Contemplative pedagogy in higher education: building confidence and community

9th -12th September 2019

Emerson College, East Sussex, UK

A four-day symposium for educators

Teaching and supporting students in higher education within the current environment of political and financial uncertainty, is difficult. Increasing workloads and expectations, and growing anxiety and poor mental health amongst staff and students, reflect the challenging nature of both working and studying in modern day universities. Contemplative pedagogy, with its active embrace of the subjectivities of learners and educators, combined with its call for slowing down, feeling and connecting goes against the prevailing trends in higher education today. Growing research points to the value of contemplative approaches in teaching and learning, to deepen understanding, build community and improve the wellbeing of students and those teaching and supporting them.

The theme of this contemplative pedagogy symposium is building confidence and community and it is relevant for anyone with an interest in contemplative ways of teaching and learning, no matter their level of experience or formal role. The event will include workshops run by participants who will demonstrate how they use contemplative practices in teaching, learning and the support students. There will be time to engage in contemplative practices together and actively build our community. Through the use of Open Space Technology, there will be deep exploration of your own questions and the gentle fostering of confidence and community.

At this point we envisage three key areas for exploration:

  • How do we slow and deepen learning both for ourselves and our students?
  • How do we build community both within our institutions and outside, so that difficult social challenges such as social justice and inequality can be explored meaningfully and tackled effectively?
  • How can contemplative pedagogy contribute to culture change so that we might create a more just and sustainable future in and through higher education?

We invite you to come with an inquisitive mind and a willingness to actively participate and explore your own experience. The event will create space for reflection and meaning making, allowing you to develop greater confidence in your role as an educator and the potential for change that this embodies. This will, again, be a truly unique event on your conference timetable.


Early Bird Employer funded: £510 (available until 31.05.19)

Early Bird Self Funded: £410 (available until 31.05.19)

Employer funded: £590

Self-funded: £490

Self-funded PhD Student rate; £210 (only 2 places available , NOT bookable on line, see details below)

The symposium fees include tuition, all meals (from Monday lunchtime until Thursday lunchtime) and accommodation in single rooms with shared bathroom facilities onsite at Emerson College.

There are only two places available at the self-funded PhD student rate of £210 and as such they are not bookable through the website. Please email Caroline Barratt for more details.

Book your place here.


 Monday 9th September
From 11.00 Arrival
12.45 Lunch
14.00Symposium Starts
 Thursday 12th September
12.30Symposium Closes
  Full Programme details will be provided closer to the event


Details about Emerson College and how to get there can be found here

Feedback from last year’s participants

If you are not quite sure if it’s for you may wish to read Caroline’s thoughts about the 2018 event. We are also compiling some thoughts from last year’s participants that will be available on the blog soon.  Alternatively if you have a specific question get in touch with Caroline who will do her best to answer.

Running a workshop

A full programme will be made available nearer the time. It will be built according to the interests and skills of those who book. Once you have booked your place, if you have something you would like to share in one of the four event workshops please email Andrew a 400 word description of what you would like to do. Workshops need to be participatory and focus on your experience of using contemplative pedagogy in teaching and learning. If you would like to lead a contemplative practice session for the whole group on the first evening we are also looking for volunteers for this. Your idea should be submitted to Andrew in the same way. We will select those that we think fit best and ensure the event provides a diversity of perspectives and mix of experience. If your idea does not get selected you would still have the opportunity to offer it during the Open Space part of the programme if it felt appropriate to do so.

Availability and booking

Apologies for the unavoidable delay on making this available to you all. Places are currently limited at 25. This may increase up to 30 if accommodation becomes available at the venue so we will be running a waiting list. If you know you want to be there, please book and pay through the Queen Margaret University website as soon as possible. We are not able to take provisional bookings via email as we don’t have the capacity to manage this.

Booking a place at PhD rate

We are able to offer two subsidised places for PhD students. If you would like to book one of these places please email Caroline and provide proof of your PhD student status. These will be allocated on a first come first served basis. These subsidised places are only available for those who did not attend in 2018.


Refunds will be offered at the discretion of the organising team. Where possible, in the event of unforeseen circumstances which prevent attendance, we will try to offer refunds however this may not always be possible particularly if the cancellation occurs very close to the event. Whilst we do not aim to make a profit, we do want to make this event sustainable which requires a significant deposit and a financial buffer each year as we cannot risk operating at a loss. After the event this year we will provide a full financial statement on the Contemplative Pedagogy Network site.

Past events

Contemplative Pedagogy Symposium

This four-day event at Emerson College will bring together educators working in higher or further education, with an interest in contemplative pedagogy to explore question such as:

* What is contemplative pedagogy?

* How can contemplative practice be integrated in higher and further education both by educators and students?

* How is contemplative pedagogy related to radical and critical pedagogies?

* What role can contemplative pedagogy play in promoting not just wellbeing but social change and social justice?

* What questions does contemplative pedagogy raise about the meaning of the educational endeavour, particularly within universities?

Emerson College, East Sussex, Forest Row, RH18 5JX

2pm 27 August 2018 – 2pm 30 August 2018

Fees and Payment including tuition, all meals and single room accommodation

After January 31st 2018

Employer funded: £580

Self-funded: £480

Click here for full details and to book your place



Contemplative Pedagogy: a counterforce in higher education?

Monday 10th & Tuesday 11th April 2017 at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

You are warmly invited to participate in an Open Space Technology (OST) event around the theme of: Contemplative Pedagogy: a counterforce in higher education?

Who should attend? Anyone interested in contemplative pedagogy in higher education.

What is the format? This is a real time, real place, live, face-to-face event. We’ll use ‘Open Space Technology’ (=’open space’ as technology)  to connect, relate to each other and explore this broad topic.

There is no agenda.

There is no preparation required.

There are no key note speakers or invited papers.

Just come and join in and be prepared to relate, engage, contribute and learn.

Both days – Waged : £125 or Student/unwaged: £65

One day – Waged : £75 Student/unwaged: £40

Refreshments and lunch included

You can register here to attend

Please register no later than 31 March 2017


Doing less, learning more: the potential of contemplative pedagogy in health professional education

Seminar faciliated by Caroline Barratt

Wednesday 25th May 2016 3 -4.30pm

Room 2S2.5.20 University of Essex, Colchester Campus

Email: for details

Growing Contemplative Practices in Higher Education?

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, EH21 6UU, Scotland

Friday 22nd April 2016, 9am-4.30pm

The event will use Open Space Technology to explore if and how contemplative practices, mindfulness and meditation should and could be grown within the Higher Education context.

There is no agenda. There is no preparation required. There are no key note speakers or invited papers. Just come and join in and be prepared to relate, engage, contribute and learn.

Financial exchange: £50 (employed) or £25 (unemployed/student)                                       Places: 60


8 thoughts on “Events

  1. Pingback: Introducing other workshop leaders | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

  2. Pingback: Two more inspiring contemplative pedagogy workshop leaders… | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

  3. Pingback: Contemplative pedagogy weekend speaker on mindfulness and normative public conduct | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

  4. Pingback: Creating the time and space to learn together | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

  5. Pingback: Why I am attending the Contemplative Pedagogy Symposium… | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

  6. Pingback: Reflecting on the Contemplative Pedagogy Symposium | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

  7. Pingback: Crisis, critique and contemplation | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

  8. Pingback: Thoughts from last year’s Contemplative Pedagogy Symposium participants | Contemplative Pedagogy Network

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