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ROBERT PRYOR, ANTIOCH MATTIE CLARK, CIMBA ITALY JAMIE ROBINSON, CEA DENISE COPE, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER Mindfulness Training in Intercultural Education.

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Presentation on theme: "ROBERT PRYOR, ANTIOCH MATTIE CLARK, CIMBA ITALY JAMIE ROBINSON, CEA DENISE COPE, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER Mindfulness Training in Intercultural Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 ROBERT PRYOR, ANTIOCH MATTIE CLARK, CIMBA ITALY JAMIE ROBINSON, CEA DENISE COPE, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER Mindfulness Training in Intercultural Education

2 STOP. BREATHE. ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOU ARE FEELING. Mindful of Judgments How We Help Our Students Adjust by Jamie Robinson, CEA

3 How Do Students with Anxiety Communicate?  Impatient  Judgmental  Tearful  Rigid  Over-zealous approval seeking  Demands for attention which alienate others  Difficulty taking criticism  Inflexible  Irritable  Angry  Edgy  Catastrophic thinking

4 ACTING OUT ACTING IN Easily Frustrated Irritable Rigid Extremely sensitive Assume you are at fault Flat Affect Overly Passive Unable to focus Forgetful Assume they are at fault Excessively worried Flat Affect How Do Students with Depression Communicate?

5 What Are Judgments? Being judgmental can be defined as: Assigning value good or bad to a person, object or situation. Unconscious statement of preference:  This living room is ugly Comparing self/others to a “standard “  A canned tomato is not as good as a fresh tomato

6 Sarcasm + Entitled = Low Self Esteem? “ This student has been speaking and acting disrespectfully, to both students and onsite staff. She also has a strong attitude of entitlement, and was rude about aspects of her program.”  Sometimes the entitled and judgmental student is the most frightened and insecure.

7 The French are: Americans are: Creepy Smelly Hairy Rude Metro-sexual Sexually liberal Friendly Loud Fat Stupid Ambitious Rich Judgments in PARIS

8 Catastrophe Around Every Corner….. “Locals should adapt to my American way of being” “My housing sucks!” “ I don’t feel safe.” “I have not seen a normal size truck” since I got here.

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10 How Can We Help? THOUGHTS AREN’T FACTS IDENTIFY FACTS MINDFUL AWARENESS A BALANCED APPROACH

11 TURN JUDGMENTS INTO FACTS Judgment: “This meat is bad.” Statement of Fact: “This meat is rotten.” “This meat is over-cooked.” Judgment: “You are careless with your studies.” Fact: “You have been absent from class three times this week.

12 Mindfulness Training in International Education

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14 WHY in study abroad Novel experience  Natural tendency for heightened attention Sensory overload of (cultural) transition  Heightened awareness of values, strengths, weaknesses --- self-awareness  Embrace full richness  Process culture shock Intimate community  Peer influence

15 How Integrating mindfulness on campus Mindfulness Seminar  Integrating neuroscience Daily Mindful Breathing as full community Other opportunities  Yoga, Compassionate, Body scan, Mindful walking, Mindful eating Mindful Travel Suggestions*  Waiting, Color, Sounds, Smells, Gratitude Student Champions  Bloggers, projects: (photo competition, 1 second a day, testimonials) Regular Communication– s, Facebook posts Survey – current experience and post positive benefits Individual guidance via coaching and mentoring Sharing personal and cultural insights with group

16 Mindfulness Tools and Technology

17 “Mindfulness is one of the best tools CIMBA has taught me. Personally, I have noticed an increased ability to focus on school-related activities and more calmness in stressful situations. I feel more able to embrace the local culture.” John Villaire, University of Delaware – Spring 2014

18 Education Abroad Paradigms Mindfulness is a vehicle and non- intrusive intervention for making sense of the study abroad experience. It is a tool for making study abroad intentional, constructing meaning and integrating the experience into the identity of students.

19 Mindfulness Scientific Research Resources Richard Davidson Dan Siegel Jeffrey Schwartz Ellen Langer Kelly McGonigal Elisha Goldstein Daniel Kahneman Robert J. Thompson – Beyond Tolerance and Reason (2014)

20 The Impact of Mindfulness in Study Abroad Denise Cope Director, Office of International Education, University of Denver

21 From Spiritual to Secular From Island to Complexity Naropa UniversityUniversity of Denver

22 Key Questions  Do mindfulness practices & pedagogy positively impact the way a student experiences culture shock?  Can these tools lead to greater intercultural development?

23 What is Mindfulness?  Anything that strengthens awareness of our habitual thoughts.  For purposes of my study:  Mindful breathing practice: The training of attentional skills and the development of an equanimous, non-judgmental attitude toward one’s own experiences, toward sensations, thoughts and feelings, where arising experiences are acknowledged without elaboration or reaction. (Kabot-Zinn)

24 Culture Shock Stages

25 Study – Before Students go..  Small group of students who will be going abroad in Fall 2014 on year or semester- long programs.  Daily commitment: 10 minutes of mindfulness breathing, 5-7 days a week for 5 weeks the term before, plus exercises.  Weekly commitment: Group analysis.  Also, a control group.

26 Once Abroad….  Students will be in various locations all of the world (i.e. Science Po-Rennes, Koc University, Lille University, Waseda U, etc.)  Commitment to continue 10 minutes per day/ 5-7 days per week and reflective exercises. Do they notice their reactions?  Weekly group check-ins via online forum for 8 weeks.

27 Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle: Mindfulness in Action adapted from Lily Engle Concrete Experience Interaction with host culture & 10 min meditation Reflective Observation Noticing self in reaction to difference Abstract Conceptualization Weekly guided group discussion & analysis Active Experimentation Trying new ways of interacting Developing empathy for self & others

28 Hypotheses: Based on personal & prior experience with students  Will students be less reactive during both the highs and lows of culture shock?  A greater ability be uncomfortable without needing to fix, change or externalize it.  Will mindfulness allow students to reach the adjustment phase faster than the control group?  Not necessarily, but students are not as “gripped” by the stress of culture shock.

29 Phase II: Intercultural Development & Mindfulness  Do these practices positively affect their intercultural learning & development?  An increased ability to notice & transform judgments of “other”  An increased ability to hold multiple cultural perspectives

30 Questions re: Applicability


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