Contemplation & Mindfulness in Higher Education
Goldblatt, Joe J.
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Oberski, I., Murray, S., Goldblatt, J. & DePlacido, C. (2014) Contemplation & Mindfulness in Higher Education, Global Innovation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, vol. 11, pp. 317-340.
This chapter presents initial observations of a pilot that introduces mindfulness meditation into teaching and university life. Short meditations were offered at the start of Year 1 and 2 lectures, besides weekly drop-in sessions. The purpose was to enhance the student experience through the affective domain, identified by Thomas 2012 as a key factor in improving retention. Contemplative practices (CPs) consist of enhancing awareness of the 'here' and 'now', characterised by the foregrounding of 'being' and 'living', rather than 'doing' or 'knowing'. Thus, it could be argued that CPs have the potential to enhance the affective dimensions of the student experience and thus, indirectly, impact positively on retention. Students and staff perceived benefits that applied to learning and teaching specifically, but also to broader dimensions of their personal life. Overall there was enthusiasm from both students and staff for the innovation and a request to continue and expand current provision.