In 2012, Katherine Weare, emeritus professor at Exeter and Southampton universities, studied the impact of mindfulness on children and young people (PDF). The study determined that mindfulness helps to develop cognitive and performance skills that lead to children becoming more focused in the classroom. In her research, Weare refers to mindfulness as the "WD40" for education.
Why does mindfulness training for schoolchildren matter?
- When children have simple, easy-to-use tools and strategies to become more resilient to stress, they are happier, healthier, and better prepared to learn.
- When teachers practice along with their students, they receive the benefits of stress reduction too. When teachers are less stressed, their students are also positively affected.
- Incorporating mindfulness in schools increases the emotional and physical wellbeing of students and staff.
- At Mindful Changes, we believe that children need to feel safe, secure and at home within themselves. We teach them to reach within themselves in challenging and stressful times to access the tools they need to be calm and resilient.
How does the Mindful Changes for Schools program work?
In Mindful Changes for Schools programs, we combine the practices of mindfulness with our knowledge of brain science to create a program that benefits children socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.
- Our services are evidence based and rooted in brain research
- The creative, play-based nature of our program, for younger children creates a positive association in the brain with the mindfulness skills children learn. This allows them to access and use their mindfulness skills more readily.
- We begin working with children at earlier ages that are critical to their emotional development
- We have a whole-system approach: we train educators and support staff in schools, practitioners in the community working with children, and offer tools and strategies to families so that they can reinforce in the home what children learn at school.
What students will learn
During the 8-week program students learn:
- How the brain works
- How being mindful changes our brain
- Introduction to mindfulness
- Mindful awareness
- Mindful listening
- Mindful eating
- Mindful movement
- What is gratitude
- How to express gratitude
- What is empathy
- Learning to breathe
- How to incorporate mindfulness in daily life
The program offers 8 weeks of 30-minute sessions per grade level. The Mindful Changes for Schools program is offered in Vancouver BC and the Lower Mainland.
Please contact us to determine dates and times.