Mindfulness in Education

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Mindfulness can be described as the awareness and observation of the present moment without reactivity or judgment. These days mindfulness is everywhere. A Google search on the term mindfulness yielded more than 208,000,000 links, while Amazon.com lists over 30,000 results with mindfulness in the title or as a keyword. It has become a buzz word for many who seek to apply it to their life in order to keep in touch with their goals and hopes. 

Mindfulness in Education

Mindfulness can play an important role in Education. Mindfulness and the practices associated with it can significantly enhance both your studies and your life as a student and have a positive effect on your learning outcomes. It can improve self-regulation of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, linking them to both improved performance and healthy well-being. Extensive research on mindfulness and the practices associated with it has shown it to be effective with a number of concerns that are relevant to students, for example:

  • enhances the ability to attend and to concentrate
  • increases productively
  • increases the ability to manage stress
  • develops greater self awareness
  • improves self esteem
  • reduces anxiety, tension, low mood and depression
  • facilitates interpersonal relationships
  • enables better sleep
  • increases vitality
  • enhances psychological and physical well-being 

And mindfulness is not just of benefit to the student. A recent study was undertaken in twelve Australian schools which agreed to take part in a mindfulness meditation trial, to see if mindfulness could make a positive difference for students and teachers. 

The results of the study were reported on heysigmund.com and demonstrate the positive effect of mindfulness and its impact on student and teacher well-being when being applied to the classroom.

The study involved seven inner metro schools, four outer metro schools, and one regional school. Altogether, 1853 students and 104 took part. Teachers were trained in mindfulness and they participated in the five-week program. The students involved in the study were randomly assigned into two groups – one group did the mindfulness meditation and the other didn’t. Teachers and students were asked to use the program at least three times per week. 

At the end of the trial, teachers and students reported significant improvements across a number of key areas, including sleep quality, well-being, the ability to manage and accept emotions, concentration, and school behaviour. The students who reported the biggest improvements were the ones who had greater levels of emotional distress at the beginning of the program.

Importantly, there were also significant reductions in bullying and disruptive behavior in the classroom. 

Positive results from using mindfulness in the classroom have been found in a wide variety of schools, in classes of all sizes and with students of diverse backgrounds, locations and ages.

In this way we can see how mindfulness could have an important role to play in education, both contributing to a more favourable learning environment and having a profound effect on students’ lives, as well as on their mental and emotional health.

 

 

 

 


gemmacreagh

Gemma is a nomadic writer, filmmaker, & journalist.
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