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STEM Ed Institute Seminar: Contemplative and Creative Teaching Practices

19 Oct
Wednesday, 10/19/2022 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Virtual via Zoom
Speaker: Lena Fletcher


In this workshop, we will explore how contemplative and creative teaching practices can deepen students' connection with your teaching. It is common to teach about potentially emotionally charged content without acknowledging or allowing space for emotional experiences for students. I have been teaching about the environment and society using meditation, reflection, and other contemplative practices for 8 years in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst. I have been co-leading the Contemplative Pedagogy Group in the Center for Teaching and Learning for the past couple of years. In this workshop, I will share some of the work that we explore in that group. I will demonstrate some of my contemplative classroom practices and we will spend some time sharing and brainstorming some of the ways that these practices can be adapted for your classes. These pedagogical methods can allow space for your students to be more emotionally aware and present around their learning in your classes. 


Lena Fletcher is the Director of the Natural Resources Conservation program in the Department of Environmental Conservation. She is a Senior Lecturer and has been experimenting with contemplative and creative teaching practices in her courses since she started teaching as a lecturer at UMass Amherst in the fall of 2014. Around that same time the Center for Teaching started convening people interested in contemplative pedagogy. Passionate about contemplative practices in teaching, Lena became a regular member from the start and she began co-leading the Contemplative Pedagogy Group in 2020. See more information about that group here. Lena teaches relatively large (~80 person sections) introductory and general education classes about the environment, society, and sustainability using an intersection of active and team-based teaching practices. Lena has four teenage sons and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.


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