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«Mindfulness in the Classroom An Overview for Educators Programs for Mindful Living 3343 East Calhoun Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55408 ...»

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For a sampling of this literature, see: Burke 2010, Greenberg and Harris 2012, Huppert and Johnson 2010, Huppert 2014, Jennings et al. 2011 and 2013, Semple et al. 2010, Weare 2013, Zenner et al. 2014, and Zoogman et al. 2014.

For general reviews of mindful teaching in the classroom, see Albrecht et al.

2012, Langer 1989 and1997, McHenry and Brady 2009, Meiklejohn et al. 2012, Miller 1994, O’Reilley 1998, Rechtschaffen 2014 Ritchhart and Perkins 2000, 9 Rotne and Rotne 2013, and Srinivasan 2014. The introduction of mindfulnessbased training in education has been spurred in large part by a growing dissatisfaction with the current state of education in our schools. For a sampling of this literature, see Kessler 2000, Perkins 1992, Rosenberg 2003, and Silberman 1970.

See the Supplemental Resources section for Web sites that focus on mindfulness for students and teachers. These include: Calm Classroom, Calmer Choice, Inner Kids program, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, Mindfulness in Schools Project, and Mindful Schools. The Supplemental Resources section also contains a list of mindfulness organizations, programs, and research centers that educators should be aware of and look in on.

This section provides an overview of how mindfulness training can help both students and teachers. For additional references and information, see the Supplemental Resources section of this report.

–  –  –

This list of the benefits of mindfulness-based teaching activities is supported and elaborated upon in numerous publications. For a sampling, see: Fontana

–  –  –

On first encounter an educator looking into the promise of mindfulness-based activities in education often assumes that mindfulness in the classroom is aimed solely at students. As the following literature illustrates, a large proportion of the literature is aimed at teachers. Schoeberlein and Sheth also summarize the benefits of mindful teaching for teachers in Mindful Teaching and Teaching

Mindfulness (2009:9):

–  –  –

The titles of the following sample of articles and books illustrate further just

what the benefits of a mindful practice and teaching mindfully are for teachers:

Bowers 2004, Flook et al. 2013, Howard and Johnson 2004, Jennings 2011, and 2015, MacDonald and Shirley 2009, Manas et al. 2011, Roeser et al. 2012, Soloway et al. 2011, and Weare 2014.

3. Sample Mindfulness-Based Activities for Students, Teachers, and Parents

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11 Today, there are an ever increasing number of books and organizations that provide activities that train both students and teachers in being mindful. Many of the organizations, such as the Mindfulness in Schools Project and Mindful Schools, provide curricula to follow, videos showing the use of mindfulness in a classroom, and certification in these activities for teachers. The most common ways of introducing mindfulness-based activities in a classroom setting are (from the most effective to the least effective): to train teachers how to use mindfulness techniques in their teaching, to have a mindfulness instructor teach a regular session on mindfulness (let’s say, once a week) throughout a semester or school-year, and to have an outside mindfulness instructor give a special talk on mindfulness once or twice a semester. Given the typical workload of a teacher, it has proven most effective to have a teacher bring in mindful moments within a class session: thus the emphasis on training teachers to teach mindfully. A prerequisite for this avenue of introducing mindfulness in the classroom is a personal mindfulness practice for a teacher.

Besides focusing on mindful education within schools, there is a growing emphasis on teaching parents these skills, too. The intent is to provide students with opportunities for learning to be mindful both inside and outside of school – and there is no better place than within the home.

For Students

Today, there are numerous curricula for teaching mindfulness skills to students of all ages. A few examples presented in book form are: Alderfer (2011) Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda; Flynn (2013) Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children; MacLean (2004) Peaceful Piggy Meditation; MacLean (2009) Moody Cow Meditates; Broderick (2013) Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotional Regulation, Attention, and Performance; and Saltzman (2014) A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions. Many of the organizations listed in the Supplemental Resources section also provide curricula for teaching mindfulness in the classroom at all levels.

