Pedagogical Humanities

Director Larisa Castillo has a twenty-five-year background in pedagogical studies and presently teaches the pedagogy course for TAs in Larisa CastilloHumanities Core. Her research interests center on Contemplative Mind pedagogies that highlight the importance of mindfulness for improving cognitive processing, creativity, neuroplasticity, and holistic wellness. These mindfulness approaches are foundational to the social-justice and trauma-informed pedagogies she will be highlighting this academic year.

For 2020-21, Castillo’s priority is to minimize the stress students and instructors are experiencing due to the pandemic, racial oppression, environmental crises, and civil unrest. Pedagogical approaches that focus exclusively on cognitive processing have been self-defeating. Failing to offer students the means by which to mitigate these stressors, they serve to diminish, rather than enhance, students’ cognitive functioning. As Director of the Pedagogical Humanities, Castillo highlights holistic pedagogies that incorporate corporeal and emotional experiences into our understanding of teaching and learning. In addition to skills-based programming on active-learning and online-teaching, workshops will center on mindfulness and wellness, trauma-informed teaching models, and social-justice pedagogies that encourage wellness, creativity, and inclusion.

As part of this approach, the School of Humanities will offer graduate students a Pedagogical Humanities Certificate that joins forces with the Humanities Center’s 1619 Project. If you or your department wish to schedule a pedagogical workshop, classroom observation, or one-on-one consultation, contact Larisa directly at