Graduation Year

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Gurleen Grewal

Keywords

contemplation, English, freewriting, mindfulness practices, pedagogy, secondary education

Abstract

The purpose of my research is to provide high school English instructors and students a contemplative writing pedagogy that has the capacity to assist them in calming their bodies and quieting their minds so that they can focus their attention, openly explore self and others, rediscover their creativity, and reawaken their appreciation for the art of writing. Such a pedagogy is supported by mindfulness practices, which are exercises in moment-to-moment awareness that help to detach the practitioner from his or her thoughts. Mindfulness practices include breathing, walking, yoga, body scans, and visualizing; they provide quiet spaces wherein mind, body, and soul are allowed to concentrate on and connect with a particular being, idea, or experience. Such quiet spaces engage the whole learner, thus making possible holistic learning and being. If students are given the space to write in a classroom of contemplative practices, they will possibly have an increased chance at passing state assessments, while also developing a skill that will assist them in their own self inquiry and transformation.

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