Monday, 1 June 2015

Mindfulness very gently moving around the world's classrooms

From The Age
by Colleen Ricci

"Mindfulness meditation – the practice of quietening the mind to bring awareness and attention to the present moment – is increasingly being used in schools around the world as a tool to improve student wellbeing and enhance academic performance. Although originating in Buddhist religious tradition, it is a secular form of the practice that has become popular in classrooms and workplaces.

One particular program making headway on an international scale is the Britain-based Mindfulness in Schools Project. It provides two main courses designed specifically by teachers for use in the classroom: ".b" – pronounced "dot-be" (Stop, Breathe and Be) – aimed at older children, and "Paws-be" geared towards 7- to 11-year-olds. Now taught in more than 20 countries with a curriculum translated into numerous languages, co-founder Richard Burnett hopes that mindfulness meditation will one day be taught in all schools "just like reading and writing".

Why is it happening?

In recent years, mindfulness training has been incorporated into workplaces around the world, including government organisations, companies, hospitals and prisons. Research has overwhelmingly highlighted the many benefits of the practice in adult populations, including enhanced performance, improved emotional management and reduced workplace stress; inspiring even more workplaces to implement mindfulness training programs.

These favourable results have led educators to consider the potential value of mindfulness meditation in schools to improve student concentration and overall wellbeing; particularly given the myriad multimedia distractions they face and the rising incidence of anxiety and depression..."  read it all

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