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Maya Levanon

Pathways Mentors: Maya Levanon

After earning my masters degree in Kantian-feminist ethics, accompanied by a long series of courses in metaphysics, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, I decided that my next goal was bringing philosophy into life.

Straight from the Himalayas, I found myself landing directly to the unique doctorate program in Montclair State University, NJ, that aims at philosophical education and dialogical practices.

In my dissertation I offered a new paradigm of educational knowledge and pedagogy, I call it "Philosophical-Spirituality": knowledge that aims at meanings, virtues and values, followed by a constructivist epistemology that is based on communal, critical, and creative thinking and spiritual dispositions, all in a safe-space environment.

In my classroom I employ Community of Inquiry, as well as with non-affiliated groups, where I describe it as Quest Circle. Together, while inquiring core fundamental concepts and ideas, we work on developing life-skills using philosophical-spiritual inquiries.

Currently, I am teaching in an interdisciplinary graduate teacher education program, at National-Louis University in Wisconsin, where the cohort and I integrate disciplines such as group dynamics, human development, and cross cultural education toward a final action research. This is another step I take in order to implement the relationships between thinking and doing.

At this point in life I emphasize the philosophical, spiritual, and social into what I believe is the natural bridge: integral education toward transformation.

My current research interests include: implementing "Philosophical-Spirituality" in different educational settings, the notion of "Identity" in the post post-modern era, Dialogue-groups in different professional contexts, philosophy as the Living, and women's spirituality and sense of self.

On a less academic note, I was always intrigued by the search for truth as it has been conducted by the different religious and mystical traditions. I have came to realize that with all due respect to philosophy as pure rational endeavor, reality as we meet with it is far more complex and less "knit" than a set of logical formulas. Today I focus on one, hoping it will provide me with some clearer outlook on Reality as Absolute Abstraction.

Other than that, I love my cat — absolutely cannot live without him! I enjoy cooking, writing poetry, doing art work, all while listening to music, which is an essential part of my life. Love traveling, hiking and relaxing in the sun with a smell of fresh soil.