Mindful teaching: Laying the Dharma foundations for Buddhist education in Australia

Zane Ma Rhea

Abstract


This paper reports on research conducted in the first mainstream school in Australia being guided by Buddhist philosophy. It focuses on a group of teachers, examining the impact of Buddhism on their teaching, exploring the challenge for them of bringing together their professional knowledge with Buddhist worldview. The major conclusion is that the school philosophy demands ‘mindful teaching’ through a confluence of elements that have direct impact on teachers: its pioneering school status and its conflict management practices that focus on self-responsibility and compassionate communication for creating a peaceful, mindful school culture of belonging; and, that these foundational elements required the teachers to be adaptive and willing to develop their understanding of Buddhism, and allow its influence into their professional practice, for example, their pedagogical approach and the development of curriculum materials.


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