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ERIC Number: EJ899976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0194-3081
Waking Up to Ourselves: The Use of Mindfulness Meditation and Emotional Intelligence in the Teaching of Communications
Huston, Dan
New Directions for Community Colleges, n151 p39-50 Fall 2010
Contemplative practices can transform curricula, classrooms, and students. Community college teachers are accustomed to greeting rooms full of students each semester who are there simply because someone told them they have to be. The decision to attend college in general may have been theirs, but the particular courses they take are largely prescribed for them, and they sometimes find themselves signed up for courses they do not think they need. Communications is perhaps one of the best examples of such a course; other than improving at public speaking, which scares most of them to death, they see no need to improve in their ability to communicate. Bringing mindfulness meditation into the teaching of communications transforms the course from what is often considered dry information into a journey of self-exploration and insight. Combining mindfulness meditation with communication theory helps students realize the extent to which human beings operate on autopilot, relying on habitual patterns of behavior when interacting with others, misinterpreting what other people say and do, and imposing their predictions, assumptions, and expectations on themselves and those around them. Waking up to this reality can be a revealing experience that helps students gain self-understanding, participate in life more fully, and let go of confining storylines and habits that often limit their communication, causing them needless disappointment, frustration, or even suffering. Part of this process involves becoming more aware of the emotions they experience in their day-to-day interactions, learning how to accept those emotions and communicate honestly, accurately, and productively as a result. For this reason, emotional intelligence plays a key role in the author's curriculum as well. In this chapter, the author explains the basic logic of this approach to teaching communications and provides some guidance for beginning to implement these teaching methods.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A