Hart, T. (2004). “Opening the Contemplative Mind in the Classroom.” Journal of Transformative Education, 2, 1, 28-46.
How we know is as important as what we know. However, contemporary pedagogy and curriculum generally exclude a fundamental way of knowing—the contemplative—from any viable role in education in favor of a rational and empirical approach. As a result, few mainstream teachers or curriculum planners have explicitly integrated the contemplative into the classroom. Yet, contemplative knowing has been described as fundamental to the quest for knowledge and wisdom and complementary to analytic processing. The present article offers educators a rationale for returning the contemplative to education by summarizing research on the impact of contemplation on learning and behavior. It then provides a range of specific approaches for teachers that can be easily integrated into existing curriculum from elementary to university levels. The result of such integration transforms learning and the learner while affecting the very practical concerns of mainstream education.