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ERIC Number: EJ1125853
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-4868
Look before You Leap: Reconsidering Contemplative Pedagogy
Fisher, Kathleen M.
Teaching Theology & Religion, v20 n1 p4-21 Jan 2017
This paper presents a critique of a set of teaching strategies known as "contemplative pedagogy." Using practices such as meditation, attentive listening, and reflective reading, contemplative inquiry focuses on direct first-person experience as an essential means of knowing that has historically been overshadowed and dismissed by an emphasis on analytical reasoning. In this essay, I examine four problematic claims that appear frequently in descriptions of contemplative pedagogy: (1) undergraduate students have a kind of spiritual hunger; (2) pedagogies focused on cognitive skills teach students only what, not how, to think; (3) self-knowledge fosters empathy; and (4) education needs a new epistemology centered on spiritual and emotional, rather than intellectual, experience. I argue that these claims underestimate the diversity of undergraduate students, the complexity of what it means to think and know, the capacity for self-knowledge to become self-absorption, and the dangers of transgressing the boundaries between intellectual, psychological, and religious experiences. [See as well "Response to Kathleen Fisher's "Look Before You Leap," by Andrew O. Fort and Louis Komjathy, published in this issue of the journal.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A