New to mindfulness? Need more information? Some of the many benefits of mindfulness practices are explained in these informative videos:
Dan Siegel: Hand Model of the Brain
Science of Kindness
“Integrating Mindfulness Training into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Teachers and Students” By John Meiklejohn, Catherine Phillips, M. Lee Freedman, Mary Lee Griffin, Gina Biegel, Andy Roach, Jenny Frank, Christine Burke, Laura Pinger, et al. This summary is an analysis of the leading mindfulness based school curricula available to date. The paper reviews research and curricula, and analyzes the how mindfulness skills can increase teachers sense of well-being and self-efficacy. It gives a purposeful rationale for offering mindfulness training to k-12 teachers and offers peer-reviewed research on all notable programs. White Paper-Integrating Mindfulness into K-12 Education
Mindful Schools Research: Mindful Schools is one of the leaders of curriculum training and in-school mindfulness programming in the country. In 2011-2012, Mindful Schools partnered with the University of California – Davis to conduct the largest randomized-controlled study to date on mindfulness and children. The research involved 915 children and 47 teachers in 3 Oakland public elementary schools. Results showed significant improvement in the areas of paying attention and social compliance. This bi-modal study helps to analyze the efficacy of the mindful schools program, and adds to the research on mindfulness based practices in schools. http://www.mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/research/
“Mindfulness-based Approaches with Children and Adolescents:A Preliminary Review of Current Research in an Emergent Field” By Christine A. Burke This is a preliminary review of the current research of mindfulness-based approaches with children and adolescents using MBSR/MBCT models. http://www.mindfulschools.org/pdf/burke-child-adol.pdf
“Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People” By Katherine Weare This review of research is compiled through the Mindfulness in Schools Project .b; in association with the University of Exeter Mood Disorders Center. This report discusses the strong evidence for the positive impact of mindfulness on a wide range of mental and physical health issues and also briefly discusses the evidence from neuroscience and brain imaging that concurs the alteration of the structure and function of the brain to improve the quality of thought and feeling with the use of mindfulness based strategies. http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/docs/documents/impact-of-mindfulness---katherine-weare.pdf
"Study shows mindfulness training can help reduce teacher stress and burnout" By Jill Ladwig. Teachers who practice "mindfulness" are better able to reduce their own levels of stress and prevent burnout, according to a study conducted by the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) at UW-Madison's Waisman Center. http://www.news.wisc.edu/22069
"Social and Emotional Curriculum: Understanding Happiness" by Randy Taran. This is part of a series from the Project Happiness curriculum that explores the many facets of happiness and provides practical techniques to generate greater happiness and a more meaningful life. You can use this exercise to explore your own relationship to happiness, and/or bring it to your students to help them build a stronger sense of their own happiness. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/understanding-happiness-door-one-randy-taran
"Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity" by Alison Beard of Harvard Business Review. An Interview with Ellen Langer. "Over nearly four decades, Ellen Langer’s research on mindfulness has greatly influenced thinking across a range of fields, from behavioral economics to positive psychology. It reveals that by paying attention to what’s going on around us, instead of operating on auto-pilot, we can reduce stress, unlock creativity, and boost performance. Her “counterclockwise” experiments, for example, demonstrated that elderly men could improve their health by simply acting as if it were 20 years earlier. In this interview with senior editor Alison Beard, Langer applies her thinking to leadership and management in an age of increasing chaos." http://hbr.org/2014/03/mindfulness-in-the-age-of-complexity/ar/1
"Kinder Kindergarten: Mindfulness Tips for Preschoolers and Their Families" by Kelly April Tyrell of the University of Wisconsin - Madison. If there was a way to potentially help kids pay better attention, exercise more generosity with their peers, perform better in school, and be more aware of themselves and others, would you try it? What if it was free, relatively easy and cost only a bit of your time and focus?
This Professor Says Learning To Be Happy Is "No Different Than Learning The Violin" by Paige Lavender of The Huffington Post. Richard Davidson, professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, touted the importance of being mindful, especially in the workplace. "I think people in leadership positions are starting to understand the importance of [mindfulness practices]," Davidson told HuffPost Live at Davos. "The cost of burnout is enormous, the cost of employee turnover is enormous." Davidson said happiness is a skill that can be continually developed. "I talk about happiness as a skill. It's actually something that can be cultivated," he said. "Everything we've learned about the brain suggests it's no different than learning the violin... if you practice, you'll get better at it." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/23/richard-davidson-davos_n_6529652.html?
Mindfulness In Education Research Highlights by Emily Campbell of The Greater Good, UC Berkeley. An annotated bibliography of studies of mindfulness in education. Although research on mindfulness, especially with children and adolescents, is still in relatively early stages, an increasing number of studies have shown the potential benefits of mindfulness practices for students’ physical health, psychological well-being, social skills, academic performance, and more. Other studies have indicated that mindfulness may be effective for reducing stress and burnout in teachers and administrators as well.
