The Mindfulness for Educators Certificate Program trains educators in the core practices of mindfulness and compassion, as formal practices and as lived and embodied responses to life in the classroom and in the world. Antioch University New England has the only graduate program with a focus on mindfulness that is just for teachers.
- All courses fully online
- Nine graduate credits
- Year-long program completed in fall-summer of any academic year
- One course per term
Relevant and engaging coursework takes into account the lives of working educators. The cohort approach helps participants remain committed to daily meditation and informal mindfulness practices. The program combines online pedagogy with interactive teaching methodology. It includes small class sizes, individual attention from faculty, and real-time connection via telephone, on-line conferencing, and webinars.
The program strengthens an educator’s innate wisdom through the study and daily application of ancient and current applied philosophical perspectives, and universal and human development models. It has a three-pronged approach:
- formal meditation practice
- study of the field of mindfulness
- application of ideas and approaches to classroom and other educational contexts
The program is rooted in the philosophy of reflective practice and inquiry. Each course is designed to lead teachers deeper into their own classroom experience and help them see the work of teaching and learning with fresh eyes.
Spring | Using Buddhist Frameworks to Reflect on Teaching and Learning
Participants strengthen their mindfulness meditation and practices in their work and their lives. They study core Buddhist concepts and frameworks that support a mindful perspective on their work as educators. They develop skill in mindful inquiry using educational reflective practices and Buddhist frameworks.
Participants begin to study and explore the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (body, feelings, mind, and mind objects) and the Four Noble Truths for the establishment of mindfulness in daily life and educational contexts. These will serve as the principle Frameworks through which participants can begin to see more clearly into the nature of their own minds, their students’ minds, and the nature of their working lives as educators within schools or universities. This study and exploration of the core Frameworks will continue in each of the following two courses. Participants will study their own current educational context as the ground for mindfulness and reflection on both the thorny and inspiring aspects of their work as educators. The interface of mindfulness and reflection is seamless with one complementing the other so that there is a sense of nothing extra added, only a deepening of seeing and understanding.
Summer | Human Development and the Inner Landscape of Teachers and Learners
Participants continue to strengthen and expand their meditation practices, and explore the core frameworks in greater depth. Educators gain new insight into the moment-to-moment reality of their professional lives through a renewed understanding of human psychology and development. The practices of kindness, compassion, and equanimity, and their applications to difficulties and stress are explored. Participants inquire into what it means to establish balance of heart and mind in the midst of what arises in the classroom and in the educational contexts in which they work.
Fall | Awareness of Body, Mind, Heart and Brain: Pathways to Change in Education
Participants deepen, strengthen, and expand their skills in the formal meditation practice, and understanding of the basic frameworks. They examine recent studies in neuroscience and their applications to teaching and learning in diverse educational contexts. The course highlights the scientific nature of mindfulness practice; there will also be a strong emphasis on application and reflection within specific educational contexts.
Participants shape and define their pathways in order to lead toward greater freedom and joy in their educational contexts and at the heart of teaching and learning.
Claire Stanley, PhD, is on the faculty of Antioch University New England and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. She is also a founder and the Guiding Teacher of Vermont Insight Meditation Center in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Her work as an educator for the last thirty years has focused on teacher development, interpersonal, and intercultural communication in professional relationships, and the role of mindful awareness in the quality and effectiveness of our work in the world.
She is passionate about the far-reaching possibilities of transforming the systems of any professional context into learning communities where human beings are awake, compassionate, and responsive to their inner life and to the lives of the people they work with.
Jack Millett, MAT, is a founder and teacher at the Center for Mindful Inquiry and Vermont Insight Meditation Center. He was an Associate Professor in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the SIT Graduate Institute for twenty-five years.
Since 1990 Jack has been exploring ways to integrate meditation and teaching practices to bring mindfulness to his work in the classroom. When designing lessons and teaching classes, he is most interested in being in the moment, seeing what is, accepting what is, and responding to serve.
From his extensive teaching, teacher supervision, and educational administration experience, he has developed the ability to create safe and engaging environments that allow participants in his courses and workshops to touch an appreciation of themselves and others as they engage and learn the content of the course.
Susan Dreyer-Leon, EdD, is director of the Experienced Educators’ Program at Antioch University New England, a former alternative public high school teacher/leader in New York City and Vermont, a School Reform Initiative National Facilitator, and an experienced Coalition of Essential Schools teacher and leader. Her special interests include the development and support of equitable, democratic and joyful schools, mindfulness and education, facilitative leadership, and sustainable and place-based educational practices. Susan has been a meditation practitioner and student in the Insight Meditation tradition since 1999 and has been intimately involved with the development and implementation of the Mindfulness for Educators Certificate program since its inception in 2011. Her special interest is hosting opportunities for educators to integrate practices and ideas from the emerging field of mindfulness and education.
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