Meditation, critical thinking and critical inquiry in higher education: A case study.

Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education
Jean Plough
Melissa McCartney
Presentation Date: 
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Event or Conference: 
8th Annual Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education Conference
Presentation Type: 
Poster Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Attachment(s): 
Presentation Location: 
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003
United States
Associated Awards: 
Honorarium Award
Abstract: 
The current research will involve a case study of 1 online group bounded in time, limited to 8 weeks. The participants will be self-selected university students who are willing to meditate for 10 minutes a day, 4 days a week, and then go online and complete a critical thinking activity for a maximum of 20 minutes. All participants will be between the ages of 18 and 50. The meditation that will be used is Guided Mindfulness Meditation. Participants will be solicited on online through emails inviting them to go to a researcher made website specifically for the study. The informed consent should be completed online. The recruitment announcement will include a link to the survey URL hosted via SurveyMonkey Pro. The informed consent process will be integrated into the online survey, with the informed consent document appearing as the first page of the survey. Participants must read the study description and indicate their agreement to participate by clicking the radio button indicating "yes" to the informed consent verbiage in order to access the questionnaire. The objective of the current qualitative case study is to examine participants’ perceptions on meditation related to critical thinking and critical inquiry. The location of the study will be virtual. At the beginning and end of the study 10 to 20 university students will participate in open-ended phone interviews related to critical thinking and critical inquiry. The interviews will be recorded and transcribed. Themes related to meditation and critical thinking will be extracted from the data: interview transcripts, weekly journals, and online surveys. The intent of the study is to understand perceptions of university students on the relationship between meditation and critical thinking. Results of the study may provide direction for further quantitative studies on mindfulness and critical thinking, as well as possible guidelines and recommendations for educators.