Ravi Pradhan, República: In the past decade, a very exciting new approach has started to attract the attention of educators and parents in the US. An umbrella term to describe these approaches is “social and emotional learning” or SEL.
In fact, the US Federal Government and private foundations have funded several pilot grants all over the country.
SEL is seen as a relatively low-cost, secular, science-based approach that generates the following kinds of results across age, sex, income levels, and ethnic backgrounds in schools:
Thaddeus Pace, Scientific American: We live in an increasingly stressful world. There’s an aspirational sense things should improve with time, witness the U.S. War on Poverty or the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. But in the last 50 years, many risks, perceived and real, have grown worse: extreme weather, violent conflict, economic dislocation, poverty (especially for children), abuse and domestic violence. Traumatic and chronic stress affects millions. Many become sick and marginalized because of it; others manage to survive and thrive. What explains the difference?
“Resilience” is a popular answer these days. But it’s a buzzword in danger of losing its meaning through overuse. As …
Lee Carpenter, Penn State News: Grant from the Institute on Education Sciences focuses on teaching adolescents mindfulness practices.
Teaching adolescents mindfulness practices that may strengthen their attention, executive function and emotion regulation skills, and in turn improve their academic and social functioning is the focus of a new grant received by the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State. Mark Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research and professor of human development and psychology, is the principal investigator.
The three-year, $1.4 million grant from the Institute on Education Sciences will enable the integration of mindfulness practices and teachings into the regular …
Brogan Driscoll, Huffington Post UK: Once upon a time mindfulness was reserved for spiritual types sitting cross-legged on the tops of faraway mountains, but these days the mind-calming practice has well and truly gone mainstream.
Now, everyone is doing it, from comedian and HuffPost UK blogger Ruby Wax to high-flying bankers ditching the city for a life of peace.
But what exactly is it? Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that involves focusing on the present moment while acknowledging and accepting feelings and thoughts – whether positive or negative.
While the practice is certainly helping adults deal with negative tendencies such stress, self-doubt and anxiety, …
Gail Innis, Michigan State University Extension: It’s not just another way to get your kids to pay attention to you.
“Pay attention!” or “Why can’t you pay attention?” How many times have you said this to a child? We often expect that children should pay attention to us, their surroundings and their actions yet how do they actually learn to pay attention? According to Michigan State University Extension, paying attention isn’t easy when there are lots of things going on vying for your attention.
Research shows that when children are able to manage their own emotions and get along well with others (social …
Matthew Jenkin, The Guardian: Buddhists have practised mindfulness for more than 2,000 years, but the technique of focusing on the present moment has long been dismissed by scientists as new age mumbo jumbo. Now, though, the West is finally waking up to the benefits of Eastern meditation and schools are discovering a daily dose of silent reflection can not only calm a classroom but may improve academic performance.
In recent years, medical science has discovered the extent to which mindfulness can help treat a range of mental conditions, from stress to depression. While most studies have focused on adults, new research shows mindfulness can …
Carla Naumburg, PsychCentral: A few weeks ago, I was on a retreat as part of a year-long course I recently took on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. (For the record, the course meets in person in the Boston area and online for those of you around the world, and it’s fantastic. If you’re a mental health professional interested in integrating mindfulness into your practice, I highly recommend you check it out.) Anyway, we spent about 36 hours of the retreat in silence, during which time our goal was to meditate on whatever we were doing: sitting, walking, washing dishes, and eating.
At each meal, I tried …
The Westmorland Gazette: Meditation could soon be on the curriculum for primary school pupils thanks to a programme devised by a Lake District woman.
Holly Horsley, 25, is on a mission to reduce stress caused by the school curriculum which, she says, focusses ‘too much’ on career-led subjects and not enough on life skills to combat pressure.
She is working with national charity, Fixers, to produce an information pack about the benefits of meditation, which will be sent out to local schools.
“I like to find a quiet place and just sit there and be in my element,” she explained.
“To me, meditation is …
Mary MacVean, Los Angles Times: Hundreds of schools in California alone have mindful meditation programs, and educators see benefits. Mindfulness is said to help with focus, attention, calming the emotions and school performance.
Erica Eihl speaks in a voice that her kindergartners can hear only if they are as quiet as the church mice in children’s storybooks.
And with a couple of squirrelly exceptions, they stay that quiet for 15 or 20 minutes — a near eternity — as Eihl guides them to use all their senses to consider a piece of apple, with directions such as, “Looking at the apple, look on the outside …