UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The noble path of socially-engaged pedagogy: connecting teaching and learning with personal and societal well-being McLeod, Clay


This thesis is an articulation of how the principles of socially-engaged Buddhism, a spiritual practice rooted in the teachings of the historical Buddha that integrates Buddhist practice and social activism, can enrich and enhance contemporary educational practice. It discusses Buddhist epistemology, metaphysics, ontology, psychology, ethics, and practice and relates these things to holistic education, critical pedagogy, SEL, and global education. On the basis of the theoretical understanding represented by that discussion, it articulates several theoretical principles that can be practically applied to the practice of teaching and learning to make it resonate with the theory and approach of sociallyengaged Buddhism. In integrating the implications of Buddhist teachings and practices with teaching and learning practice, it draws from bell hooks’ notion of “engaged pedagogy” in order to articulate a transformational, liberatory, and progressive approach to teaching called “socially-engaged pedagogy.” Socially-engaged pedagogy represents the notion that teaching and learning can be a practical site for progressive social action designed to address the real problem of suffering, both in the present and in the future, as it manifests in the world, exemplified by stress, illness, violence, war, discrimination, oppression, exploitation, poverty, marginalization, and ecological degradation.

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