Mindfulness in Education – Brazil

A great workshop with teachers in Brazil who are already using mindfulness in the classroom or who are keen to try.  We discussed the different models of mindful working schools and this group really grasped that first and foremost the mindfulness starts with the teacher.  They were inspired by the work of Grepmair et al (2007) who showed that when trainee therapists practiced mindfulness for themselves this had a direct impact on their clinical encounters and the clinical outcomes for their patients. Just the teacher themselves practicing mindfulness can change the whole classroom dynamic. We discussed the role of intentionality in the classroom, and how being in the body, being fully present and with a strong intention, can create a very different experience in the classroom that the young people can sense.  The current debate about mindfulness in the classroom centres on whether we should start training the teachers to be mindful or bring standardized programs into school. The latter is the current model, with curriculum programs such as .b, MindUp and Learning to Breathe ranging in duration from 8 to 15 weeks.  However, with many of these programs, the anecdotal evidence is that teachers felt they would have benefited from more training themselves and this seems to be shift in emphasis as the field develops.  Watch this space.



Here is a video of Jon Kabat-Zinn making the case for Mindfulness in Education and a great video here about Healthy Habits of Minds.