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A Tale of Two Modules - Contemplating Professional Development

Author Mark Campbell, Sue Mulhall
Abstract This paper explores how a contemplative approach was used to teach and assess professional development modules on postgraduate, business programmes at two third-level institutions in Dublin, Ireland. It describes how students learned meditative practices during class which were applied in independent, reflective, assessment tasks and examines how these activities were combined to achieve learning outcomes related to future professional development and associated career plans. The paper briefly compares and contrasts the literature on contemplative practices with the daily experiences of teaching and assessing utilising meditative tools. Through the lens of contemplative pedagogy it explores the effect these tools can have on different student cohorts, learning objectives, module content, assessment activities and outcomes. It examines how contemplative techniques increase capacity for self-awareness, while also improving cognitive and critical thinking skills. Additionally, it describes how a contemplative learning methodology fosters connection between students and educators through resource sharing and the development of interpersonal skills. The paper contributes to the discussion on how the integration of mindfulness practices with traditional pedagogical approaches provides students with tools to improve their capacities for introspection, reflection and action. Feedback indicates that students appreciate learning from a holistic approach that incorporates theoretical concepts and practical interventions, as well as the insights they offer for future professional development.
Keywords Contemplation, Pedagogy, Reflection, Teaching, Assessment, Independent Learning
Published In ICEP Proceedings 2014
Date 2014
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