Episode 08 – Teaching Empathy and Collaboration with Frances Garrett


Dr. Frances Garrett, from the University of Toronto, talks about how she designs courses in creative ways that focus on developing student skills as well as sharing Buddhist studies content. Her courses have included an immersive year-long role-playing experience and a seminar where the students collaborated on writing and publishing an academic article. As a self-professed introvert for whom teaching has always been a struggle, Frances talks about how she centers the mental health of her undergraduate and graduate students and aims to create a more compassionate university environment.


“I think as a teacher you have to model appreciative criticism.” Frances Garrett 

“Students’ subjective experience can be a way into learning about interdependence.” Frances Garrett

Links and References 

Frances Garrett’s website and profile page

Antioch University’s study abroad program in Bodhgaya, India (See also episode with Kerry Brown

David Germano and the Tibetan Himalayan Digital Library website 

Barnard College’s webpage on Reacting to the Past – Role-playing game for undergraduate students 

Todd Lewis’ article, “Getting the Foundations Right when Teaching Asian Religions,” Education about Asia, 2010 

Todd Lewis’ article, “Representations of Buddhism in Undergraduate Teaching: The Centrality of Ritual and Story Narratives,” Teaching Buddhism in the West Routledge 2002 

Frances Garrett, Matt King, Barbara Hazelton, Andrew Erlich, and Nicholas Field’s article, “Narratives of Hospitality and Feeding in Tibetan Ritual,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion – co-written with grad students 

Article on the 3 Domains of Learning in Bloom’s Taxonomy