Kathleen D. Noble
Examines different subjects or problems from an interdisciplinary framework.
Consciousness and Well-Being. What does it mean to be happy? What does it mean to flourish? What does it mean to be psychologically well? This course will examine the roles of meditation, peak experiences, neuroplasticity, resilience, and compassion in the development and attainment of exceptional well-being.
Student learning goals
1. Understand the concept and components of flourishing and psychological well-being.
2. Understand the concept of neuroplasticity and its relationship to awareness and psychological states.
3. Understand the role of meditation in optimal psychological and physiological functioning.
4. Demonstrate the ability to distill, discuss, and evaluate the principal ideas presented in textual material.
5. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on, write about, and discuss your own ideas and insights about these issues.
General method of instruction
Lecture; seminar; discussion.
Junior or Senior standing. BST 221 or 323, or permission of the instructor.
Many of the ideas we’ll be exploring in this class are controversial and will likely challenge some of your deepest beliefs. To be successful, students must bring – and keep – an open mind, an attitude of respect, cooperation, and respect for each other and for multiple points of view, and a passion for inquiry. This class is a learning community for which each participant is responsible. You must be willing to challenge yourself to think in new ways and be open to perspectives that might be unfamiliar or uncomfortable. And you must help to create a safe environment in which everyone is encouraged to participate and learn.
Class assignments and grading
Written synopsis and analysis of each reading: 2 pages, typed, double-spaced, 12 point font. Hard copies only. STUDENTS MUST BE PRESENT IN CLASS TO TURN IN AND RECEIVE CREDIT FOR EACH SYNOPSIS. a. What are the author’s main points? b. Conclude with a final paragraph describing your response to the reading. c. Each synopsis is due at the beginning of the appropriate class and will form the basis of class discussion.
2. Final Reflection Essay (30%): This essay is your reflection on what you learned during the course. Your task is to think and write about the material we read or watched and discussed throughout the quarter. I want to know what you think about these ideas and issues and how you and your ideas have grown over the course of the course.
3. Presentation of final essays: Students will present and discuss their final essays during the last 2 days of class.
4. Participation: Students will be evaluated by the instructor during class discussion based on their level of participation, preparation to raise questions based on the readings, respect shown for other participants, and use of notes and texts to support their questions and discussion contributions.
Written synopses: 25% Final essay: 25% Presentation of final essay: 25% Participation: 25%