Resources on Mindfulness in Education
Discover how mindfulness practices are being applied in schools, learn about some of the early research on benefits, and explore classroom, school-wide, and after-school strategies and programs.
May 12, 2016
Learn About Potential Benefits of Mindfulness for Learning
- When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom: Read an article that discusses increasing interest in mindfulness programs across various fields, early exploration of educational applications, and critiques and concerns. (The Atlantic, 2015)
- Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness: Discover how paying attention to present-moment experience may help students counteract the negative emotions and low self-esteem associated with a culture of standardized testing. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Mindfulness in Education, Research Highlights: Although research on mindfulness is still in early stages, studies show that mindfulness holds promise for positive effects on student health, well-being, social skills, and academic performance; read how mindfulness practices may also reduce stress and burnout for teachers and administrators. (Greater Good Science Center, 2014)
- Can Mindfulness Make Us Better Teachers: Learn about findings from a study that looked at how mindfulness can help teachers not only realize personal benefits but also be more effective in the classroom. (Greater Good Science Center, 2013)
- "Just Breathe" Original Film: Listen to young children describe their own experiences with mindfulness and noticing their experiences with anger, in this short film by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman. (Mindful Schools)
Explore Ways to Introduce Mindfulness in the Classroom
- Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks: Find out how adding a fun, creative element of focus and stillness to a classroom routine can help students learn to appreciate and practice self-regulation. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Integrating Mindfulness in Your Classroom Curriculum: Explore four ideas for integrating mindfulness into curriculum-themed activities through exercises in breathing, sensory experience, guided imagery, and movement. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Building Supportive Relationships in the Classroom: Discover an activity that helps students develop a sense of mutuality and social awareness. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Mindfulness Routines in the Classroom: Read about how one experienced fifth grade teacher incorporates mindfulness and SEL routines into her daily classroom instruction. (Teaching Channel, 2015)
- Mindfulness Starter Lesson: Download a lesson script that can be used to help introduce mindfulness concepts to students. (Mindful Schools)
- Mindful Pauses That Can Help Student Engagement: Read an excerpt from the book Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom to learn about different kinds of wait time and the benefits of introducing pauses to slow down the pace of the classroom and invite deeper, richer processing. For more on the power of waiting, also see Edutopia's "Waiting is the Hardest (and Best) Part." (MindShift, 2015)
- Outdoor Mindfulness Exercises: Engage the senses through an outdoor mindfulness activity that will help young people appreciate their natural surroundings. (Edutopia, 2015)
Implementing School-Wide and After-School Mindfulness Programs
- Why Meditation Should Be Taught in Schools: Read about a few ways schools can integrate mindfulness practices via teacher training, evidence-based mindfulness curricula, and the introduction of "mindful moments" within the school day. (The Conversation, 2015)
- 4 Essentials for a Successful Mindfulness Program: Take a look at this analysis of key ingredients and lessons learned from some of the more established and successful mindfulness programs. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Implementing a Schoolwide Mindfulness Program: Explore ten tips about designing, developing, and successfully implementing school-wide mindfulness programs. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Mindfulness at School Outside the Classroom: Find out how to apply mindfulness beyond the classroom settings: within sports activities, wilderness programs, or retreats. (Edutopia, 2015)
Fostering Educator Wellness and Effectiveness Through Mindfulness
- Dr. Richard Davidson on Teachers and Mindfulness: Watch a video to learn more about research looking at how mindfulness training can help reduce teacher stress and burnout. (Center for Healthy Minds, 2013)
- Mindfulness Practice for Teachers: Check out two brief practices based on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction that teachers can use to reduce negativity and avoid burnout. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Mindful Facilitation in PBL: To help students find their own way in PBL, use mindfulness techniques like tuning into your own body, nonjudgmental observation, and embracing the "don't know" mind. (Edutopia, 2016)
- One-Minute Mindfulness Strategy: Watch a video about an easy 30-60 second breath exercise that can help incorporate self-care into the days of school leaders. (ASCD Express, 2015)
Resources and Downloads From Schools That Work
Edutopia's flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn. Below, find tools used by practitioners, and dive into a real-world example of mindfulness in schools.
Learn about Visitacion Valley Middle School, in San Francisco, California, and the positive effects of a Quiet Time program that was implemented in 2007; read "How to Start a Meditation Program in Your School" to find out more; then, check out a few of this school’s tools:
- Quiet Time Primer -- Download Visitacion Valley’s introduction to implementing Quiet Time.
- Parent Letter and Parent Permission Form – Check out a parent letter and parent permission form related to Visitacion Valley’s Quiet Time program.
- Visitacion Valley Bell Schedule – Take a look at Visitacion Valley’s bell schedule to see how the school incorporates quiet time into their daily schedule.