12 Schoeberlein and Sheth in Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness provide easy to use instructions for the following mindfulness-based exercises for students: Take 1: Mindful Breathing; Mindful Seeing; Drawing the Mind;

Mindful Eating; Noticing Thoughts; Noticing Gaps; Walking with Awareness;

Mindful Walking; Mindful Walking – Attending to the Body; Mindful Walking – Developing Awareness with Distraction; Mindful Journaling with Take 1;

Journals and Mindful Seeing; Kindness Reflections; and Mindful Speech.

For Teachers

Schoeberlein and Sheth in Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness also provide easy to use strategies for becoming both a mindful teacher and a teacher who teaches mindfulness to students in order to improve their educational

experience and personal well-being. The strategies for teachers are: Take 5:

Mindful Breathing; Noticing Thoughts; Noticing Feelings; Kindness Reflections’ Kindness Reflection for Loved Ones; Analytical Meditation on Satisfaction; and Short Reflection on the Day. These strategies are interspersed in the book with strategies for teaching mindfulness to students (as mentioned above), which makes the book especially attractive to teachers intent on becoming a mindful teacher and a teacher of mindfulness to students. Take 5: Mindful Breathing is, for example, a basic meditation exercise that starts a teacher on the path to becoming mindful.

The chapters in Patricia Jennings’ Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom illustrate in an easy to understand way the benefits of mindful teaching. Starting with Chapter 2, the chapters are: (2) The Emotional Art of Teaching, (3) Understanding Your Negative Emotions, (4) The Power of Positivity, (5) The Heart of Teaching, (6) Orchestrating Classroom Dynamics, and (7) Mindfulness and School Transformation. As an example, here are the subsections in Chapter 6: Classroom Dynamics: Emotional Climate, Reducing Noise, Arranging Students and Furniture, Transitions, Mindful Communication, Building a Community of Learners, Building Good Relationships, Rules and Procedures, Conflict Resolution, Mindful Wait Time (creating mindful pauses throughout the day), Dynamic Instruction (a classroom management theory), Responding to Challenging Behavior, (e.g., 13 nonjudgmental awareness, reasons for misbehavior, temperament, consequences versus punishment, and unmet emotional needs: assessing the motive behind the behavior), Skill-Building Practices (e.g., practicing with-it-ness and mindful wait time), and Introducing Mindfulness to Students (mindful listening, mindful walking, mindful eating, and bell activity to promote mindful awareness). The first chapter in the book asks, of course, “What is Mindfulness?” There is an extensive resources section at the back of Jennings’ book. The book also offers practical applications for classroom life that will enhance your experience as an educator. Jennings’ book is a highly recommended resource for teachers contemplating becoming a mindful teacher.

For Parents

The Supplemental Resources section contains a list of books on mindfulness for parents. These books focus on programs for helping children improve attention and emotional balance (Cohen 2013, Hawn and Holden 2012, Kaiser Greenland 2010, and Willard 2010), for being a mindful parent (Kabat-Zinn and KabatZinn 1998, Race 2014, Ruethling and Pitcher 2003, and Siegel and Hartzell 2004), for developing in general a child’s mind (Reddy 2014, Siegel and Bryson 2011), and/or for mindful discipline (Shapiro and White 2014).

4. Potential Funding Sources

5. Supplemental Resources The Garrison Institute website (http://garrisoninstitute.org) and Mindful Magazine (www.mindful.org) contain many references to mindfulness in general and in education, with links to many mindfulness resources. Also see the extensive resource section in P. Jennings (2015).

Books: Mindfulness for Students Alderfer, L. 2011. Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda. Somerville, MA: Wisdom.

14 Flynn, L. 2013. Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and

Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children. Avon, MA:

Adams Media.

Fontana, David, and Ingrid Slack, 1997. Meditating with Children: A Practical

Guide to the Use and Benefits of Meditations Techniques. Rockport, Mass.:

Llewellyn Publications.

