Dr. Kevin Gary is a professor at Valparaiso University, where he teaches theology, education, and in the Christ College Honors Program. His book Why Boredom Matters: Education, Leisure, and the Quest for a Meaningful Life was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.
Dr. Kevin Gary’s talk explores the pervasive problem of boredom and boredom avoidance as a hindrance to human flourishing. Turning to the Christian intellectual tradition Gary considers ways we can connect to richer moral and spiritual practices.
From the introduction to Dr. Gary’s book:
“In spite of pedagogical ‘innovations,’ boredom is particularly acute in schools. Students overwhelmingly report being bored in school, especially in the higher grades. Given the extent of student boredom and its negative associations, including student misconduct, poor academic performance, and dropping out of school, this problem is particularly vexing for educators. In response, schools often do one or both of the following: first, endorse, perhaps unwittingly, what novelist Walker Percy describes as a ‘boredom avoidance scheme,’ adopting new initiative after new initiative in the hope that boredom can be outrun altogether. Second, they compel students to accept boring situations as an inevitable part of life, suggesting that maturity requires such compliance. The combination of these two strategies, avoidance and resignation, is arguably an ideal disposition for the modern worker, who needs a capacity to endure, without complaint, hours of tedious and mindless tasks, punctuated by weekends filled with consumptive diversions. This is not, however, ideal for human flourishing, either on an individual or communal level.”(emphases added)
This special event is open to all.
Ask your professor about credit for attending
Registration is not required for this course but would be helpful for planning purposes