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Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education

Bring the benefit of mindful and compassionate teaching into the lives of the next generation.
Obtain a fully accredited professional licensure.


There are other programs that teach mindfulness, but Naropa University is the only school in the nation that bases its entire curriculum on mindful, contemplative education. As a result, you will learn how to incorporate mindfulness practices in your teaching, support your students' social emotional development, and transform your life with contemplative practice. 

Contemplative education asks you to see yourself, see the world, and see yourself in the world. At Naropa we provide you with the content knowledge seen through culturally responsive lenses and mindful practices to ground your investigation of the world. Unlike many other Teacher Licensure Programs, upon
completion of this course of study, students will satisfy both the Teacher Licensure credentialing requirements and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement. This endorsement increases both the marketability of graduates and their capacity to teach in ourdiverse society.

Technology, as it has become increasingly common in public and private schools, is woven into each course with opportunities for instruction and experience with 1:1 Google Chromebooks, Apple iPads, and technology applications that support best practices.  Students will grow in skillfully blending their use of digital tools with contemplative pedagogy.



Featured Elementary Education Classes

  • Holistic and Contemplative Teaching Traditions
  • Nature and Education
  • Multicultural Education and Contemplative Critical Pedagogy



Program Learning Outcomes

  •  Students integrate artistic expression and contemplative practices to the teaching/learning process.
  • Students pass the Colorado state teacher’s test (PRAXIS).
  • Students apply Teacher Quality, Content and CLD state standards in their lesson planning to effectively meet the needs of diverse students.
  • Students pass all classes toward the Culturally Linguistically Diverse Endorsement.
  • Students demonstrate the ability to sustain a grounded presence in difficult classroom settings.


Required Degree Credits

You will complete 52 credit hours of education course work, 27 credit hours of general content course work and 14 credits of personal contemplative practice coursework as part of your 120 credit contemplative undergraduate education at Naropa.

Degree Requirements

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Student Highlight

I feel that my role in education breaks down into three parts, although these parts will forever intertwine and impact one other. They are: social justice, Earth restoration, and human awakening. My social justice orientation calls me to work in the public schools. I want to bring the radical, holistic, and contemplative ways of education that I have studied to all children.” 

— Rachel Boyle

Elementary Education Student

See Rachel's Education Philosophy site here
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Faculty Highlight

“The Elementary Education program at Naropa is unique because, in addition to preparing students for teacher licensure, it supports students in developing mindfulness and culturally responsive pedagogy so that students can become transformative educators for social justice. All elementary education majors graduate with a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Endorsement because we believe that all teachers must be equipped to teach all students. The level of critical dialogue and compassion present in each class discussion is inspiring.”

— Betsy Leach

Chair of the Elementary Education Department

Learn more about Betsy