Mindless, Mindlessness, Mindful, Mindfulness… Mind…. What?
I did not know how many words you can create with the word mind. This is the first time that I read all of these at once!!
Over the years, teaching has focused on what professors teach instead of how they teach1. This traditional approach promotes Mindlessness because different perspectives of learning are neglected in the classroom. As Ellen Langer states:
“we are stuck in a single drawn distinction from the past”
and the reality is that we are in constant change as the philosopher Heraclitus said in his famous quote!
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
Memorization and repetition are not the most suitable approaches to learn. I learn best by understanding and thinking instead of repeating (like a robot) something that I do not understand. Unfortunately, oftentimes, we do not apply what we learned in class. At present, everyone can access the internet and find what the professor is teaching. So, the question is,
How do you add value to the class?
As a professor, we have to motivate students to look at the information given from different perspectives or point of views1. Diversity is everywhere, especially in a classroom. We will have students from different disciplines, socio-economic status, countries, etc.. What a better scenario to promote Mindfulness.
Last week, we were asked how we learn. I took the answers and I created this word cloud to see if we are stuck in the past. Judge for yourself. What do you think?
Teaching by fostering Mindfulness should not be only an approach or idea that you can find on a paper. It should be applied on a regular basis in a class. Engaging students in the classroom is not an easy task but it will help them to see things from a different perspective. They will learn and enjoy the process.