Week 4 – Anti-Teaching / Mindful Learning

When I first got the syllabus for this class, I remember reading over the readings for each week and mentally putting a star by this one. In my own life, mindfulness has been such a beneficial resource for my own mental health, physical health, and education. While the word itself may make you think of something like this TED talk, the truth I have learned is that “mindfulness” can be applied to every part of your life- including teaching and learning. As the¬†A New Culture of Learning¬†reading pointed out, we must be aware and utilize the various “motivations for learning across generations, platforms, purposes, and goals” (p. 31).¬†

I would make the argument that simply “going through the motions” is potentially dangerous to education. While it is true that repetition is important to mastering a skill (we have all grown up hearing “practice makes perfect!), if we are not being intentional about our actions and choices, are we really learning? We have all been out driving to work or class and then realized we just kind of “showed up” where we were headed- how dangerous is this to our driving! Processing information with intention is so important to safety and growth.

I liked how the “Mindful Learning” reading pointed out that teachers have the ability to take large quantities of information and turn it into bite-sized pieces. In my own experience, I can confirm that sometimes it is hard to get students to focus when there is so much information stuffed into one semester. Once you lose the attention of your students, what is the point of continuing to lecture to a dead room?

 

Here are some of my resulting questions this week:

  • How could mindful learning improve your classroom as a teacher?
  • How could mindful learning improve your classroom from the perspective of a student?
  • What does mindfulness look like to you?