Mindful UNCW

Learn

What is mindfulness and what resources can help me learn more?

Skip to Student Opportunities to Learn

Faculty Opportunities to Learn

We offer workshops for interested faculty and staff: one is a contemplative conversation focused around a special topic relevant to faculty and staff (such as mindful advising, mindful leadership, and mindfulness in the workplace), and the other is a workshop focused on pedagogy.

Contemplative Conversations

Interested in learning more about mindfulness from multiple perspectives? Join faculty and staff for Mindful UNCW’s Contemplative Conversations to explore the work of engaging authors who connect mindfulness to topics such as pedagogy, communication, diversity, and social justice. Contemplative practice is characterized by awareness and connection, and we hope to live out this practice through deep listening and dialogue. This past academic year, our Fall 2021 Contemplative Conversation focused on self-compassion, and our Spring 2022 Contemplative Conversations focused on reflective structure dialogue as well as mindfulness of mortality. We explored the text, The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully by Frank Ostaseski. Participants are encouraged but not required to attend all sessions.

Pedagogy with Presence

These workshops and talks explore ways to bring mindfulness and other contemplative practices into our teaching. Our spring 2022 workshop was entitled "Introduction to the Dialogic Classroom:  Teaching for Connection, Engagement, and Deep Learning." This short, interactive workshop introduced participants to some go-to fundamentals of speaking and listening across difference, as well as to the building blocks of the Dialogic Classroom, an approach to teaching that utilizes Reflective Structured Dialogue for curiosity, connection, and deep learning.  Participants learned why engaging across differences in worldviews and beliefs is difficult, how this affects students’ ability to engage and learn in classroom settings, and strategies to structure and support classroom environments that promote belonging, connection, and engagement using dialogic principles and practices.

DeTemple.jpegDr. Jill DeTemple is Professor and Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University, and an Academic Associate at Essential Partners, a non-profit dedicated to conflict transformation through dialogue.  She received her B. A. in Asian Studies from Bowdoin College, her M. T. S. in Christianity and Culture from Harvard Divinity School, and her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her research interests include faith-based economic development, Latin American religions, Pentecostalism, and the use of dialogue in classrooms to promote intellectual humility, conviction, civic engagement, and learning.  She is the author of two books, most recently Making Market Women: Gender, Religion, and Work in Ecuador, and served as co-principal investigator on a research project funded by the University of Connecticut and the Templeton Foundation, “The Dialogic Classroom:  A Pedagogy for Engaging Difference with Intellectual Humility.” She is the recipient of the 2018 American Academy of Religion Excellence in Teaching Award.

Sydney SpearsCultivating an Inclusive Classroom Environment to Support Teaching and Learning that is Safer, Braver and Deeper

Wednesday, October 27

Sydney Spears, Ph.D., LCSW discusses ways to cultivate inclusive classroom environments.Students enter our classroom environments holding many expressions of diversity such as sociocultural identities, varying degrees of knowledge, and a host of accessibility-engagement needs. This workshop provides an overview of how the practices of mindfulness, self-compassion, and compassion can be useful in cultivating a more inclusive classroom community. Being grounded in these practices and utilizing diversity-based strategies can deepen learning and develop a safer and braver personal and social space for all. 

Watch the Talk/Discussion:

Please note this recording is provided only for personal use or use in the educational setting. Screening of the recording is not permitted in any activity or event involving a fee, and permission is required for group viewing outside of the classroom setting. Consistent with ethical guidelines pertaining to intellectual property, all references to the content should cite the presenter per the appropriate style guidelines of the respective field (e.g., APA for social work). 

In the spring of 2021, we discussed mindfulness-based pedagogy based on “Enhancing Learning Through Contemplative Pedagogy” (16 pages) which is the third chapter in “Mindful Teaching and Learning” (available electronically through Randall Library) edited by Karen Ragoonaden. We also had a workshop with Dr. Karen Ragoonaden (see below). 

From Vanderbilt University: "Mindfulness in the classroom, sometimes called 'contemplative pedagogy,' involves teaching methods designed to cultivate deepened awareness, concentration, and insight." Read More


Karen_Ragoonaden2.JPG

Mindful Teaching and Learning: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Practice

Monday, April 12

Dr. Karen Ragoonaden discusses how mindfulness practices can provide pathways to engage in responsive and responsible dialogues about equity, diversity and inclusion. Developing an open and calm receptivity along with a realistic attitude about long-held opinions and assumptions about the self and others can create supportive and non-reactive environments where unlearning and re-learning can occur. Dr. Karen Ragoonaden is a professor in the Faculty of Education of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. She is the author of Mindful Teaching and Learning: Developing a Pedagogy of Well-Being (available through Randall Library) and Mindful and Relational Approaches to Social Justice, Equity and Diversity in Teacher Education (available through Randall Library). 

Watch the Talk/Discussion:

Please note this recording is provided only for personal use or use in the educational setting. Screening of the recording is not permitted in any activity or event involving a fee, and permission is required for group viewing outside of the classroom setting. Consistent with ethical guidelines pertaining to intellectual property, all references to the content should cite the presenter per the appropriate style guidelines of the respective field (e.g., APA for social work). 


Student Opportunities to Learn

How Our Nervous Systems and Social Locations Inform Connection (and Disconnection) From Each Other: An Introduction into More Intuitive, Authentic, and Compassionate Community Engagement

Monday, November 22

Understanding the autonomic nervous system and its influence upon behavior positions us to stay in connection both with ourselves and others. This session explores this science as well as the role of our social location in cultivating the presence, compassion, and authenticity necessary in activism and community engagement. Didactic and experiential components are included.  

Knott.jpegJennie Knott (she/her) is an independently licensed, clinical social worker, and holds many identities, including but not limited to: gay, feminist, female-bodied, of-European decent. She has advanced training in the treatment of developmental trauma, issues related to substance use and gender and sexual identity development. She cares about exploring how race, culture, class, gender and other sociopolitical structures impact individual and community identity development, mental health, wellness, and a sense of belonging in the world. She is passionate about supporting individuals, organizations and communities utilize components of polyvagal theory and social justice principles to be more trauma-informed and responsive; and is deeply committed to these practices in her own life.

There are many opportunities to learn about mindfulness practice as a student:

The following courses incorporate mindfulness into their instruction. Check SeaNet for availability.

  • Mindfulness Living Learning Community
  • Asian Religions (PAR 232)
  • Mindfulness and Racial Justice (PAR 221)
  • The Contemplative Life (PAR 222)
  • Buddhism (PAR 371)
  • Social Work
    • "Mindfulness: Implications for Personal Wellbeing and Professional Practice" (SWK 425/525)
    • Selected sections of other social work courses (SWK320, SWK 500, SWKL500, SWK496/SWK497)
  • Mindfulness (HON 110; UNI 101)
  • The Art of Mindful Living (HON 120)
  • Happiness Advantage (HON 120)
  • Happiness Emphasis (HON 121)

Opportunities to Practice Mindfulness