Joanne Gozawa

Joanne Gozawa received her Ph.D. in Integral Studies with a concentration in Learning and Change in Human Systems from the California Institute of Integral Studies where she is now an associate professor for the Department of Transformative Inquiry. Prior to making teaching and academics her career, she was an organizational consultant focused on conflict and transformation.

Joanne has presented at these conferences: Transformative Learning, Association of Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, and Distance Teaching and Learning. Her most recent publication is: “Contemplative Pedagogy and Compassionate Presence” in Contemplative Learning and Inquiry Across Disciplines (in press).

Morning Seminar: Contemplative Consciousness and Diversity Learning Environments—Safe and Caring?

What enables a learning environment to be inclusive even as it is diverse? Safety is often mentioned. However, in this workshop, I distinguish a caring learning environment from a safe one. Safety may be of particular concern when the subject matter is directly about oppression and social justice. This workshop proposes that caring helps enable learning no matter the topic.

I suggest that measures for safety take an instrumental approach that results in our making implicit and explicit rules and procedures, all meant to institute respect and responsibility and the reasoning for objective judgment. A caring environment, in contrast, is evoked from a contemplative consciousness that supports inter-subjectivity amongst learners. Safety comes from our doing, while caring comes from our being.

Caring does not mean permissiveness. Rather its presence enables students and instructor to hold and transcend differences and most importantly, helps us endure the triggering that accompanies engagement with the unknown. The unknown can mean the otherness of persons as much as the otherness of ideas that trespass on our beliefs or that are alien to our primary way of thinking.

Thus, in this workshop, we will experience and explore the ontological and epistemological differences of doing and being and how their contradictory truths might be lived. In this regard the contemplative practice of no-practice is introduced. Informed by our exploration of doing, being and no-practice, we will review a blended course that intends these dimensions, and we will discuss the outcomes on students’ inter-subjective abilities.

In summary, participants will experience and discuss doing and being, reflect upon no-practice, and inquire for themselves about the value of a doing-being consciousness and its influence on learning environments. Participants will come away from this workshop, mindful about presence, that is, the affective climate that arises from their teaching and from the quality of interaction amongst students. The take-away and on-going inquiry question is, “does the presence in my classroom enable or discourage students in their ability to collectively learn and mutually engage?” In addition, participants will be able to consider no-practice to enhance inclusivity in their classrooms.


Afternoon Roundtable: Contemplative Consciousness and Diversity Roundtable: Learning Environments—Safe and Caring?

In this “roundtable,” we will experience and discuss the different consciousness that support making-safe and being-caring in the context of learning environments. I propose that support for diversity and inclusiveness requires that teachers and learners be allowed to exercise and enhance their inter-subjective abilities. The difference between doing and being are explored. Also the contemplative practice of no-practice is introduced. Participants will come away from this experiential and participative exploration, mindful about presence, that is, the affective climate that arises from their teaching and from the quality of interaction amongst students. The take-away and on-going inquiry question is, “does the presence in my classroom, whether in-person or online, enable or discourage students in their ability to collectively learn and mutually engage?” In addition, participants will be able to consider the paradox of the practice of no-practice to enhance mutuality in their classrooms.