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Exploring mindfulness in/as education from a Heideggerian perspective

Brito, Rodrigo; Joseph, Stephen; Sellman, Edward

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Rodrigo Brito


Over the past decade or so, within this journal there have been critical debates concerning the role of mindfulness within education, the influence of neoliberalism on education in general and wellbeing interventions specifically, and the relevance of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger for critiquing modernity including the nature and purpose afforded education. In this article we propose that these debates are sufficiently interrelated to develop a more unified argument. We will show how a Heideggerian perspective is conceptually rich, in both its heritage; as it draws upon both East-Asian wisdom and western thinking, and its engagement, as it confronts the implications of what Heidegger called a ‘technical-era’, for offering such a unified critique. The focus of this critique is upon instrumental forms of mindfulness (mindfulness ‘in’ education), which when framed by neoliberalism, has rather narrow goals concerning individual well-being and performance. In contrast, more critical and integral forms of mindfulness (mindfulness ‘as’ education) offer the potential for more holistic and authentic learning. Throughout the article, we discuss how Heideggerian philosophy offers a number of useful concepts (e.g. enframing, Dasein, authenticity, meditative thinking) able to both critique the instrumentalisation of approaches like mindfulness by neoliberalism and speak to more holistic education oriented toward more authentic being-in-the-world.


Brito, R., Joseph, S., & Sellman, E. (2021). Exploring mindfulness in/as education from a Heideggerian perspective. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 55(2), 302-313.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 28, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2021
Publication Date 2021-04
Deposit Date Mar 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 30, 2021
Journal Journal of Philosophy of Education
Print ISSN 0309-8249
Electronic ISSN 1467-9752
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Issue 2
Pages 302-313
Keywords mindfulness, Heidegger, neoliberalism, education
Public URL
Publisher URL


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