresses of their lives and education. In other classrooms their introduction includes practices to develop the insights and creativity needed to develop new ways of personal being and to bring about change in their area of study or performance. In other courses, students engage in advanced and in-depth study of traditional texts and techniques, often with a focus specifically on applying them to their professional interests. Their experiences and learning in all of these classrooms will influence the work for which they are preparing and the world that work will impact. While it is not the purpose of contemplative practices and non-religious spirituality to impart an ideology, a moral code or a particular prescription for the future, they can and do provide the tools with which students and citizens can challenge and change the status quo. There is now a burgeoning resource of books, journals and conferences devoted to these practices and their educational uses. These, of course, are typically produced by academics and researchers. They address a multitude of issues in the areas of pedagogic theory and praxis, the analysis and contemporary utilization of these practices, their challenges to the prevailing concepts of the autonomous individual and her/his isolated ego, applications to specific disciplinary areas and much else. Many millennia of practice as well as contemporary research shows clearly that contemplative practices have the ability to challenge students’ relationship with their socio-cultural and ecological environment by fostering greater self-understanding and awareness of one’s interconnectedness with others and the world at large. Available academic resources in these and other areas are essential to the ongoing development of this innovative pedagogy and the changes in students it can foster. But what is often missing is the students’ perspective on their own learning experiences, personal development and visions of a new future for themselves, their broader community and the ecology. This volume is designed to address that lacuna. Of special interest will be students’ plans for the applications of what they are now learning they anticipate making as they develop their careers and thus impact their world. This anthology will provide an opportunity for students’ voices to be heard. In the course of their academic work they research, experiment with and develop new approaches to addressing a wide range of issues. In doing this they not only undergo personal change, they also often cross the boundaries of the silos in which academic work is typically confined. We welcome work which engages multiple intellectual sites, media, creative arts and other areas to produce enhanced modes of understanding and innovate approaches to the future. Much of the work by students is of exceptional quality. This volume will provide an opportunity for it to address the most promising recent developments in pedagogy and to reach a broader readership beyond their teachers and classmates. SUBMISSIONS Since this book will be adventurous in breaking traditional boundaries of academic discourse and critiquing established cultural and social practices, it will be of interest to a broad readership. Teachers and faculty at all levels, upper level undergraduates and graduate students will find works of interest here. We also aim to engage those outside of the academic environment who are utilizing contemplative practices in any manner in the particular areas in which they work. These would include, for instance, global warming, wealth and income disparities, preparing students for precarious work, social work, addressing poverty, psychotherapy, and a wide range of others. We are also pleased to accept different mediums of work. Apart from essays, we will be publishing anecdotes, case-studies and projects/experiments that revolve around the subject matter. Artistic expression of the above-mentioned subject-matter is also encouraged. Below we have provided a working Table of Contents. It will be focused once we received the work to be included in the volume; this is provisional and not meant to confine the contributor’s discourse. As indicated, it is well recognized that the silos created by academic disciplines can both hinder and distort the understanding of issues and hence greatly restrict the efficacy of attempts to address them. We encourage writers to transgress these boundaries as they seek deeper and more comprehensive understanding and more creative approaches

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