Dr. Ashwani Kumar
Associate Professor
PhD, University of British Columbia

Office: Seton 575
Phone: (902) 457-6731
Fax: (902) 457-4911
E-mail: ashwani.kumar@msvu.ca

Research and Teaching Interests:

Curriculum Studies
Holistic Education
Meditative Inquiry
Arts-based Research with a focus on Indian classical music (emerging area)

Background:

Dr. Ashwani Kumar’s teaching and research focus on meditative inquiry. Meditative inquiry is an exploration within oneself and of how one is connected to life relationally, ecologically, economically, politically, and culturally. This existential and social exploration – inside and outside the classroom and in one’s own self and in one’s social interactions –forms the core of a meditative inquiry approach to teaching, learning, researching, creating, and living. Dr. Kumar has conceptualized several key curricular and pedagogical concepts, namely, curriculum as meditative inquiry, teaching as meditative inquiry, and music as meditative inquiry. He has also developed a contemplative research methodology called dialogical meditative inquiry to conduct subjective and inter-subjective qualitative research. He plays the harmonium and sings and composes Indian classical music. His current project focuses on researching the theory and practice of Indian classical music and its implications for the field of education. He is the author of two scholarly books: Curriculum as Meditative Inquiry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and Curriculum in International Contexts: Understanding Colonial, Ideological, and Neoliberal Influences (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). He is also the editor of Engaging with Meditative Inquiry in Teaching, Learning, and Research: Realizing Transformative Potentials in Diverse Contexts (Routledge, 2022). His book Curriculum as Meditative Inquiry was chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Reviews (American Library Association). His co-authored paper, “Teaching as Meditative Inquiry: A Dialogical Exploration”, which describes his pedagogical philosophy and practice, received the Outstanding Publication in Curriculum Studies Award from The Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies in 2019. He has served as the President of Arts Researchers and Teachers Society, Canada.

Dr. Kumar joined MSVU in 2011 after completing his PhD at the University of British Columbia under the guidance of Professor William F. Pinar. Before beginning his doctoral studies at UBC, Dr. Kumar completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honors), Master of Arts, and Master of Philosophy in Geography as well as a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education from the University of Delhi in New Delhi, India. He also worked as a secondary social studies (Geography) schoolteacher for three years at Apeejay School, Pitampura in New Delhi.

Scholarly Contributions (selected):

Books

Kumar, A. (Ed.). (2022). Engaging with Meditative Inquiry in Teaching, Learning, and Research: Realizing Transformative Potentials in Diverse Contexts. Routledge.

Kumar, A. (2019). Curriculum in International Contexts: Understanding Colonial, Ideological and Neoliberal Influences. Palgrave Macmillan.

Kumar, A. (2013). Curriculum as Meditative Inquiry. Palgrave Macmillan.

 Editor of Conference Proceedings

Kumar, A., & Acharya, N. (2021) (Co-Editors). J. Krishnamurti and the contemporary
world crises international online conference proceedings. Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives, 10(1), 95-131.
https://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE/issue/view/19

Book Chapters

Kumar, A. (2022a). Introduction. In A. Kumar (Ed.), Engaging with meditative inquiry in teaching, learning, and research: Realizing transformative potentials in diverse contexts. Routledge.

Kumar, A. (2022b). Epilogue. In A. Kumar (Ed.), Engaging with meditative inquiry in teaching, learning, and research: Realizing transformative potentials in diverse contexts. Routledge.

Kumar, A. (2021). The way of gratitude. In C. Shields, A. G. Podolski, & J. J. G. Yallop (Eds.), Influences and inspirations in curriculum studies research and teaching: Reflections on the origins and legacy of contemporary scholarship (pp. 37-44). Routledge.

