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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan. - March 2011 > Speaker to Discuss Contemplative Observation in Mindful Teacher Education

Speaker to Discuss Contemplative Observation in Mindful Teacher Education

“Contemplative Observation in Mindful Teacher Education” is the title of an upcoming talk in Chambers Building.

by Joe Savrock (February 2011)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Richard C. Brown, co-chair of the Contemplative Education Department at Naropa University in Boulder, Colo., will present “Contemplative Observation in Mindful Teacher Education” on Thursday, Feb. 10 in 221 Chambers Building on Penn State's University Park campus. The presentation will take place at 10:00 a.m.

Contemplative observation practice in the teacher education programs at Naropa University is a preservice and in-service method for bringing mindful awareness to emotions, thoughts, and sense perceptions. Noticing how these inner experiences affect teaching in both useful and harmful ways seems to be helping teachers function more creatively, authentically, and sustainably, Brown believes.

Brown founded Naropa’s Contemplative Education Department in 1990 and currently serves as the department’s co-chair. The department adapts wisdom, compassion, and skillful means drawn from Buddhist and holistic traditions to nonsectarian teacher education.

After teaching public elementary school, Brown taught seven years at a Buddhist-inspired K-12 school in Boulder. He has been involved in the formation of several contemplative schools, has helped develop rites of passage programs, and has published a Buddhist view of child and adolescent spiritual development. Brown has written on various areas of contemplative teacher education including mindfulness, emotional awareness, and observation. He has consulted on three continents with educational organizations about how to bring mindfulness and contemplative education to teachers and schools.

More recently, Brown worked with the government of Bhutan as it launched the reform of the country’s education system.

For more information on the presentation, contact Catherine Augustine at