Mindfulness is being used in schools, colleges and universities to help teachers, children, and students. Mindfulness helps children, students and teachers to improve their concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy.
Mindfulness for school children
Mindfulness can be taught to children from a very young age. It is normally taught by specialist providers such as mindfulschools.org . Using short, interactive, child friendly exercises based on MBSR, children learn to be more mindful of their thoughts and actions. This usually results in improvements in concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy among students, building a calm climate in the classroom, and improving the overall school environment.
Case Study: Tonbridge, Charterhouse & Hampton Schools: UK
In what is being described as a ground-breaking school curriculum addition, pupils at Tonbridge, Hampton and Charterhouse Schools, aged 14 and 15, took part in an 8 week mindfulness course taught during normal lesson time. The course was designed in collaboration with Oxford and Cambridge psychologists and is one of the first in the country.
Pupils claim benefits as diverse as helping them cope with exam stress and sleep, to improving their performance in work and sport.
Prof Mark Williams, director of the Mindfulness Centre at Oxford, told the Times newspaper that Tonbridge was the first school to introduce a full meditation course in a practical rather than academic context. "This is not about converting people to Buddhism, but showing there is scientific evidence that these practices are useful," he said.
Case Study: Piedmont Avenue Elementary School, USA
During a five-week pilot program at Piedmont Avenue Elementary, Miss Megan, the "mindful" coach, visited every classroom twice a week, leading 15 minute sessions on how to have "gentle breaths and still bodies".
"I was losing at baseball and I was about to throw a bat," Alex Menton, 11, reported to his classmates one day. "The mindfulness really helped."
Tyran Williams defined mindfulness as "not hitting someone in the mouth." "He doesn't know what to do with his energy," his mother, Towana Thomas, said at a session for parents. "But one day after school he told me, 'I'm taking a moment.' If it works in a child's mind - with so much going on - there must be something to it." Read full article (PDF)
Association for Mindfulness in Education is a collaborative association of organizations and individuals based in the USA who work together to provide support for mindfulness training as a component of K-12 education.
A UK - based network for people using mindfulness with children and adolescents
Mindful Schools is a USA based organisation. Their mission is to empower and support young people to live happy and fulfilling lives by helping them fulfill their academic potential, be more emotionally aware, empathetic, and mindful of their thoughts and actions.
Mindfulness in Education Network was established in 2001 to promote mindfulness as an antidote to the growing stress, conflict and confusion in educational settings as well as an invaluable gift to give students. The purpose of the network is to facilitate communication among all educators, parents, students
Mindfulness for schoolsis a UK based organisation that provides resources for schools in line with the National Healthy Schools Programme. The syllabus stands on its own as a teaching guide to Wellbeing; however it also has links with Science, PE, RE, Philosophy, Psychology, Art, English and Citizenship. "Understanding Mindfulness is a modern life skill as important as any curriculum subject. Learning how to live in the 'now' - learning to be more consciously aware - enables students to notice their thoughts and emotions, identify a difference between impulses and actions."
Mindfulness in Schools Project is a UK based non-profit organisation whose aim is to encourage, support and research the teaching of secular mindfulness in schools. "For some, lessons in mindfulness are appreciated simply as a way to help them relax and be calm. However, for many the benefits extend well beyond this, helping them cope with exam stress, get to sleep, manage anger, deal with difficult relationships, improve their performance in sports, or simply handle the increasingly stressful pace and pressure of adolescence."
University of IOWA Health Care Offer "Mindfulness for Freshmen" and "Mindfulness for Medical/PA Students" to help them learn to care for themselves while caring for others as well as help them introduce patients to mindfulness as an effective intervention for patients
University of Massachusetts Centre for Mindfulness Mindfulness, Courage, and Reflection for Educators is an after-school program that integrates the strengths of the renewal work of Courage to Teach® from Courage & Renewal Northeast at Wellesley College, together with mindfulness training as it is taught at the Center for Mindfulness(CFM) Stress Reduction Program at UMass Medical School.
A segment from a documentary about the Inner Kids program broadcast by GoodTube.org. In this activity Susan Kaiser Greenland uses a jar of water with baking soda as a visual aid, and a jumping off point, to discuss how breath awareness can help us calm our thoughts and emotions so that we can see inner and outer experience more clearly. The video was taken in Los Angeles classrooms where the Inner Kids mindfulness program was taught.