Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

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

Dorothe J Bach, John Alexander

Abstract


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.


Keywords


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

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alexander, J. & Bach, D. J. (2013). Creating classroom community with reflective blogs. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge & Society, 9(2). 17-29.

Alexander, J. & Bach, D. J. (2011, September 11). Reading and joy [Letter to the editor]. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/ReadingandJoy

Ayers, W. (2004). Teaching toward freedom: Moral commitment and ethical action in the classroom. Boston: Beacon Press.

Bach, D. J. & Alexander, J. (2014). Spiritual Journeys in Young Adult Fiction [Course website]. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/SpiritualJourneysToBe

Barbezat, D. & Bush, M. (2014). Contemplative practices in higher education: Powerful methods to transform teaching and learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Baugher, J. E. (2014). Contemplating uncomfortable emotions: Creating transformative spaces for learning in higher education. In Gunnlaugson, O., Sarath, E. W., Scott, C., & Bai, H. (Eds.) Contemplative learning and inquiry across disciplines (pp. 233-252). SUNY Press.

Bean, J. (2011). Engaging ideas; The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bettelheim, B. (1976). The uses of enchantment: The meaning and importance of fairy tales. New York, NY: Knopf.

Brown, B. (2010). The power of vulnerability. TED. Podcast retrieved from http://bit.ly/BreneBrownTEDX

Cameron, J. (2002). The artist’s way: A spiritual path to higher creativity. New York, NY: Putnam.

Carr, N. (2011). The shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains. New York, NY: Norton.

Darwin, C. (1958). The autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow. New York, NY: Norton.

Gardner, E. B., Calderwood, P. E., & Torosyan, R. (2007). Dangerous pedagogy. The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, 13(1), 5.

Iyer, P. (2012, January 1). The joy of quiet. New York Times. SR1.

Jacobs, A. (2011). The pleasures of reading in an age of distraction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kegan, R. (2000). What ‘‘form’’ transforms? A constructive-developmental approach to transformative learning. In J. Mezirow & Associates (Eds.), Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress, (pp. 35–70). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Mali, T. (2012). Typography [Video file]. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/TaylorMaliTypography

Mali, T. (2013). Like Lilly like Wilson [Video file]. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/LikeLillyLikeWilson

Mälkki, K. & Green, L. (2014). Navigational aids: The phenomenology of transformative learning. Journal of Transformative Education. DOI: 10.1177/1541344614541171

Merton, T. (1979). Love and solitude. In Burton, N. & Brother Heart, P. (Eds.) Love and living. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult. Core concepts of transformation theory. In Mezirow J. & Associates (Eds.), Learning as transformation: Critical perspectives on a theory in progress, (pp. 3–33). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Parks, S. (2011). Big questions, worthy dreams; Mentoring emerging adults in their search for meaning, purpose, and faith. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Perry, W. G. (1968). Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Bureau of Study Counsel.

Scott, C. (2014). Buberian dialogue as an intersubjective contemplative praxis. In Gunnlaugson, O., Sarath, E. W., Scott, C., & Bai, H. (Eds.) Contemplative learning and inquiry across disciplines (pp. 345-340). New York: NY: SUNY Press.

Schneider, P. (2013). How the light gets in: Writing as a spiritual practice. New York: NY: Oxford University Press.

Young, E. (2012). College beyond grades. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/07/17/new-book-looks-college-students-motivated-creativity-not-grades

Zajonc, A. (2009). Meditation as contemplative inquiry: when knowing becomes love. Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Books.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.