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Out of stock. Get In-Stock Alert. Delivery not available. Wonder comes naturally to young children who are discovering the world for the first time.

Indeed, one of the pleasures of being around young children is the chance to re-experience the wonder of simple things: a flame appearing when a match is struck; the sunset, water coming from a faucet, or a butterfly. In her famous essay, environmentalist Rachel Carson writes that "To keep a sense of wonder alive, every child needs at least one adult with whom he can share it.

Otherwise, sophistication and coolness can set in, sometimes as early as age 6 or 7, and deplete a child of this innate, life-enhancing capacity. Otto explains that experiences of wonder are not taught but caught; they can be awakened and affirmed". Books that address themes that are beyond human understanding reinforce the value of wonder and awe.

These include those that affirm the importance of gratitude and giving thanks and underscore the importance of wonder and openness as well. But even when person begins to understand something from a scientific point of view, she can still hold on to the amazement and wonder it inspires. A child can learn that the Grand Canyon was formed by many years of erosion and still stand in awe of its majestic beauty. Muth, Zen Shorts. This book combines stunning illustrations and spare language to deliver three classic Zen stories of enlightenment and love.

In this picture book, three siblings view the world differently when a giant panda moves into the neighborhood and tells each of them an amazing tale.

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This unique book offers real-life lessons in a gentle way -- and will foster thoughtful discussions about how we should treat ourselves and others. Widening the Circle Researchers Hay and Nye coined the term relational consciousness to describe a heightened awareness of being related to things, other people, to oneself, and the divine.

They found that young children are generally more aware of the interconnectedness of being hence their interest in animals. This is in part because of their obvious dependence on parents and others. But even so, at times they experience a heightened sense of this connectedness, of the interrelationship of all things' spoken of as an waking up or an intense noticing.

Hay and Nye contrast relational consciousness with the "possessive individualism" which is seen as normal for many people in the Western world. Most people see themselves as individuals first and foremost, and view ties to other people and to nature as secondary. This individualism is often defined in terms of things they possess, whether material goods or abilities.

While becoming one's own person is important, it is equally important for the child to remember that she is always connected to others and will become oneself within this context. Self and others especially mother, family Self and animals Self and world.

Wood, Douglas. Where the Sunrise Begins.

Edited by Lynne Vallone and Julia Mickenberg

In posing the question, Where does the sun rise begin? This book explores a series of possibilities including a marsh, a lake, a treetop, a far off country, until it materializes that the sunrise begins in you. Beautifully illustrated and not too text heavy.

Brown, Margaret Wise. Runaway Bunny. A small bunny tests the love of his mother by proposing situations that encourage his mother to respond. The mother bunny dispels every situation with an unconditional response of love and devotion. The Spirit of the Child. Harper Collins: London. As an educator, an artist and a Xavier graduate, I am sensitive to how our fast-paced culture causes pressure and stress for both adults and particularly for young students.

This sets up a climate that mainly honors production and multi-tasking at the expense of our own well-being and of those around us.

Book Childrens Theater A Paradigm Primer And Resource

Sadly, our children have little control over this aspect of their life, and must conform and measure to adult expectations which are not always developmentally appropriate for them. By succumbing to the increasing speed of our times, we allow our human needs to go unnourished, stripping away our natural opportunities and capacities for reflection and connection, which can foster inner knowledge, awareness, and joy. This deficit of attention and reflection can put a halt to the potential for understanding ourselves and each other, and also to the unfolding nature of our gifts and potential.

I have always been interested in self-knowledge as an important pedagogy and way to live as a person, an educator, and as an artist. I believe that this part of myself was critical in my desire to bring more authentic presence into the classroom environment so that students felt seen and heard, and to create an environment that made space for mistakes and discovering, which demands time and reflection. I became interested in finding and helping to create a whole-person approach in education that integrated the cognitive head , the experiential hands , and the spirit heart.

Xavier's mission includes these things, as do several educational approaches such as Montessori and Waldorf curriculums. This sacred space of inner knowing, which I liken to communing with the innate wisdom of God as it connects through our own spirit in a unique way, is naturally called upon and culled when we begin to recognize and attune to it. As I have trained in contemplative and mindfulness practice which is becoming aware of the present moment with intention and without judgment , I have increased this capacity and been able to offer more of myself to my students, colleagues, and family.

Considerable research demonstrates that among other things, these practices foster:. The metaphor of the garden is a good one to examine human growth and potential, where nature evolves un-seen below the surface. Some flowers bloom early and some later, but all require patience, different nutrients and different tending in order to unfold. Patience and trust is needed for this divine order. When we create space to intentionally slow down, we can offer opportunities for depth in the classroom by incorporating mindful listening and mindful seeing, multiple modes of reflection including regular journaling to encourage deeper learning, first-person experiences and expression.

This creates an intimacy that is critical for sharing authentic relationship with ourselves and others. One of the ways I bring the Mission into my teaching has been by integrating this new awareness and the practices into the class: Arts in Middle Childhood. I wanted to enhance it by incorporating different forms of mindfulness and contemplative practices for wellbeing and compassion, focus and attention, and perspective-taking, which highlights the natural connection with Ignatian principles.

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I have found that these elements give students a deeper, more meaningful learning experience, and develop an awareness for positive interaction and social action. Many informal assessments we have done indicate that students see value in them and actually love them. The practices honor their wholeness. I have also seen students use the practices to manage difficult emotions and anxiety during test taking time, family or work relationships, or to simply learn how to respond rather than react.

For example, some students reported that they appreciated the practices and assignments because they helped them:. Before that they missed many of these moments. They were able to see more of the sacred and beautiful in the every day. Each class starts with Mindful Moments, a self care component which takes about 10 minutes at the beginning of each class.

The initial class time allows students to take a rest from their busy day, and connect to themselves and each other more deeply over time. This also lays a fertile ground for Reflection and Self Awareness. Our class involves a great deal of higher level thinking skills on Bloom's Taxonomy. By adopting an increased mindful and compassionate approach with our students we add a layer of compassion and care. When our students' need for care is filled they often have more to give to others Magis.

Magis to me means that we must strive to be more for others, but to do that we need to nurture and grow ourselves. Cultivating practices for self care is essential.

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This is especially true in the face of so many mental health issues today. Mindfulness is also integrated into the entire class through our increased presence, short awareness practices, and within the various visual and performing arts that students delve into through the semester. The class is experiential and participatory in nature, and truly stretches our students' capacity to notice each moment and be aware of the sacred in all things God In All Things.

In learning by doing and reflecting on their first-person experiences of personal meaning, our students are more likely to embody the principles for their students, who learn by adult example.