Mindful Social Studies: Frameworks for Social Emotional Learning and Critically Engaged Citizens situates the field of social studies education as uniquely poised to integrate anti-racist, equity, and asset-based pedagogies with contemplative, mindfulness-based strategies to promote the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need to be effective citizens. Students’ Social Emotional Learning (SEL) hinges upon their experience(s) engaging in authentic learning that strengthens cognitive skills, including critical thinking, self-awareness, reflection, compassion, empathy, and perspective taking. In this volume, the co-editors have curated reflective K-16 practitioner-style, research-focused, and theory-based chapters that explore social justice-orientated contemplative pedagogies, as well as mindfulness-related frameworks and strategies for teaching social studies and the social and behavioral sciences. In this book, chapter authors explore ways of cultivating specific mindfulness-related social studies dispositions and transformative rationales and approaches for critical mindfulness and SEL based on compelling arguments for meeting the needs of students, families, and educators in a dynamic and increasingly diverse society.
Natalie Keefer is associate professor of social studies education, graduate coordinator, and Co-Director of the Louisiana Center for Research and Education on Languages and Literacies at the University of Louisiana Lafayette.
Tori K. Flint is associate professor of literacy and early childhood education in the College of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
List of Figures and Tables
Part One: Critical Reflections: Centering Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness in the Classroom Context
Introduction: Gazing Inward and Outward by Connecting SEL, Mindfulness, and Critical Pedagogies in the Social Studies Classroom
Natalie Keefer and Tori K. Flint
Chapter One: “Still Can’t Say Namaste?!”: Making Asians and Asian Americans Visible in the School-Based Mindfulness Movement
Mohit Mehta and Joanna Batt
Chapter Two: Teaching Critical Affective Civic Literacy through Social Studies Inquiry
Chapter Three: Civic Mindfulness: Teaching About Racism with Courage and Compassion
Elizabeth Yeager Washington, Maria Cristina da Costa Leite, and Ana Puig
Chapter Four: From the Null to the Explicit: Building Antiracist Practices Into our Everyday Teaching of Social Studies
Brittany L. Jones and Melanie M. McCormick
Chapter Five: Giving Voice to the Struggle for Civil Rights: Utilizing Memorialism to Develop Students' Historical Empathy Skills
Nefertari Yancie and James D. Nunez
Chapter Six: Bringing in Our ‘Full Humanness’: Moving Toward Critical, Humanity-Focused, Assets-Based Pedagogy
Tori K. Flint and Natalie Keefer
Part Two: Contemplative Frameworks and Pedagogies
Chapter Seven: A Framework of Historical Empathy for Social and Emotional Learning:
A Perspective-Taking Praxis
Joseph I. Eisman and Timothy J. Patterson
Chapter Eight: Fostering Classroom Contemplation through Civic Reflection Discussions
Alexander Pope IV, Sarah M. Surak, and Matthew Bernor
Chapter Nine: Using Circles to Embed SEL and Mindfulness in the Social Studies Classroom
Michelle D. Cude and Dana L. Haraway
Chapter Ten: Gratitude Practice as Democratic Teacher Praxis: Building Agency and Belonging in Social Studies Classrooms
Elizabeth O. Crawford and Michael Fauteux
Chapter Eleven: Mindful Teaching in the Inclusive Social Studies Classroom: Helping Students with Dissimilar Learning Needs Engage with the Curriculum
Maria I. Bravo-Ruiz and Allison M. Bernard
Chapter Twelve: Civic Mindfulness in Social Studies: A Framework for Contemplative Citizenship
Kelsey Evans-Amalu, Eric Claravall, and Brian Furgione
Chapter Thirteen: “I am not a field hand:” Spirituality, Mindfulness, and Financial Literacy
Thomas A. Lucey and Kathleen Cooter
Chapter Fourteen: The Human Rights Portal to Teaching Mindfulness and Civic Engagement
Rosemary Ann Blanchard and Sandy Sohcot
Chapter Fifteen: Philosophy for Children as a Democratic Community of Inquiry
Shaofei Han and Heather N. Stone
About the Contributors
Natalie Keefer and Tori Flint have curated an important collection of work on social studies curriculum that is as relevant as today’s headlines. By addressing mindfulness, they also examine the critical purposes of the social studies in contemporary life – the education of an informed, thoughtful, reflective citizenry that approaches both contemporary and enduring issues with empathy, compassion, wisdom and understanding. Indeed, while the focus is clearly on the social studies, this is a book for anyone who seeks to understand how curriculum can and should change the nature of learning. It’s a must read for teachers, scholars, and thought leaders who seek to heal a divided nation and a fractured global community.
As state legislatures cast social studies curricula in the center of current culture wars, Mindful Social Studies puts forward a contemplative approach to the preparation of democratic, justice-oriented citizens. This volume recontextualizes mindfulness as a transformative tool in the pursuit of social justice and highlights person-first pedagogies that empower both teachers and students to embrace empathy, compassion, and courage; while encouraging us all to sit with the fear and vulnerability that accompany the discussion of controversial issues within and outside of the classroom. This book is for any educator seeking to provide a caring classroom community as a foundation for productive civic dialogue.