media release

New M.Ed. marries education with mindfulness

December 09, 2013
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Contact:
Heesoon Bai, 778.782.4129, heesoon_bai@sfu.ca (email best contact)
Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.782.3035, cthorbes@sfu.ca

Photos: http://at.sfu.ca/sjSAmA

In a society where people are stressed and education systems are fraught with frustration, SFU’s Faculty of Education is introducing North America’s first Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Contemplative Inquiry and Approaches in Education.

The application deadline is March 15, 2014.

Contemplative inquiry draws from a number of disciplines—the wisdom traditions, neuroscience, philosophy, business, organizational management, education, the arts, humanities and social sciences.

“Often known as ‘mindfulness,’ it is not a particular subject, but a mode of educating ourselves, of living and being,” says Heesoon Bai, a philosophy of education professor and co-designer of the new M.Ed.

“It’s the integration of mind, body and heart, and it focuses on relationality—to ourselves, to each other and to nature.”

This community-based graduate program, which runs from fall 2014 to summer 2016 at SFU’s Vancouver campus, is designed for working educators and leaders from a variety of different sectors.

“We’re looking for educators, curriculum designers, social and environmental activists, and education leaders from the K-12 and post-secondary sectors, as well as those in industry, the health sector, management and business,” says Bai.

She notes there is a growing hunger in educational institutions for contemplative perspectives and practices, and this M.Ed. is designed to inspire an awaking to the entire range of human potential.

It will introduce students to many of the concepts and practices associated with contemplative inquiry, such as mindful awareness, mind-body integration, clear thinking and discernment, ethical integrity, authenticity and compassion.

“We’ll be educating students to approach thinking, listening, speaking, writing and reading from a place of contemplative consciousness and full aliveness, and to apply that in their study and work,” says Bai.

The program’s objective is to help educators develop a contemplative education disposition that inclines them to live life with a sense of ease, balance, vitality, exuberance, resilience, curiosity, openness, warmth, kindness and appreciation.

When put into practice says Bai, this disposition fosters competency. It enables educators and leaders to establish collaborative learning communities that address the intellectual, physical, emotional, aesthetic and spiritual needs of both teachers/leaders and learners.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.

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Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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