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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring presencing as a contemplative framework for inquiry in higher education classrooms Gunnlaughson, Carl Olen


This dissertation builds upon Scharmer’s account of presencing within the newly emerging fields of contemplative education and complexity education as a basis for developing a pedagogical framework that supports intersubjective inquiry within classroom settings in higher education. The four chapters explore both general and specific ways in which presencing can be adapted within higher education classrooms. Each speaks to those instructors across different disciplines that are exploring ways of communicating and learning shaped by consciousnessbased approaches of inquiry for the purposes of bringing forth new knowledge and insights in classroom settings. By re-interpreting and expanding upon Scharmer’s account of presencing as a second-person contemplative pedagogy, this research broadly draws upon an assortment of intersubjective, complexivist and ontological theories as a basis for developing specific contemplative approaches to curriculum and instructional methods in the higher education classroom. As a whole, this dissertation project inquires further into related theoretical questions, issues and possibilities within the emerging fields of contemplative education with the objective of introducing useful distinctions, perspectives and interpretations that will assist scholar-practitioners in thinking through and addressing the complex demands of working with contemplative approaches to classroom inquiry in higher education settings.

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