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Are you concerned about the wellbeing of college students?
Do the pressures of professional life negatively affect the way in which you show up in the classroom? Do you seek ways to create a caring and heart-filled classroom environment that speaks to the whole student? Are you looking to connect with other teachers to create such a classroom environment?
Our project aims at enriching higher education by growing a character of love in teachers in higher education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). We do this through a workshop series and community building, in which we assist teachers to be aware of the beliefs that shape their character and behavior, and develop habits that bring a character of love to the classroom. In the workshop series we employ experiential and meditative techniques to help teachers develop an awareness of their beliefs–especially those that cultivate a character of love—and that assists teachers to reframe their beliefs, and their expression in teaching style, in a positive way. We hold regular follow-up sessions with participating teachers and develop best practices to Teach with Heart.
By building up experience working with teachers we will address the following research questions:
- What does a character of love (heart) in the STEM-classroom in higher education mean, and in what ways might it be expressed to be beneficial for students and teachers?
- How can we grow a character of love in STEM teachers in higher education, and how is this shaped by their beliefs and practice?
- How can a character of love be nurtured in STEM higher education teachers?
Meet the Team
The project assists teacher to develop a richer and more satisfying teaching experience, but more importantly, the project indirectly exposes students to a nurturing classroom experience, which provides them with positive role models in formative years of their professional growth.
We are building a community of teachers sensitive to the impact of love on student learning and development. We conduct a systematic literature review and interviews with experts on the role of love in learning and teaching and construct a theoretical framework relevant to STEM higher education. We offer a workshop series that employs experiential and meditative techniques to help participants develop an awareness of their beliefs—especially those that cultivate a character of love—and that assists them to reframe their beliefs in a positive way. We hold regular follow-up sessions with participating teachers and develop best practices to Teach with Heart. We assess the impact of the training and disseminate findings in the education community and to the general public. The project indirectly exposes students to a nurturing classroom experience, which provides them with positive role models in formative years of their professional growth.
Meet The Team
We are committed to Heart-Centered teaching
W.M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Professional Development Education at the Colorado School of Mines
Teaching Professor in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the Colorado School of Mines
Associate Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech
World-renowned speaker, author, and transformational coach, focusing on emotional integration
“Knowing that Teaching with Heart is effective and can enhance the classroom experience is important to me since I am generally very focused on the lesson plan. Combining heart-centered discussions with the curriculum will be an added focus to my class this fall. Much gratitude to Roel, Cynthia and Qin!”
Caroline Fuller, Colorado School of Mines
“Through the workshop series I had more ideas for how to adjust and reorganize and rethink my classroom than I had in the past two years, and the focus on mental, spiritual, and academic health was truly inspiring and unique. Too often, professors do their job in isolation and this can lead to stagnation on the part of the educator and the students; these workshops helped me rethink and reform my approaches to teaching by creating healthy relationships to work, to each other, and to our students.”
“I was amazed at how the workshop facilitators encouraged discussion. There was some content that was planned for every session but the instructors emphasized the importance of pausing and checking with the class. It really encouraged participation. I am going to plan my lectures this fall such that I don’t cram a ton of material and be mindful to pause and engage students in discussions. The facilitators also modeled what a good teacher would do, ‘acknowledge everyone is here to learn’”.
“It’s starting to wrinkle with age, but the poster I made of your Teaching with Heart statement still hangs by my office door. I’ve long thought it brilliant. It’s been up there for years. Thank you for writing it.”
Kurt Freihauf, Kutztown University
“Teaching with Heart in an age where student mental health is at the top of our priority list is something all faculty should experience. Roel and Cynthia are skilled professionals who create a safe and inclusive learning environment where all can thrive. Great take-aways that can be applied in all learning environments.”
Lia Franklin, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Student Life, Colorado School of Mines