Kumar, A. (2014). Meditative education: A proposal for the existential renewal of teacher education in the 21st century. In M. J. Harkins, & Z. Barchuk (Eds.), Conversations with international teacher educators: Teaching in a global world (95-116). Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University.
https://www.msvu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/E-Book20International20Conversations20of20Teacher20Educators20Teaching20and20Learning20in20Global20World1.pdf

Journal Articles

Kumar, A., Brigham, S., Downey, A., Lemieux, A., Kharbach, M., Wells-Hopey, D., Shahidi, M., & Card, A. (in press).  Curriculum in international contexts: A complicated conversation. Transnational Curriculum Inquiry.

Kumar, A., & Fisher, M. R. (2021). Fear and meditative inquiry. International Journal of Fear Studies, 3(2), 53-77.
https://prism.ucalgary.ca/bitstream/handle/1880/114026/Kumar%20%26%20Fisher%20IJFS%203%20%282%29%202021.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y

Kumar, A., & Acharya, N. (2021). Critiquing instrumentalism in higher education: Lessons from meditative inquiry. Critical Education, 12(10), 1-23.
https://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/criticaled/article/view/186628

Kumar, A., & Downey, A. (2021). Teaching as meditative inquiry: A dialogical exploration. Holistic Education Review, 1(1), 1-13. https://her.journals.publicknowledgeproject.org/index.php/her/article/view/1177

Kumar, A., & Downey, A. (2019). Music as meditative inquiry: Dialogical reflections on learning and composing Indian classical music. Artizein: Arts and Teaching Journal, 4(1), 98-121.
https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/atj/vol4/iss1/9/

Kumar, A., & Downey, A. (2018). Teaching as meditative inquiry: A dialogical exploration. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 16(2), 52-75.
https://jcacs.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jcacs/article/view/40339/36397

Editor Reviewed Publications

Kumar, A. (in press). International handbook of curriculum research: A book review. Transnational Curriculum Inquiry.

Kumar, A., & Acharya, N. (2021). J. Krishnamurti and the contemporary world crises: Introduction to the conference proceedings. Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives, 10(1), 95-102.
https://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE/article/view/295

Kumar, A., & Sable, D. (2021). A conversation on the book Engaging with meditative inquiry in teaching, learning, and research: Realizing transformative potentials in diverse contexts. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, 8(1), 258-274.
https://journal.contemplativeinquiry.org/index.php/joci/article/view/317

 

Video Presentations

Kumar, A. (2022). Philosophical counselling through meditative inquiry. Plenary speaker at International Conference on Philosophical Counselling: Concepts, Methods, and Debates (online).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrC4Gq4ncVM&t=11s

Kumar, A. (2021a). Hinduism and meditative inquiry. Invited presenter and workshop conductor for A Series of Online Multi-Faith Weekend Retreats: Approaches to Contemplation and Self-Knowledge, Ignatian Loyola House in Guelph, Ontario (Ignatius Jesuit Centre).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SaJsU44lfM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpd_Lfpsq8k

Kumar, A. (2021b). My personal and academic journey with J. Krishnamurti. A paper presented at the J. Krishnamurti and the Contemporary World Crises International Online Conference.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNF6TaWFxbQ

Kumar, A., & Acharya, N. (2021) (Co-Chairs and Organizers). J. Krishnamurti and the contemporary world crises international online conference. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfVjDB_dQhEpYnHf6l8WMJ_XrT-Oln7CL

Kumar, A., Caron, J., O’Neil, K., Sanjana, L., & Sylliboy, S. (2021). In A. Kumar (Symposium organizer, chair, & panelist), Holistic ways of leading academic life. Interuniversity Doctoral Program, Nova Scotia.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnBzyQX5PmM

Kumar, A., Downey, A. M., Kharbach, M., Petersen, B., & Wells-Hopey, D. (2019). In A. Kumar (Symposium organizer, chair, panelist), A dialogue on meditative inquiry, Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rA0DxwIEYo

Kumar, A., Gaudon, J., Knapton, L., Meyers, S., & Roode, J. (2019). In A. Kumar (Symposium organizer, chair, panelist), In what ways can holistic education perspectives and practices help us transform our classrooms and lives? Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VanbRC83QAM

