UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mindful curriculum and pedagogy in the practice of a home economics educator Bauer Edstrom, Melissa


A common conception is that the singular focus of home economics educators and home economics education is the development of a technical perspective (technê) in students with the goal of producing a product through reasoned, instrumental action (poïesis). However, taking such a curricular and pedagogical focus reduces the opportunity for interaction with praxis and phronesis. By excluding thoughtful engagement with the topics in this subject area, teachers may unknowingly facilitate mindlessness in themselves and their students regarding everyday life actions, which has the potential to unintentionally propagate harmful ideas and actions. This research is positioned on the idea that attaining a mindful disposition can help educators develop curriculum and pedagogy that challenges students to think critically and, as a result, make thoughtful decisions about their actions in their everyday lives. The home economics curriculum engages with everyday life actions. While they are ‘small’, everyday life actions have the potential to be emancipatory. The purpose of this study is to investigate what non-meditative mindfulness looks like in the practice of a mindful home economics educator and to uncover connections between education, home economics, and mindfulness. Through the use of case study and action research methodology, the research investigates how a home economics teacher engages with and employs mindfulness in her curriculum and pedagogy. Data collected throughout the semester delivery of secondary school courses include a reflective personal journal on classroom activity; lessons and classroom documents; and feedback from students within the course. Four themes identified from the data that appeared to reduce mindless tendencies in my teaching practice were: i) having an intentionally evolving curriculum and pedagogy, ii) the inclusion of place-based learning opportunities, (iii) the inclusion of inquiry based learning opportunities, and iv) the importance of external validation. This research indicates that engaging with non-meditative mindfulness has an impact on both an educator’s thinking about his or her pedagogy and also on his or her practice. Employing non-meditative mindfulness may appeal to educators because it offers the opportunity for individuals to experience empowering, transformative ways of thinking without demanding that individuals commit significant amounts of time to modifying their practice.

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