Evidence That It Works
While research on the effectiveness of mindfulness programs in schools is still in the early stages, studies have found that mindfulness may reduce stress in students, increase their well-being, and improve their attention and executive functioning. In addition, some research studies suggest that mindfulness practices can also foster curiosity and learning.
Why Does It Matter?
Education is often conducted as an “outside-in” process: the student is an empty vessel to be filled with facts, figures, and ideas that are supported by outside sources. While this method has its place, it ignores a student’s own wisdom and life experience as it relates to the content. As a result, students often leave school not knowing who they are and what they value.
Through contemplative practices such as this one, students are given the opportunity to deepen their self-knowledge by choosing and observing the impact of what is personally meaningful to them.
Goethe once wrote, as noted by physicist and contemplative practitioner Arthur Zajonc, “One comes to know nothing beyond what one loves. And the deeper and more complete the knowledge, the stronger, more powerful and living must be one’s love and fervor.”