Adding lemon juice to poison – raising critical questions about the oxymoronic nature of mindfulness in education and its future direction

Presented by Dr Ed Sellman as part of the Counselling, Psychotherapy and Trauma Studies seminar series.

There has been an exponential surge in interest in mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) and their implementation in educational institutions, accompanied by a growing multi-disciplinary evidence base. Whilst reported benefits in concentration and well-being are welcome, there is also concern that mindfulness is being conceptually diluted in order to help people cope with oppressive societal structures and contemporary lifestyles rather than awaken themselves to the influence they have on their lives, lest they challenge or remodel them.

This presentation problematises the oft taken-for granted functionality of schooling and any role mindfulness can play within it. It will argue that it is necessary to rigorously examine definitions of mindfulness applied to educational settings and embrace a more contemplative or expansive pedagogy in order that mindfulness is positioned as a tool for personal and social transformation rather than cultural reproduction.

There is a radical difference between mindfulness in education and mindfulness as education. Mindfulness in education being subservient to coping with existing educational structures and performative agendas. This contrasts with mindfulness as education, which offers a vision of a new or re-energised paradigm of education, centred on first-person experience, deep self-knowledge, ethics and agency.

This event will take place 6-9.30pm on Wednesday 15 May in BLT1 Lecture Theatre, Exchange Building, Jubilee Campus. Refreshments will be available.

For more information, and to book your place, please visit the event page.

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