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Rediscovering Education by Way of Mindfulness: A Critique of Current Practices and a Possible Solution

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In this thesis, I intend to articulate four main arguments: (1) that the current state of public K-12
education in America is dire and in critical need of reform, (2) this dire state is evidenced by
statistics reporting

In this thesis, I intend to articulate four main arguments: (1) that the current state of public K-12
education in America is dire and in critical need of reform, (2) this dire state is evidenced by
statistics reporting that both student test scores and mental health are declining, (3) these issues
are perpetuated by recent efforts to implement extreme amounts of digital technology into
classrooms, rigid standardization and assessment-based learning, and the lack of attention paid to
philosophy and religion in public K-12 curricula, and (4) that many of these issues could be
resolved through the implementation of a curriculum teaching “mindfulness”. “Mindfulness” has
many different interpretations, but for this thesis will refer to an umbrella of skills that can be
taught and honed through critically reading and discussing philosophical and religious texts, as
well as engaging in different types of meditative practices. Skills such as logical and deductive
reasoning, ethics, emotional regulation, debate, public speaking, goal-setting, organization, and
planning. Practices and exercises found in philosophy, but many students may not necessarily be
accustomed to (meditation, yoga, silent prayer, stoic contemplation), would be read about,
practiced, and/or discussed, likely before class discussions on the day’s text. Implementing such
a curriculum can occur at varying degrees of intensity, with increasing levels of effectiveness
with each increase in the intensity of implementation.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Perceptions of English Language Education by Taiwanese International Students

Description

While English language education has become increasingly prominent worldwide, countries have adopted various initiatives to increase English language development. One country making a push for English language development is Taiwan; however, current educational practices and values can prove to be

While English language education has become increasingly prominent worldwide, countries have adopted various initiatives to increase English language development. One country making a push for English language development is Taiwan; however, current educational practices and values can prove to be challenges in implementing new methods. For example, although Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) methods gained popularity starting in the 1990s, they have been slow to take hold in Taiwan. Additionally, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education is pushing for bilingualism by the year 2030, introducing curricular reforms and new strategies to increase the prominence of English on a social level. In order to analyze current educational methods and practices in Taiwan, as well as predict the efficacy of new strategies, this study focused on gathering the perspectives and experiences of the students themselves. International students were specifically targeted, as they have had exposure to multiple educational environments, as well as firsthand experience applying their English language knowledge in an immersive environment. To gather student perspective, an online survey was made available to Taiwanese international students currently studying in a U.S. university. Respondents were asked multiple-choice questions on curricular focus, as well as short answer questions regarding their educational experiences. Overall, the respondents showed an agreement in regards to the heavy emphasis of reading, writing, and grammar in Taiwan, which they correlated directly with high-stakes exams, particularly the university entrance exam. They also noted the lack of speaking and listening practice, as well as a strong desire to apply English in a communicative sense. These observations hold significant implications for various stakeholders, including teachers, principals, curriculum developers, exam designers, and university admissions.

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Date Created
2019-12