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Recently, there has been a surge of interest in employing contemplative teaching and learning practices in college classrooms. The authors define contemplative pedagogy as a teaching and learning experience that involves the learner in a participatory epistemology characterized by a deeply immersed, insightful learning experience fostered through carefully selected reflective practices that complement the learning assignment. Contemplative practices may be integrated into one's daily life in many ways. These practices may include sitting in silence; mindful walking in nature and man-made environments; meditation; contemplative prayer; yoga; and a variety of artistic forms of expression. The authors view pedagogy as the approach that considers both the professor's own philosophical orientation, as well as the selection of appropriate teaching and learning strategies to set up an in- and out-of-class context for learning to occur. Contemplative practices are the tools that foster a reflective, insightful dimension to the pedagogic experience. In this chapter, they describe their experience employing a contemplative, arts-based pedagogy known as the "cajita" project, a contemplative activity, which they have employed in their classrooms to help students become reflective, socially conscious scholar-practitioners in student affairs.

Laura Rendón is a scholar of national stature, known for her research on students of color and first-generation college students, and on the factors that promote and impede student success.The motivation for the quest that Laura Rendón shares in this book was the realization that she, along with many educators, had lost sight of the deeper, relationship-centered essence of education, and lost touch with the fine balance between educating for academics and educating for life. Her purpose is to reconnect readers with the original impulse that led them to become educators; and to help them rediscover, with her, their passion for teaching and learning in the service of others and for the well being of our society. She offers a transformative vision of education that emphasizes the harmonic, complementary relationship between the sentir of intuition and the inner life and the pensar of intellectualism and the pursuit of scholarship; between teaching and learning; formal knowledge and wisdom; and between Western and non-Western ways of knowing. In the process she develops a pedagogy that encompasses wholeness, multiculturalism, and contemplative practice, that helps students transcend limiting views about themselves; fosters high expectations, and helps students to become social change agents.