A Pedagogy of Well-Being: Introducing Mindfulness to First Year Access Students
Keywords:dfulness, Well-Being, University 101, Medicine Wheel of Learning, Indigenous Education, Aboriginal Access Program
This article examines the impact of introducing mindfulness practices to an Access (developmental) course aimed at first-year students. As a pathway to well-being, the cultivation of mindfulness supports the harmonious balance of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions of the self. An ancillary aim of this qualitative study is to examine the similarities between mindfulness practices and traditional teachings of First Nation, Inuit and Métis First Peoples of Canada. Using precepts from the Medicine Wheel of Learning, the content of a developmental course entitled University 101 was adapted to incorporate Indigenous traditions of teaching and learning. Acknowledging this holistic approach, circles of learning were used to introduce and to apply new concepts. Formal and informal mindfulness practices emphasizing breath awareness, movement, and being present were regular components of the course. This article focuses on the analysis of interview questions exploring the impact of mindfulness practices on first-year Aboriginal Access students.
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