IN THE EARLY 1990s, scientist, writer, and world-renowned mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinnencountered Cherry Hamrick, a teacher in the small town of South Jordan, Utah, who wanted to bring mindfulness—the act of paying attention on purpose in the present moment—into her elementary school. Worried about how a largely Mormon community might react to such practices, Kabat-Zinn told the young teacher not to do it.
Mette Bahnsen, a filmmaker in Denmark, has made a beautifully produced film about integrating mindfulness into education called “Healthy Habits of Mind”, which features:
NEUROSCIENCE: leading neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson explains the science behind mindfulness and how it can increase happiness and well-being in youth.
IN-CLASS INSTRUCTION: see kindergarten teacher Renee Harris (a Mindful SchoolsCurriculum Training graduate) teaching mindful breathing, listening, eating, movement, and heartfulness in her Berkeley, California public school classroom.
TRAINING FOR EDUCATORS: the film peeks into a Mindful Schools Curriculum Training course taught by Program Directors Megan Cowan and Chris McKenna.
THE VALUE OF MINDFULNESS IN EDUCATION: interviews with Megan Cowan, Renee Harris, and Dr. Richard Davidson explain why mindfulness belongs in schools.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:
Schools should be mindful places. In my experience they rarely are. What can a teacher do? Create a mindful classroom!
A Meditation from the Field from Linda Lantieri and Madhavi Nambiar
Mr. Gray, an educator in his second year of teaching in New York City wrote out his resignation letter and left it on his desk. As a final measure, he chose to attend a Renewal and Restoration Retreat for Educators provided by The Inner Resilience Program – a nonprofit organization started right after September 11, 2001 to help teachers in Lower Manhattan begin to heal and recover from the tragic events of that day. He felt he had nothing to lose. “I was so tired of trying to balance the pressures I was feeling, I wanted to quit. After the retreat I went home and ripped up the resignation letter sitting on my desk. I found that place in me that knows why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.”
Learning to BREATHE is a mindfulness curriculum for adolescents designed for classroom or other settings. The program is tailored to the needs of adolescents in order to help them manage stress, strengthen emotion regulation and attention, and improve well-being. The complete Learning to BREATHE curriculum, including 6 and 18 session versions and free, downloadable supplementary materials, is available from New Harbinger Publications.
If you are interested in on-site training, please contact Trish Broderick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the tropical island of Bali, Indonesia, there are homes tucked into the jungle that look like something out of a fairytale. They're designed to have soaring roof lines, few walls or windows - and nearly everything is fashioned from bamboo. Seth Doane reports.
Dennis T OConnor's insight:
These beautiful homes are sustainable works of art found on the Island of Bali.
This expression is rooted in the Green School, a private school built mostly from bamboo. It's bright bit of hope from Bali for the 300 students who learn there.
Room To Breathe is a surprising story of transformation as struggling kids in a San Francisco public middle school are introduced to the practice of mindfulness meditation.
"Room to Breathe", a documentary film about how mindfulness transformed a challenging San Francisco public middle school classroom, airs on over 58% of households across the United States on PBS's World Channel on Wed, Oct. 30 at 7 pm ET, with encores on Oct. 31 and Nov. 2.
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