Compassionate Critical Thinking: How Mindfulness, Creativity, Empathy, and Socratic Questioning Can Transform Teaching

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2016)
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Abstract

Teachers can’t add more minutes to a school day, but with mindfulness they can add depth to the moments they do have with students in their classroom. Compassionate Critical Thinking demonstrates how to use mindfulness with instructional effectiveness to increase student participation and decrease classroom stress, and it turns the act of teaching into a transformational practice. Many books teach mindfulness, but few provide a model for teaching critical thinking and integrating it across the curriculum. The purpose of this book is to show teachers how to create a classroom culture of compassionate critical thinking. When students feel a lack of meaning and purpose in their school lives, they resist learning. Using a Socratic style of inquiry, Rabois changes the classroom dynamic to encourage self-reflection, insight, and empathy. Vignettes capture dialogue between teacher and students to illustrate how mindfulness practices elicit essential questions which stimulate inquiry and direct discovery. What bigger mystery is there, what more interesting and relevant story, than the story of one’s own mind and heart and how they relate us to the world?

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