Educational Design of Mathematics Content: Report From a Pioneering Workshop

Authors

Keywords:

contemplation, contemplative-somatic practices, contemplative mathematics, somatic learning, phenomenology, contemplative arts research, embodiment theory, enactivism, Feldenkrais Method, meditation, Qigong, somatic

Abstract

Researchers in the field of mathematics education are beginning to appreciate the potential of contemplative practices such as mindfulness to alleviate students’ stress and increase their focus. What researchers do not yet know is whether, and if so how, bringing focused attention to somatic experience through a wide variety of contemplative–somatic practices (i.e., yoga, Feldenkrais, body–mind centering, and attending to bodily sensations in meditation) may support student learning of specific mathematical content. As a first step toward conceptualizing and ideating the pedagogical design and facilitation of content-oriented contemplative exercises, we convened a workshop to explore these ideas. Here we report on findings from this pioneering workshop, which brought together international scholars and practitioners interested in the relations between contemplative–somatic practice and mathematical reasoning and learning. This report elaborates on participants’ experiences and derived pedagogical insights to offer the field new horizons in the development of the theory and practice of contemplative mathematics.

Author Biographies

Dor Abrahamson, University of California, Berkeley

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education

Patricia Fay Morgan, The Contemplative Academy

Dr. Patricia Morgan is a contemplative theorist researching and teaching in contemplative education, art, ethics and law. She currently researches the impacts of ICT at UNSW and creates curriculum in contemplative inquiry and compassion competence for the Nan Tien Institute, Australia. Patricia received an Australian Government scholarship to complete her PhD and this applied philosophical study of contemplative consciousness in education is the first of its kind in Australia. Patricia is a contemplative and has worked as a fine artist and designer. Combining these experiences she designs and facilitates a range of contemplative initiatives in and outside of the academe. Patricia publishes in the areas of contemplative law, history, education, mathematics and consciousness studies and is an invited presenter in Australia and the US.

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2018-12-26

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