A contemplative approach to the teaching and learning of observation skills
The April 2018 Community of Practice in Contemplative Pedagogy will engage in several contemplative practices to enhance observation skills – noticing, slowing, reflecting, distinguishing, recalling, describing - that can be translated into classrooms across disciplines with the aim of fostering engagement with lived experience and insight. Discussion will include the impacts enhanced skills might have on qualitative research, clinical health care practice, innovation in science and business, and other areas of participants’ interests.
Grossenbacher, P. G., & Rossi, A. J. (2014). A contemplative approach to teaching observation skills. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 1, 23-34. Available here
From the abstract:
Contemplative observation comprises a set of trainable skills, including noticing, slowing, and reflecting. Skillful ways to work with observation, including distinguishing (between observation and interpretation), recalling, and describing, can also be taught, learned, practiced, and applied. Several aspects of this contemplative observation pedagogy make it useful in higher education generally, and it is also well suited for content-specific use in or adaptation to courses across a variety of disciplines. The aim is to foster (instructor and) student engagement with discovering lived experience through the refinement and focusing of observation skills.
Contemplative methods unlock the innate yet often unexplored capacity for intuitive knowledge, expanded consciousness, unconditional compassion for self and others, appreciation for beauty, and creative fulfillment (Grace, 2011). Good judgment, creativity, compassionate action, social-emotional intelligence, and true insight depend on the ability for balanced reflection, on sustained attention to complex situations, and equanimity in the face of difficulty. In short, a genuine, integrative education calls for the cultivation of our contemplative capacities (Zajonc, 2016).
Please join us for some calm, quiet, contemplative practice, discussion, and insights!