The Contemplative Education Conference: Spirit, Awareness and Magic in Education took place on March 27th 2018 at the Mofet Institute in Tel-Aviv.
Contemplative Education is a umbrella term for educational approaches which focus on one’s mind and spirit, and one’s deep connection to life, to other human beings and to the world. Contemplative education approaches hold a humanistic perspective of human nature and the goals of education, and emphasize the importance of promoting personal development and fulfilment of high human potential among students and educators. Moreover, these aspects are considered crucial for the educators’ professional development.
The term Contemplative Education (like the term Critical Pedagogy) mostly refers to educators’ overall perspective rather than to particular teaching methods. Indeed, contemplative education may include a variety of teaching and learning methods such as mindfulness, listening and ways of counsel circles, self-reflection, pondering life’s major questions, searching for meaning in life, experiences of wonder, awe and joy, meditation techniques, recognizing the good, mindful movement and yoga, creativity and creation, encounters with nature and more.
This conference was the first Israeli conference dedicated to contemplative education in Israel. It adjoined spirituality, sacredness and mindfulness with education, showcasing the incredible richness of human creativity in about 80 fascinating and creative presentations, lectures and workshops. These demonstrated a wide range of activities involving research, contemplation and above all educational practice – from kindergartens to schools to teacher training colleges and professional development programs, which incorporated aspects of self-awareness and reflection, the body and art, playfulness, mindfulness, spirit and meaning.