Johnson, A. N., & M. Webb Neagley (eds.). 2011. Educating from the Heart:

Theoretical and Practical Approaches to Transforming Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

MacLean, Kerry L. 2004. Peaceful Piggy Meditation. Park Ridge, IL: Albert Whitman.

MacLean, Kerry L. 2009. Moody Cow Meditates. Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications.

Olson, K. 2014. The Invisible Classroom: Relationships, Neuroscience, & Mindfulness in School. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Rechtschaffen, Daniel. 2014. The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating WellBeing in Teachers and Students. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Rosenberg, Marshall. 2003. Life-Enriching Education. Encinitas, CA:

PuddleDancer Press.

Rotne, Nokolaj F., and Didde F. Rotne. 2013. Everybody Present: Mindfulness in Education. Berkeley CA: Parallax Press.

Silver, Gail. 2011. Steps and Stones: An Anh’s Anger Story. Berkeley CA:

Plum Blossom Books.

Snel, Eline. 2013. Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents): Simple Mindfulness Practices to Help Your Child Deal With

Anxiety, Improve Concentration, and Handle Difficult Emotions. Boston, MA:


Srinivasan, Meena. 2014. Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom. Berkeley CA: Parallax Press.

The Future Teachers Foundation. Mindfulness Coloring Book for Children: A Fantastic Introduction to Mindfulness for Children. The Future Teachers Foundation Publishing.

Verdick, E. 2010. Calm-Down Time. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit.

Books and Audios: Mindfulness for Teachers Broderick, P. C. 2013. Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultivate Emotion Regulation, Attention, and Performance.

Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

15 Jennings, Patricia A. 2015. Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom. New York: W. W. Norton and Co.

Kessler, R. 2000. The Soul of Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion, and Character at School. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Lantieri, L. 2008. Building Emotional Intelligence in Children. Boulder, CO:

Sounds True.

Lichtmann, M. 2005. The Teacher’s Way: Teaching and the Contemplative Life.

Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press.

MacDonald, E., & D. Shirley. 2009. The Mindful Teacher. New York, NY:

Teachers College Press.

McHenry, I., & R. Brady (eds.). 2009. Tuning in: Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning. Philadelphia, PA: Friends Council in Education.

Miller, J. 1994. The Contemplative Practitioner: Meditation in Education and the Professions. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Murray, L. E. 2012. Calm Kids: Help Children Relax with Mindful Activities.

Edinburgh, UK: Floris Books.

O’Reilley, M. R. 1998. Radical Presence: Teaching as Contemplative Practice.

Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.

Rechtschaffen, Daniel. 2014. The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating WellBeing in Teachers and Students. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Saltzman, A. 2014. A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching

Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions. Oakland, CA:

New Harbinger.

Saltzman, A., & C. Willard (eds.). 2014. Mindfulness with Youth: From the Classroom to the Clinic. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Schoeberlein, Deborah, with Suki Sheth. 2009. Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything.

Somerville MA: Wisdom Publications.

Srinivasan, M. 2014. Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

Articles: Mindfulness for Students and Teachers (Overviews)

Hart, Tobin. 2004. Opening the Contemplative Mind in the Classroom.

Journal of Transformative Education 2(1), January.

Horstman, Judith. 2013. Burlington Manual: Mindfulness in Public Schools. Compiled by the South Burlington, Vermont, School District.

Kaiser-Greenland, Susan. 2010. The Mindful Child. Atria Books.

16 Napoli, M. P. R. Krech, and L. C. Holley. 2005. Mindfulness Training for Elementary School Students. J Appl School Psychol 21(1):99-125.

Sibinga, E. et al. 2011. Mindfulness Instruction for Urban Youth. J Altern Complement Med 17:1-6.

Taylor, R., and K. Schellinger. 2011. The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-analysis of School-based Universal Interventions. Child Development 82(1):405-32.

Books: Mindfulness for Parents

Cohen, Harper J. 2013. Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance.

Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Hawn, G., & W. Holden. 2012. 10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children – and Ourselves – The Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives. New York, NY: Perigee Trade.

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