CPP Faculty Fellows Program

Program Intent

The Research Academy for University Learning (RAUL), a department within the division of Academic Affairs at Montclair State University (MSU), in collaboration with MSU faculty member Dr. David Lee Keiser, are helming a pilot program entitled the Contemplative Pedagogy and Practice (CPP) Faculty Fellows Program, modeled on the successful and popular faculty development program currently running at Montclair State, the Engaged Teaching Fellows Program. The introductory nature of the proposed program will establish an initial half-year program beginning in Spring 2013, whose central mission will be for a select group of Faculty Fellows, in direct consultation and collaboration with RAUL and expert practitioners of contemplative pedagogy and teaching excellence, to create and/or redesign courses that incorporate concepts of contemplative pedagogy, mindfulness, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. The CPP faculty development program is based on the concepts of integrating effective contemplative practice across the curriculum, and that informs course design, campus-wide investment in student wellbeing and academic success, and expanding research and practice in contemplative pedagogy.

Faculty Fellows and Mentors Selection Process

CPP Faculty Fellows will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to contemplative practice, meditative or mindful learning practices. We will also consider those who make a compelling case for their willingness and desire to implement such practices into their course design and syllabus. Interested faculty will submit their C.V., a teaching philosophy statement, and any previous courses taught, or experience with, contemplative pedagogy. They will receive a stipend of $500.00 as an incentive for participation and to defray associated material costs.

Faculty will be invited to apply for the Fellowship from all colleges and departments, with the expectation that the program will represent a diverse mix of faculty from multiple disciplines and colleges at the university.

Faculty will develop their courses through monthly program meetings, dinners, and special event dates scheduled during Spring 2013. Presentations for each meeting will include tentative course re-design proposals, syllabus creation, models of practice and exercises demonstrating application of program theory and practice, and peer feedback that offers continuing opportunities for revision and enhancement. Each meeting will also include research or models of practices that introduce concepts of contemplative pedagogy, writing and reflection, and social and cultural factors of teaching and learning. The program will provide access to resource materials, including Arthur Zajonc's book The Heart of Higher Education (Jossey-Bass, 2010) as an introduction to concepts of contemplative pedagogy, as a discussion platform for group meetings, and as a catalyst for development of their course(s).

Upon completion of the program, participants will share materials developed and presented; such sharing can take the form of revised or inaugural syllabi of courses currently taught or proposed, poster presentations, workshops, campus discussion groups, or papers suitable for publication, all of which will demonstrate concern with a holistic appreciation of their students’ learning experiences and well-being.

Program Readings and Materials

Expectations and Outcomes of the CPP Faculty Fellows Program

  1. Participating faculty will begin the program by submitting a copy of the syllabus of a course they have taught, are teaching, or will teach. At the end of the program, all CPP Faculty Fellows will submit a revised/inaugural syllabus and course design based on their work throughout the semester. The revised syllabi will be on record in RAUL for reference and use by other MSU faculty, to serve as models of course design and inspiration for their teaching colleagues to integrate contemplative practice into curricular planning and goals.
  2. On May 3, 2013, CPP Faculty Fellow participants will present their work to the campus community in our Annual University Teaching and Learning Showcase. Each presentation will include a blueprint for creating engaged and contemplative learning environments, be based on existing research and practice in contemplative pedagogy and/or experiment with design and implementation of proposed pedagogical models in contemplative practice, and will include an assessment plan to measure outcomes.
  3. All faculty fellows will compose a post-program written reflection that documents their experience in the program and any continuing questions, ideas, or commentary on elements of contemplative pedagogy and teaching and learning.
  4. Research on attention, well-being, understanding, and student learning: the goal of this program is to produce, or provide the opportunity to contribute to, scholarship on the effects of contemplative practice on student well-being and learning. As such, an integral element in this program will be faculty who contribute to a growing knowledgebase on contemplative pedagogy. They will produce research through various methods:
    • Empirical research, which will take the form of collecting quantitative data on specific pedagogical impacts on engagement, learning, attention, perception, and overall student well-being.
    • Action research, which is self-reflective, qualitative, and focused on making incremental changes in the classroom, documenting the effects of those changes, and providing evidence for a positive, goal-based impact on students.