Professor and Director, Elementary Education
Alice McIntyre is a Professor and Director of the Elementary Education Department at Hellenic College. She has been engaged in activist research and education for many years. Dr. McIntyre capitalizes on the various opportunities she has to provide a classroom community where students can engage, critique, and question educational and psychological discourse. Within the courses she teaches, Dr. McIntyre makes explicit the need to clarify relationships between social positionalities and dominant psychological and educational theories and practices. She believes that curriculum and classroom practice must be critical, multicultural, projustice, participatory, experiential, hopeful, kind, visionary, academically challenging, and culturally sensitive.
Dr. McIntyre’s approach to research is participatory, transformative, and grounded in the lives of research participants. In collaboration with multiple groups, Dr. McIntyre engages in ongoing processes exploring the diversity of community beliefs and practices and how these might contribute to the development of asset-based, community-school programs aimed at creating strong, viable partnerships among local residents, schools, and institutions of higher learning. She has written extensively about her research, in particular, whiteness and its relationship to education (Making Meaning of Whiteness: Exploring Racial Identity with White Teachers, 1997, SUNY Press); her experiences engaging in participatory action research to address issues salient to inner-city youth (Inner-city Kids: Adolescents Confront Life and Violence in an Urban Community, 2000, New York University Press; Participatory Action Research, 2008, SAGE) and how women living in the North of Ireland experience the effects of war (Women in Belfast: How Violence Shapes Identity, 2004, Greenwood Publishing Group).
Dr. McIntyre has also written about ‘engaged contemplation’ – a way of experiencing one’s feeling, thoughts, and actions in the midst of the everyday which she sees as a key factor in a student’s ability to be genuine in her or his teaching practice. See Practicing mindfulness: A pedagogical tool for spotlighting whiteness. In Tammie M Kennedy, Joyce Irene Middleton & Krista Ratcliffe (Eds.) (2016). Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial hauntings in popular culture, social media, and education, and Purposeful pausing: Integrating a mindfulness practice into teacher preparation which was published in Teacher Education and Practice in 2017.
During the AY2016-17, Dr. McIntyre engaged in a year-long mindfulness project with 17 fifth grade students in a Boston public school. Over the course of the year-long project, participating students engaged in various types of mindfulness practices. The participants became “mindfulness ambassadors” to their families, school, and communities and demonstrated continued improvement in self-reflection, social awareness, and actively contributed to a mindful teaching and learning environment.
Practicing mindfulness can be beneficial to young people because it gives them the tools to control their thoughts, emotions, and actions; to decrease their anxiety, stress, and general unease; and, as important, to provide them with opportunities to engage in socially beneficial actions that contribute to their individual well-being and to the well-bring of their schools and communities. Dr. McIntyre’s book, Elementary Students Practice Mindfulness: A Meeting of the Minds, which describes how the participants experienced the year-long project, will be published in 2019 by Lexington Books.