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Contemplative Approaches to Reading and Writing: Cultivating Choice, Connectedness, and Wholeheartedness in the Critical Humanities

Dorothe J Bach, John Alexander


This article describes an approach in which two humanities instructors use reading and writing as a means to help students connect to their minds as objects of contemplation, experience alternative ways of being and relating, and consider how they make meaning from experience. To derive conclusions from this approach, they analyze student work and student feedback from a 3000 level elective comparative literature course, “Spiritual Journeys in Young Adult Fiction.” The results show that students cherish the opportunity to inquire into their habitual ways of relating to their academic work and to each other. They find a greater sense of choice, connectedness, and wholeheartedness, and rediscover their love for reading and writing.


reading; writing; contemplative pedagogy; presence; relational connection; comparative literature

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