The Mindful Child; How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate (2010): by Susan Greenland A wonderful resource for parents and teachers, Greenland, the founder of Inner Kids, describes the importance of mindfulness for children and gives concrete examples and exercises to bring mindful awareness into everyday life.
Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness; A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything (2009) by Deborah Schoeberlein and Suki Sheth This book is written for teachers and other professionals who work in schools. It gives practical advice about how to use mindful awareness practice to abate stress for teachers. It also introduces a myriad of activities to use with students to lesson their stress in school and focus their attention in the classroom.
The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness Skills to Help You Deal With Stress (2009) by Gina Biegel, MA, LMFT The Stress Reduction Workbook is an excellent resource for teens experiencing stress. Biegel gives specific exercises for teens to identify their stressors, and gives them techniques to use to manage their stress. The workbook touches on traditional stressors that teens face, such as emotional regulation, impulse control, friendships, work stress, parental stressors, school stressors, and other factors that influence the emotional and physical balance for teens.
10 Mindful Minutes: Giving our Children – and Ourselves – the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Happier, Healthier Lives (2011) by Goldie Hawn with Wendy Holden This book is a wonderful introduction to mindfulness and how it can improve daily life. Hawn uses personal examples of how mindful awareness practices have influenced and changed her relationships with her children, life partners, and friends. While speaking with a personal lens, she does an outstanding job of incorporating all of the leading research on the brain, and the way mindful awareness practice positively influences attention, emotional regulation, depression and anxiety, relationships, and executive functioning skills. Hawn uses science to emphasize the need for mindfulness in our schools, our homes, and society in general. This is an excellent resource for parents interested in learning about mindfulness and using strategies with their children.
Child’s Mind: Mindfulness Practices to Help our Children Be More Focused, Calm and Relaxed (2010) By Christopher Williard Psy.D. Child’s mind is another excellent introductory resource for parents or educators who are interested in the fundamentals of mindfulness. Willard gives a plethora of basic practices that can be used on a daily basis to cultivate attention, focus, awareness, and impulse control. Including anecdotes from his personal experiences teaching mindfulness to children and adolescents, the practices are purposeful, easy to follow, and proven to be effective.
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (1990) by Jon Kabat-Zinn Full Catastrophe Living, may be considered the essential text on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – the effects, the purpose, and the promise of mindfulness practice in everyday life. It addresses the foundations of mindfulness practice (breathing, sitting meditation, the body-scan technique, cultivating mindful movement, walking meditation, etc.), then addresses ways to deal with pain and stress, and suggests powerful techniques to work with fear, anxiety, sleep, and other hindrances. It ends with recommendations for continuing daily practices and cultivating mindfulness in daily life.
Children's Books on Empathy and Kindness: "A Chair for My Mother", by Vera B. Williams "The Nice Book", by David Ezra Stein "Those Shoes", by Maribeth Boelts "The Lion and the Mouse", by Jerry Pinkney "How Kind", by Mary Murphy "A Sick Day for Amos McGee", by Philip C. Stead "Out of the Blue", by Alison Jay "Last Stop on Market Street", by Matt de la Pena "The Kindness Quilt", by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace "How to Heal a Broken Wing", by Bob Graham "The Spiffiest Giant in Town", by Julia Donaldson "Each Kindness", by Jacqueline Woodson "Extra Yarn", by Mac Barnett The list continues along with brief descriptions and age recommendations in this great article from The Washington Post.
Websites We Refer To Often
The MindUp Curriculum: Grades Pre-kindergarten-8 The MindUP program is in current brain science, evidence-based classroom pedagogy and precepts of social and emotional learning (SEL). http://thehawnfoundation.org/mindup/
Garrison Institute: The Garrison Institute is dedicated to the exploration of contemplative practices in education. Each year, the Garrison Institute offers summer retreats for teachers including the CARE for teachers retreat, focusing on cultivating awareness and resilience. www.garrisoninstitute.org
Center for Investigating Healthy Minds: As a part of University of Wisconsin-Madison, CIHM includes a diverse mix of scientists from several different disciplines as well as scholars in the humanities who work together to focus on the study of healthy qualities of minds using brain imaging as a significant measure in their studies. www.investigatinghealthyminds.org
Mindfulness in Education Network: Facilitating communication among all educators, parents, students and any others interested in promoting mindfulness in educational settings. www.mindfuled.org
Association for Mindfulness in Education: A collaborative association of organizations and individuals working together to provide support for mindfulness training as a component of K-12 education. www.mindfuleducation.org
The Inner Piece: A site designed to introduce educators to mindful awareness and provide resources for educators who want to explore this amazing tool further. Practicing mindfulness can help teachers manage stress, improve patience, cultivate a clearer, calmer mind, and enhance the quality of their relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. http://theinnerpiece.weebly.com/