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Contemplative pedagogy

Contemplative pedagogy to promote reflection and well-being

In recognition of the transformation we are all undergoing, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is leading a contemplative pedagogy initiative in support of the teaching and learning community.


Contemplation, described by Hart (2004) as a ‘third way of knowing’ that is complementary to ‘rational and sensory knowing’ has emerged in an array of classroom practices from primary through higher education. Research links contemplative practices to cognitive and character development through activities that improve concentration, self-awareness and overall well-being. 

Contemplative practice in education is distinct from the spiritual roots of contemplation. These practices foster mindfulness and reflection to deconstruct positionality, belief and culture, and thereby allow for deeper learning and inclusive classroom environments.


Past activities

As we emerge from the isolation of remote work and teaching, it is important to focus on restoring and enhancing our well-being in order to re-energize our relationship with teaching and learning. Mindfulness, compassion and contemplative pedagogy offer entry points to starting new practices which support safe, welcoming and healthy learning environments.

The CTL contemplative pedagogy initiative included multiple components.


Mindful Self-Compassion training for Concordia faculty

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), as evidenced in the research of Dr. Kristen Neff and Dr. Christopher Germer, is proven to reduce stress, increase connection to others and strengthen emotional resilience. It also offers the possibility of fostering community and action-based compassionate understanding.

Faculty reading circle on Contemplative Practices

The faculty reading circle were gatherings to explore articles that deepen our understanding of contemplative teaching practices, foster discussion around its impact on instructors and students, and explore various methods of implementing contemplative practice in the classroom and across different disciplines.

Learn more about the past reading circles

These programs were funded by Quebec's ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, through contributions from the Canada-Québec Agreement on Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction.

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