INDIVIDUALLY, you are required to reflect on your overall experience of the mindfulness exercises. In doing so, you will consider how these exercises affected your learning experience - for example, individual impact on the project and/or personal insights gained.
After each exercise, you will have the opportunity to write down thoughts and insights, which you will be able to draw on to write your reflection.
Further details about this reflection task will be discussed in class and posted to our course Blackboard site.
1. Reflection on the overall experience of the mindfulness exercises (20%)
General reflection of the experience of mindfulness exercises, incl. potential existing experiences with those types of exercises, initial thoughts, concerns etc.
2. Reflection on how (if at all) the mindfulness exercises affected different aspects of the student's learning experience.
Detailed, critical and honest reflection of the different mindfulness exercises in each class on different aspects of learning such as teamwork, individual impact within the team, ethical conduct, understanding of theory, personal insights etc.
3. Conclusion (including future directions)
Overall conclusion on the usefulness of mindfulness in student learning in general and social enterprise classes in particular
Reflection on the overall experience of mindfulness exercises
According to Hahn and Gawronski, Mindfulness is a mental condition of being focused on one’s awareness of the current moment while incorporating one’s thoughts and body sensations (Hahn & Gawronski, 2018). Mindfulness enhances awareness of the psychological environment and can be a basis for creating social value and developing solutions to social problems as noted by (Hahn & Gawronski, 2018). The fact that the mind is fully attentive to what is happening and what one is doing is critical in evaluating the importance of mindfulness. The concept is a useful tool in all spheres of life and covers diverse environments such associal-economic and learning environment. The contribution of the mindfulness concept to the learning environment is beneficial to the learner in developing solutions to the challenges that the learner faces and most importantly leaves adequate space for creative problem-solving. This paper will reflect the mindfulness exercises by focusing on the overall experience, the effect on various aspects of the learning experience and usefulness of the concept in the learning process.
Reflection on the overall experience of mindfulness exercises.
The experience with the mindfulness exercises helped me to learn essential concepts related to the management of my thoughts, emotions and actions in creating solutions to challenges that arise in different environments in life. As such, I developed an attitude that it is possible to create social value and attain the profitability goals in modern social enterprises (Bice, Brueckner & Pforr, 2017). I learned that the socio-economic enterprises are faced with a trade-off as they strive to achieve the set goals. The trade-off involves striking a balance between profit motive and creating the social value. Through the trade-off concept, I could understand that it is the responsibility of changemakers to re-engineer social change. Although businesses exist primarily to make a profit, the profits would be maximized if the society served by the companyis able and willing to support business growth. In my view, if the community does not incur social costs in solving social problems, the benefit accrues to the businesses (Epstein, 2018). The introduction of the concept of balancing financial performance with social needs forms the fundamental discussion of maximizing social welfare. Furthermore, the experience from the mindfulness exercises enabled me to admit that every challenge in the world has its solution if people become conscious of what is happening and take personal responsibility of developing sustainable solutions. From experience, I learned that sustainable solutions to social challenges, that face both established and developing countries are achievable through critical reflection on the existing solutions and building on the underlying principles.
In my view, businesses across the globe should participate in creating a just society. Fairness is the critical objective of concern. However, my interest is based on the short-term versus the long-term implication of participation in solving social problems. Taking responsibility of social issues by businesses is costly in the short-term and results to a decrease in profits that are the primary goal of companies (Anderson& Dees, 2017). The short-term costs can be reduced if all businesses take responsibility for solving social problems. The lower costs even in the short-term will accrue from economies of scale thus stabilizing profits in the long-term
Reflection of how mindfulness of exercises affected different aspects of the learning experience
Also, the concept of entrepreneurship as the driving force in the quest for socio-economic change (Aydalot & Keeble, 2018), I am concerned with the 21st-century dynamics in the field of entrepreneurship where people are concentrating more on establishing businesses that already exist instead of being creative and innovative. Social problems are ever changing thus the need to bridge the existing gap with new ideas. Although the social challenges can be solved, most of them remain untouched because of the hesitation in developing a response. Creative problem solving is a process that engages the cognitive tenet that cannot be compared to the rapid changes in the societal orientation. Therefore, the concept of creativity and innovation in solving the problems in the society are overrated and require refining to enhance response to the challenges experienced by society.
Reflection of how mindfulness of exercises affected different aspects of the learning experience
The exercises were effectively structured to enhance my participation at both group and individual level. The most remarkable improvement of my learning experience is the spirit of teamwork. Working as a team helped me appreciate the role of collaboration in developing synergism (Salazar & Lant, 2018). Out of joint efforts and a common objective, I noted that it was possible to handle numerous tasks ina practical way as compared to an individual approach. Engaging our minds as a team is attributable to the success achieved in accomplishing the exercises. The exercises were dominated by critical questions that could adequately be discussed and explored through teamwork. Through brainstorming, I was able to get an insight into every question thus; I could effectively contribute to the team. Also, interaction with other student boosted my cooperation skills as well as team leadership skills as the team leader (Ekmekcioglu, Aydintan & Celebi, 2018).
My participation in teamwork helped me acquire a sense of teamwork ethics. As a team leader, I learned the essence of utilizing research-based actions to stamp out unethical issues in the teamwork exercise. For example, during brainstorming, the team members could take personal differences as the basis for disagreements (Itani, Jaramillo &Chonko, 2017). I learned the skill of postponing criticism after a quota contribution is met, a method that perfectly worked out. Also, to ensure that the decision of the team was acceptable by all members, I applied the ethical rule of fairness and justice by asking members to reaffirm the decisions of the group synonymously. The consent of each team member was necessary because any team member could be called to make the group presentations.
Also, if asked about my insights into the mindfulness exercises, I would say that the practices shaped my relevant insights especially in matters about social problems that require business intervention. In particular, the exercises changed my perception that the government should solve social problems. I think the individual approach in answering questions was critical in determining who I am and what I believe in thus contributing to personal development.
In conclusion, the exercises and the social enterprise classes, in particular, helped me as a student in changing my perception of the role of social enterprises. Other than viewing enterprises as economic organizations and profit-driven as Mean, (2017) puts it, I learned that they must strike a balance and incorporate social welfare in their obligations. The mindfulness exercises helped me to enhance my ability to offer creative solutions to problems and to develop the condition of being attentive and to what is happening in my environment thus improving the quality of thought. The mindfulness exercises also helped me develop critical learning attributes such as wisdom, clear comprehension and complete awareness that are necessary for successful learning.
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