The Buddha in the classroom: Toward a critical spiritual pedagogy

Aditya Adarkar, David Lee Keiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


To teach with a moral lens, especially one centered in compassion and reinforced by an awareness of suffering, may require taking stands that challenge the dominant quantitative paradigm based on high-stakes testing and accountability. Yet what are the tools that would allow educators to renew their sense of compassion with themselves and their students? We draw on the diverse literatures of spirituality, social justice, and education. Following Thich Nhat Hanh and others, we find that Buddhist stories and parables are a useful tool in the contemporary United States for awakening or reinforcing compassion and mindfulness in teachers, students, and administrators so that they can address the joint challenges of "too much emptiness" and "too much fullness."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-261
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Transformative Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • Buddhism
  • Compassion
  • Contemplation
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Spiritual pedagogy


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