Kumar, A., MacDonald, G. (Chair), Brigham, S., Lemieux, A., & Stoffman, H. (2019). In A. Kumar (Symposium organizer & panelist) Curriculum in international contexts: Book launch and symposium, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP2Zawnocug

Kumar, A. (2019). Reflections on the International handbook of curriculum research. Invited talk for the channel Resources in Curriculum Studies (run by Professor Mahmoud Mehrmohammadi, Terbiat Modares University, Iran).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lfJQdqrzAQ

Kumar, A., Doyle, A., Macleod, N., Marble, C., & Philips, E. (2015). In A. Kumar (Symposium organizer, chair, and panelist), Meaning and significance of holistic education, The 3rd Annual Celebration of Teaching and Learning, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NheHuWVB6Q

Kumar, A. (2014). Awareness as Meditative Inquiry: Broadening and Deepening the Concept of “Awareness” in Educational Theory. Paper presented at Second International Seminar on Philosophy of Education Azim Premji University, Bangalore, India.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9125L7iH8NI&list=PLVI4qkjTdM71audZ6VOh-GmtRuMmJUEom&index=26

Kumar, A., Cole, A. (Chair), Harkins, M., Walsh, S., & Cosgrove, M. (2013). In A. Kumar, (Symposium organizer, chair, & Panelist), Curriculum as meditative inquiry: A symposium, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HgOvkpevJE&feature=youtu.be&t=1s

Kumar, A. (2012). Education as meditative inquiry. Brockwood Park School, Bramdean, Hampshire, UK.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKPxp7FtpBU

Music Performances:

Kumar, A. (2019a). (Composer, co-composer, vocalist, harmonium player). Ganapati gajanan deva bhajan in raga jhinjhoti [Song], Hori khelen nanda ke lal in raag mishra kafi [Song], Thumak chalat ramchandra bhajan in raga mishra jhinjhoti [Song], Tum ko dekha to ye khayal aaya [Song]. Live performance accompanied by N. Acharya (violin), O. Joshi & H. Acharya (Tabla). House concert, Edmonton, Alberta.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEtEOKSaitI

Kumar, A. (2019b). (Composer, lyricist, vocalist, harmonium player). Piya baware bade jhoote in raga khamaj [Song]. Live performance accompanied by N. Acharya (violin). Mount Community Art Show, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baZJ5J65Pu8

Kumar, A. (2018). (Composer, co-composer, lyricist, vocalist, harmonium player). Jay ganesh deva bhajan in raga tilak kamod [Song], instrumental rendition of raga mishra bhairavi. Live performance accompanied by N. Acharya (violin), O. Joshi & H. Acharya (tabla). Alberta Hindu Society, Edmonton.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXGEBiECpKY

Editorial Board Member Activities:

Organizing Committee Member for Association for Krishnamurti Studies, 2021 – Present
Advisory Board Member, Holistic Education Review, 2021 – Present
Member of Editorial Collective, Critical Education, 2021 – Present
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, 2021 – Present
Associate Editor, Arts/Research International, 2021 – Present
Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Fear Studies, 2021 – Present
Editorial Board Member, Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives, 2021 – Present
Advisory Board Member, Curriculum Studies in Canada: Intellectual Histories, Present Circumstances, and Future Prospects; SSHRC Project, 2020 – Present
Editorial Board Member, Artizein: Arts and Teaching Journal 2020 – Present
Member Representative (Mount Saint Vincent University), Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, 2020 – Present
Program Chair for Arts Researchers and Teachers Society Annual Conference, 2019 – 2020
International Advisory Board Member, McGill Journal of Education, 2018 – Present
Editorial Board Member, Journal for the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 2018 – 2020
Organizing Committee Member for Association for Krishnamurti Studies, 2016 – 2018
Article Editor, Sage Open, 2014 – 2015