"Mindfulness has proven to be effective for children and young people, with school-based interventions having positive outcomes on wellbeing: reducing anxiety and distress as well as improving behaviour, among other areas (K Weare “Developing mindfulness with children and young people: a review of the evidence and policy context”, Journal of Children’s Services, 2013). Evidence also suggests that children who used mindfulness practices more frequently reported higher wellbeing and lower stress scores (W Kuyken et al, The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2013).
Mindfulness has many benefits including:
- Increased attention
- Increased executive function (working memory, planning, organisation and impulse control
- Decreased ADHD behaviours – specifically hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Fewer conduct and anger management problems
- Increased emotional regulation
- Increased self-calming
- Increased social skills and social compliance
- Increased care for others
- Decreased negative affect, or emotions
- Decreased anxiety in general and test anxiety
- Decreased depression
- Increased sense of calmness, relaxation, self-acceptance and quality of sleep.
- Increased self-esteem
A controlled study of 9-11 year olds and their parents conducted by the Department of Psychology, Stanford, USA in 2008 showed that the 31 children who took part in 75 minutes of mindfulness training for eight weeks had decreased anxiety, decreased emotional reactivity, increased focus and ability to deal with challenges. Goldin, Saltzman & Jha.
In a controlled trial of thirty two 7-9 year old school children who engaged in Mindfulness Awareness Practices for 30 minutes twice a week for 8 weeks had gains in behavioural regulation, metacognition and attention. Lisa Flook PHD 2010
TEACHERS NEED MINDFULNESS AS MUCH AS PUPILS, CONFERENCE HEARS – 11th November 2015
Teachers who want to introduce mindfulness to their schools should have a solid understanding of the practice first, a major UK conference will hear.
Delegates attending the Mindfulness in Education Conference 2016 will be told that without a thorough grounding in the meditative technique they are unlikely to get its benefits across to their pupils.
Keynote speaker Richard Burnett will tell delegates: “Good mindfulness practice helps teachers cope with the pressures and stress of the job, but it offers more too. Teachers tell us that training in mindfulness gives them a greater sense of proportion and equanimity, and helps them rediscover why they became a teacher in the first place.”
Burnett, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Schools Project which is hosting the conference, will also point out that a shift in focus on well-being among teachers could help turn around the high drop-out rates from the profession.
The event in London this January will hear from a number of leading academics and practitioners:
• Political historian and educationalist Sir Anthony Seldon will chair a panel of teachers and young people exploring how mindfulness works in schools.
• Juan Coto, “mental” coach to Britain’s top woman tennis player Johanna Konta, will oversee a session on mindfulness in sport.
• Mark Williams, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology and co-author of the international best-seller Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World, will explain the tenets of mindfulness.
• Professor Willem Kuyken, Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, will invite teachers and schools to get involved in the recently-launched Wellcome Trust-funded research project, MYRIAD.
• Katherine Weare, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Southampton, will discuss mindfulness in the wider context of social and emotional learning.
• Tim Loughton MP, co-chair of the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group, will outline current policy.
• Jamie Bristow, Director of the Mindfulness Initiative which is advising the parliamentary group, will talk about the future of mindfulness in education.
The conference, the biggest of its kind in the UK, is expected to play host to around 700 delegates.