How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

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How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#1  Postby HomerJay » Jul 24, 2014 7:43 pm

Mindfulness, the technique of mastering "living in the moment", helps us to combat distractions in a busy world. On a personal level, practising mindfulness can be really beneficial for teachers, but studies are increasingy showing that it can be helpful for students too.

But how can you use it in the classroom? We ran a live chat on the topic recently. Plenty of teachers shared their advice, tips and tricks – here's a round up of the ideas that were shared:

• Get students to think about being mindful with some simple activities

Exploring body sensations is a nice way to introduce mindfulness to pupils. For example, you could ask students to walk slowly, or get them to eat something enjoyable and then something unpleasant (I use raw onion or mild chilli), so they can focus on savouring the now and exploring discomfort. Also, playing with a shock ball is a good approach to talking about turning towards life's fears.

• Build the practice into the curriculum

If you're struggling to find time in the school day to teach mindfulness, there are lots of opportunities within the curriculum that are adaptable to these activities. On a school trip today about coasts, for example, the children not only learned about the history of Brighton, coastal erosion and tides, but they also made their own Andy Goldsworthy nature sculptures. We then explained that the artworks were in the present moment, but when the tide comes in they will disappear, or people will add to them and they will change.


:lol:

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-netw ... sroom-tips?
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#2  Postby Animavore » Jul 24, 2014 7:59 pm

I think the best way to introduce mindfulness into the class room is to lay the place with landmines, tripwires and blades. They won't be long watching their step and paying attention.
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#3  Postby laklak » Jul 24, 2014 9:49 pm

Walk about the classroom randomly smacking them with a stick. Bet they'll pay fucking attention then.
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#4  Postby tuco » Jul 24, 2014 11:46 pm

From the article:

Students are taught the technique as part of personal, social and health education. This subject is timetabled for all students and in these classes we teach all sorts of life skills, from voting to relationships. It is presented as one possible way to move towards better mental health and we are very careful to keep the practice secular. For example, we talk about the mind and consciousness, but never the spirit or soul. This distinction has meant that even those with a fixed faith do not feel their beliefs are threatened or challenged. We also offer courses for parents and send letters home before students start the course.


I was not aware its part of education, interesting. Lets say I understand mind and consciousness being neutral. But voting and relationships? How to approach those without lets say ideology?
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#5  Postby orpheus » Jul 25, 2014 12:28 am

Actually, I find mindfulness meditation to be enormously beneficial. I think it's an excellent idea to teach it.
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#6  Postby igorfrankensteen » Jul 25, 2014 5:42 am

Hmm. This doesn't appear to be nearly as interesting as I hoped it would be from the title.

"Mindfulness" means something entirely different to me than they appear to be all about in this article. To me, this should refer to teaching students how to independently see through bias, and think past rote behavior, and reason their way through thickets of established authoritative ideas, in order to practically apply themselves directly to what is happening in life, rather than just following instruction sets.

Instead, they seem here to have been caught up in a faddish sort of convoluted and over complicated system of trying to avoid students becoming side tracked from the desired rote learning, by actively encouraging them to distract themselves even further, in the name of mindlessly following a new education concept fad.

Oh well.
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#7  Postby Deremensis » Jul 28, 2014 11:58 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:Hmm. This doesn't appear to be nearly as interesting as I hoped it would be from the title.

"Mindfulness" means something entirely different to me than they appear to be all about in this article. To me, this should refer to teaching students how to independently see through bias, and think past rote behavior, and reason their way through thickets of established authoritative ideas, in order to practically apply themselves directly to what is happening in life, rather than just following instruction sets.

Instead, they seem here to have been caught up in a faddish sort of convoluted and over complicated system of trying to avoid students becoming side tracked from the desired rote learning, by actively encouraging them to distract themselves even further, in the name of mindlessly following a new education concept fad.

Oh well.


What it's about is teaching students how to focus on something. Focusing on something is a skill, and it's not actually one that a lot of people are very good at. The goal is to teach students how to focus their mind on a specific task, regardless of whether it's "painful" (i.e. whether they wanna do it or not) and regardless of distractions that are about.

Trust me, it's a major issue. I would say it's one of the biggest things keeping students from learning mathematics well - I imagine other subjects suffer the same problem, but teaching mathematics is where I've had experience in the classroom. There's been dozens of times in my experience where I asked an entire classroom to solve a simple problem or puzzle, something that was at or beneath their level, easily. Rather than focusing on the subject at hand, they simply waited for a solution to be provided. Even offering incentives to complete it would not work. Even once they decided that they did indeed want to solve the problem, they couldn't focus on it in a productive manner - because doing so is painful, requires effort, and opens up the opportunity to fail.

Being able to focus in on something is an incredibly important skill. Having it makes you ten times more capable of learning material than you would be if you didn't have it, and it's not something that people just pick up naturally, at least not until they've matured quite a bit - past the point where it'd be useful in school.
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#8  Postby Templeton » Jul 29, 2014 3:35 am

Well put.
Would also like to add that mindfulness in the moment, also involves not identifying the now with the past.
Mindfulness has been practiced with many religions most commonly those of the Far East.
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Re: How to introduce mindfulness into your classroom

#9  Postby cavarka9 » Jan 15, 2015 8:34 am

I have found it very useful, if i had it as a child, it could have helped me a lot, it and many other things, cant just point to mindfulness, learning strategies, perseverance,so much research is available now, I think we need new course for new century, in this century, material is no longer the problem due to internet, its guidance, pacing at ones own level. determination,perseverance ,interest ,self control. How to be very resourceful and have meta cognition. But the root of it is ofcourse attention. But there are some pretty bad side effects to mindfulness, it can open up locked emotions, what is some memory of abuse came up? or much worse. there are different kinds of meditations,positive psychology, we have to tell people that if something has negative affect on them, then just stop it and do some other kind of meditation or something else. Philosophy can also be taught in schools.
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