Most of all, what inspires me, is the speakers belief that if we want to build nurturing environments for children, the most important thing we can do is help adults to be compassionate, aware and mindful, and listen deeply to children, regulating emotions (positive and negative) effectively, children will then learn that by osmosis. We should teach children directly these skills, but more important is to teach it to adults. Children learn more from our actions than our words.
Notes from the video that resonated with me:
Education systems are focused on narrow achievement tests as the measure of whether they are successful or not and there is very little focus on the whole child and their development into adults that are fully participatory in our democracy and have a great sense of self. Reading and Math come along anyway when children are engaged in learning.
Mindfulness is part of a large domain of social and emotional learning (SEL) - strong evidence of how SEL benefits individuals throughout life. That said, early days with regards to mindfulness.
How can mindfulness and contemplative practices nurture meaningful change in education?
- regulate negative emotions
- train the mind towards positive emotions
- Paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally (Kabat-Zinn, 1990)
- an awareness of one's conduct and the quality of one;s relationships...are intrinsic elements of the cultivation of mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn, 2011)
- mindfulness in every day life is the ultimate challenge (Kabat-Zinn, 2011)
To talk about mindfulness you have to talk about ethics:
- engaging in mindfulness not only means being aware in the present, but it is also reflecting on and living a set of ethics including not to harm others and to engage in wholesome actions
- this involves recollecting and reflecting on one's actions with discrimination, evaluation and mature judgement - rather than being reactive
- this allow right view, right effort, right speech, right concentration, right action, right livelihood.
It's really about what kind of person you are and what kind of person you want to be in the world.
For teachers: CARE
The Burnout Cascade: rumination (a mindset) leads to feeling like everyone is out to get you,
and feeling a lack of efficacy; emotional exhausation causes de-personalisation causes a sense of lack of accomplishment.
Incredible loss of human social capital - teachers who join the profession because of their love of children and their desire to become a teacher that nurtures children's development
Aims of CARE
Improve teachers' well being through increasing mindfulness, positive affect, efficacy and decreasing burnout and negative affect, done through developing emotional awareness; mindfulness practice; empathy and concern for self and others; active listening application of these to teaching.
- Improved self-efficacy (even across the school year)
- Stress-time urgency improves
- Daily physical symptoms of stress reduce
- rise in sense of personal accomplishment
- being more aware
- being more intentional
Improved self-regulation (rumination, emotional arousal, intrusive thoughts)
Three components of change
- world view
- community (implicit norms and values)