Encounters with beauty can serve as an engaging and powerful agency for peace. Over the past few decades, the interest in the contemplative practices of world wisdom traditions has been expanding. Higher education has also incorporated these “inner sciences”, as they are often called. Contemplative practices foster a more compassionate understanding of the behavior and values of others, especially those who are unlike us. They are transformational practices and open ways to improve intercultural understanding. Transcending the limits of a traditional classroom, they offer a new dimension to contemporary learners.As students from different cultural backgrounds cross paths while studying in other countries, intercultural learning becomes an additional focus of their study abroad. An increasing interest from international as well as Canadian students in contemplative practices offers an opportunity to expand existing courses, to connect curriculum with real life, to go beyond the curriculum to offer all students a common shared experience. Getting students physically and emotionally involved in the learning process gives them better spatial and temporal awareness as well as awareness of each other. Sensory engagement offers students the therapeutic effects of cultural experience as well as better understanding of the subject.Research confirms that contemplative forms of inquiry can offset the constant distractions of our modern cultural environment. Thus, creative teaching and learning methods that integrate the ancient practice of contemplation innovatively meet the particular needs of today’s students and teachers by assuaging their fear of the future by focusing on the present.
Alexandre Avdulov, Saint Mary's University, Canada
Stream: Education / Pedagogy
This paper is part of the ACCS2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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