“It counts for one-sixth of a normal class, is graded as either pass or fail and meets for only one hour once a week.”
Since when do college students need a course to teach them how to do nothing?
The Post Crescent reports:
This new Lawrence University course was designed to help students intentionally slow down. Thanks to Twitter, it’s become national news.
Year after year, Constance Kassor and her colleagues at Lawrence University have been noticing students seem to be more stressed and under more pressure.
They exude an anxiety that they are wasting time if they aren’t being productive.
And when they get a minute of free time, Kassor, an associate professor of religious studies, said she notices students will often spend it scrolling through their phones.
What Kassor and her colleagues see among their students isn’t unique to Lawrence. Research shows that a majority of college students during the 2020-21 school year met the criteria for at least one mental health problem, according to the American Psychological Association.
So they asked themselves: How can we get students to be intentional about taking “down time”? How can we get them to reflect on who they are, what they need?
They thought about crafting a contemplative studies minor. But that would just be one more thing for students to add to their transcripts and pile on to their already ambitious lists of undertakings.
Instead, they developed a single course for students to take called “Doing Nothing.” It counts for one-sixth of a normal class, is graded as either pass or fail and meets for only one hour once a week.
I developed a 1-credit class called "Doing Nothing" this fall. It currently has the highest enrollment of any course at my university. This should tell us something about the current state of college students.
— Dr. Connie Kassor (@constancekassor) September 30, 2022
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