Awakening the Heart, cultivating the Mind : Care, Education, Ecology
November 22-26, 2021
Montpellier, Site Saint Charles, University Paul-Valéry
Registrations will open on 15 September 2021
22-23 November 2021 (presentations of students works and researchers)
24-26 November 2021 (teachers, researchers, trainers)
See the full program:
This international symposium invites educators, researchers, teachers, caregivers and students to share their experience and insight through an open dialogue about caring, education and ecology.
We are aware that in our rapidly changing times we need new forms of learning in order to set up life-sustaining local and global initiatives.
A learner-centred education based on an ecological ethic of care has the capacity to introduce new mindscapes, which clearly perceive the role of each fellow being on animate earth.
In fact, there are many kinds of intelligence related to multiple ways of being earth. Plants, minerals, animals participate to a vast interdependent world : during the conference, we will have the opportunity to explore together new forms of experiential education founded on an ecological Self, overcoming the separateness between humans and nature, mind and body.
Beyond a worldview based on discontinuity, Deep Ecology claims the need to build a larger Self, transcending the narrow perspective of the Ego ; an ecological Self encompassing the whole ecosystem, in order to understand our place in the web of life.
Theory and practice of caring can nourish a new Transformative Education: this specific perspective goes beyond the education field, opening to economic and social issues as development, social justice, gender and cultural discrimination.
Moreover, at the foundations of Transformative education we can identify a core set of values inspired by a multifold wisdom-related knowledge : an « open wisdom project » grounded on a global ethics embracing cultural and religious differences. We can define a common ground nurturing different forms of learning centred on a philosophy of being and becoming in the frame of a transcultural society.
During the conference, different workshops will enable the participants to exchange their experiences of key issues in education and ecological humanities, such as:
Self-care and Well-being
Taking care of ourselves in order to take care of others : in professions focused on interaction, the relation is fundamental. Education can promote the well-being of learners, teachers, scholars and caregivers : following Antonio Damasio, in the absence of Self there is no relation, in the absence of relation there is no Self ; hence, emotions, body and mind are inseparable, particularly in professions centred on interaction. To build self-sustainability is an important goal in order to avoid burnout and transform difficult emotions : learners, teachers, caregivers are able to acquire the capacity to explore self-knowledge and to develop competencies for cultivating the mind.
Education of body and mind
Enactivism in education addresses the mind-body relationships ; since every learning process is embodied and situated, taking place in a specific ecosystem, the learner is embedded in an ongoing process of perceiving the world, acting in the world, transforming and being transformed by the world. Nowadays, new education practices will consider the role of digital education, without neglecting the importance of the body within the learning journey.
Service learning, a project-based education related to local communities, strengthens the self-confidence of students and produces stronger relationships among the group of learners. It is an empowering mode of learning that provides tools for widening circles of caring ; more specifically, the student is led to broaden his vision, acting within the group, and creating initiatives on an ever wider scale : the town, the society, the planet…
Cultivating the mind
Education can give the opportunity to develop the quality of presence, by training the mind at different levels of attention : the learner gradually acquires the ability to alternate from deep perception of his interiority to a wider systems perspective : group, society, earth.
To realize the quality of presence one needs the capacity of listening to the other, as well as the ability to use speech for building pacific relations with others, in order to cultivate joy and recognize many kinds of emotions. In fact, non-violent communication plays an important role in transforming our behaviour in many forms of violence (concerning thoughts, words and actions) : violence against ourselves, others, animals, plants, the whole earth and all sentient beings.
Education to a more-than-human-world
Human language is only one of the multiple possibilities of communication on earth. Education can bring awareness of a variety of languages inherent to each specie in order to go beyond the boundaries of human world and explore the « more-than-human-world » (D. Abram), which is nearly imperceptible most of the time.
An education of Heart and Mind
Education for our challenging times requires a dialogue between the cognitive and emotional levels : many scholars observe that emotions subtly shape the learning process all along, fostering the capacity of addressing and internalizing knowledge.
The workshops planned during the conference will discuss the fundamental role of creativity within the learning process by exploring various fields as literature, narrative, films, visual arts, music, theatre, sport, games, gardening, crafts…
Co-creativity brings about new ways of seeing the world in order to find innovative solutions and behaviours for a life-sustaining society founded on the interweaving of all sentient beings.
Organizing Committee of the Conference :
Juan Adroher, Teacher and PhD student, Paul-Valéry University of Montpellier, ReSO
Clément Barniaudy, Associate Professor, University of Montpellier, LIRDEF
Angela Biancofiore, Full Professor, Paul-Valéry University of Montpellier, ReSO
Orane Bischoff, Engineer and PhD student, University of Montpellier, LIRDEF
Cloé Brami, Doctor, Teacher and PhD student, University of Paris, CRI, LAPéA
Luigina Mortari, Full Professor, University of Verona (Italy), CRED
François Taddei, Chief Exploration Officer CRI, DR INSERM, University of Paris
Franck Zenasni, Full Professor, University of Paris, CRI – LAPéA
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