Conscientious Engagement started as Real World Dialogue in 2006. It was originally designed to be an experimental, on-line journal project where educators and students could dialogue about topics related to community, diversity and equity. In the last few years, through my own research about what it means to be a critical theorist and a mindful agent of change, this notion of “dialogue” expanded to include topics related to consciousness, human evolution, meditating on our underlying Oneness and the role of the human spirit in leading large scale social movements.
I believe we must be willing to engage in every day practices that help us to understand the true nature of our selves, how we experience reality, the purpose of education and the unique role of a teacher in a seemingly diverse society. Engaging in dialogue, meditating on the self to build awareness of our underlying oneness and our relationship to the universe, asking tough philosophical questions that cut across fields of study are all part of the praxis I call Conscientious Engagement (CE).
Sharing and journaling our experience validates a collective spirit consciousness that we are not okay with what is going on in education and we are not satisfied with a society that accepts inequality as part of our human nature. It communicates to the world that we are all part of something greater than ourselves, that it is in fact our intrinsic nature to value all life and human beings equally, that we are born with a sense of shared-responsibility, that our work in education is a commitment to activate the three domains of the human experience– mind, body and spirit– and in doing so, we give rise to a new education, a new generation of children that will prepare the groundwork for an egalitarian society.
At its core, this is about authenticity and agency in education, which is contingent upon your capacity to critically engage with your complex mind, your unique body and wise spirit consciousness every day and to clear the space for new ways of seeing, thinking and doing.
One of the greatest perils of our time is the lack of imagination in our practice of education (Ríos, 2017)
This is one of my many spaces in which I choose to speak truth and seek truth together. Together we can transcend identities and ideologies that divide us and together we can discover a shared humane space, a reality that exists in the moment we can envision it.
Dr. Raquel Ríos has worked nationally across the United States and internationally in Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Puerto Rico. She specializes in language acquisition, critical literacy, social justice and change leadership. She has extensive experience designing and delivering curriculum and instruction to teachers, instructional coaches and school leaders and has published several articles on-line about issues related to equity and education. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from Touro University International, a MS in Elementary Education from Lehman College and a BS in Secondary Foreign Language Education from New York University. Currently, she is an instructional designer at New Teacher Center, a national resource on mentoring and coaching for teacher effectiveness located in Santa Cruz, California. She lives and works out of New York City.
General inquiries can be directed to: ConscientiousEngagement@gmail.com