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Meet Our Visiting Scholar, Irsa Zahoor

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Meet Our Visiting Scholar, Irsa Zahoor

Sept. 22, 2001. In June, CSC welcomed Irsa Zahoor, a PhD candidate from Islamabad, as a visiting scholar through November. During her six-month stay at UVA, Zahoor is researching how contemplative teaching and learning can transform higher education in Pakistan. Learn more about her work in her own words:
 
“In the current education system in Pakistan the educator's main task is to transmit knowledge, so the student should memorize material to be able to retrieve it in the future. This teaching approach is not preparing the students to be resilient, attentive, self-aware, and compassionate. To instill these qualities in students, pedagogical approaches need to be clear and coherent according to the needs. Keeping in view the situation in Pakistan and a very personal approach in transformative and mindful practices of teaching and learning during my course work, I started working on the idea of the use of contemplative practices in the higher education of Pakistan to bring a more humanistic approach to teaching. 
 
“It wouldn't be wrong to say that my keen interest and dedication towards research goals has driven my enthusiasm towards producing a long lasting and effective contribution in academia. I became passionate about the inclusion of contemplative practices in the higher education of Pakistan after exploring how some simple practices can bring a long-lasting change in individuals and in the society. I designed my dissertation with the major objective of exploring the use of contemplative practices in the higher education system of Pakistan. 
 
“Based on the findings of the study, I am designing a training manual of contemplative practices for the higher education faculty of Pakistan. This manual will serve as a guide and resource to the faculty members and other stake holders in higher education regarding the use of contemplative practices in Pakistan.”