The Promise of the Healing-Centered Paradigm in Education

Angel Acosta, Ed.D.

About this Event

Drawing on extensive doctoral research and professional practice, this lecture invites participants into an exploration of how practitioners and scholars have deliberately integrated the notion of healing into K-12 curricula and professional education. The evolution of restorative justice, social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and trauma-informed teaching reveals a kind of momentum that situates the emergence of the restorative and healing-centered paradigm in educational discourse, practice and research. With the many challenges and crises unfolding before us–ecological disequilibrium, political polarization, socio-economic inequality and health disparities–people who are interested in educating others are challenged with how to take care of themselves, those who they teach and the communities within which they work. Also, the COVID-19 global pandemic has exacerbated the preexisting conditions that communities, especially those who are most vulnerable, have to contend with. This lecture provides a foundation for thinking, researching and integrating healing-centered education into one’s professional teaching philosophy and practice.

About the Presenter

Acosta Headshot

Angel Acosta, Ed.D.

Dr. Angel Acosta works to bridge the fields of leadership, social justice, and mindfulness. He is director of the Garrison Institute’s Fellowship Program and creative director at the NYC Healing Collective, a community initiative curating work and insights at the intersection of healing, wellness, and societal transformation. As a member of the 400 Years of Inequality Project, he designed the Contemplating 400 Years of Inequality Experience to support communities in understanding structural inequality through a contemplative approach. 

Angel completed his doctorate degree in the curriculum and teaching department at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research explored healing-centered education as a promising framework for educational leadership development and community care. For close to a decade, he served as a program director for the national nonprofit CFES Brilliant Pathways. With a passion for helping young people to think globally and act locally, he directed and taught at a global leadership study abroad program in Rome through the award-winning organization Leadership exCHANGE. 

After participating in the Mind and Life Institute’s Academy for Contemplative Leadership, Angel began consulting and developing learning experiences that weave leadership development with conversations about inequality and healing to support educational leaders through contemplative and restorative practices. 

Angel is a proud first-generation Dominican-American and graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh. Lately, he has become curious about the ways in which technology can be used as a force for advancing racial equity and dismantling structural inequality. 

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