A Buddhist in the Classroom

By Sid Brown

Subjects: Buddhism, Religion, Education, Teaching And Learning
Paperback : 9780791475980, 190 pages, January 2009
Hardcover : 9780791475973, 190 pages, January 2009

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Table of contents

1. In the Event of a Crash Landing
2. Lie Until It’s True
Getting Students’ Attention
3. Viewing Each Other With Kindly Eyes
Community in the Classroom
4. Stopping an Elephant Dead in Its Tracks
Irritation, Anger, and Rage
5. Do Not Cross Line
Wonder and Imaginative Engagement
6. Homicidal Tendencies
A Pedagogical Narrative
7. Learning from Students
8. Removing the Arrow
Authentic Teachers and Willing Students, Elements of Reciprocity
 9. Trustful Confidence
Assessing Your Teaching
10. Conclusion
The Heart of Teaching
Appendix I. Nifty assignments
Appendix II. Handouts

A Buddhist perspective on classroom teaching.


Sid Brown brings a Buddhist perspective into the classroom to explore the ethical quandaries, lived experiences, and intimacy of teaching. Addressing such topics as attention, community, rage, wonder, consumerism, and simple kindness, Brown demonstrates how this centuries-old tradition can inform and enrich classroom life.

Readers do not have to be Buddhists to appreciate the gifts of this tradition and Brown's fresh perspective on education. Stories from Buddhist texts offer illustrative teaching moments, and an archive of practical tools and suggestions make this book a valuable reference. While Brown teaches at the college level, teachers of students at all levels and those who are interested in the educational experience will gain insight from this book.

Sid Brown is Associate Professor of Religion at Sewanee: The University of the South and the author of The Journey of One Buddhist Nun: Even Against the Wind, also published by SUNY Press.


"A Buddhist in the Classroom by Sid Brown is not a curriculum for Buddhism but a fascinating and touching work about the teaching profession … this book provides illuminating insights to enhance future

directions and policies in education." — International Journal of Children's Spirituality

"…a sensitive self-reflection, at times providing epistemological self-consciousness and assessment of teaching and learning." — Teaching Theology & Religion

"Sid Brown's new book on teaching offers us a Buddhist-inspired pedagogy of liberation … The book is worth reading just for the numerous examples of Brown's working through difficult situations with students." — Religion & Education

"At first glance, the marriage of Buddhism and classroom teaching seems strange, but Brown quickly throws us into ideas that are very down to earth and practical." — Education About Asia

"The bulk of A Buddhist in the Classroom … is a series of vignettes for practitioners … In such vignettes Brown's arguments remain broad and accessible, but the messages are deep, necessary and timeless. Throughout, Brown's narratives are engaging and so easily accessible they leave one wondering whether [her] Buddhist gleanings in the context of students and classes are really the stuff of ancient Asian wisdom or merely the practices of a reflective practitioner. Alas, this is one of the gems A Buddhist in the Classroom offers: that Buddhist teachings are so accessible, familiar and applicable they somehow do not seem foreign to the uninitiated Western reader." — Teachers College Record

"With a personal style that makes use of anecdotes and descriptions of teaching situations, Sid Brown presents Buddhist principles as they apply to the classroom in a very vibrant and relevant way." — Ruben L. F. Habito, author of Healing Breath: Zen for Christians and Buddhists in a Wounded World