Mindful Schools.org

engaging children, supporting educators, transforming schools

  • … Our Mission: Founded in 2007, our mission is to transform education through mindfulness. We achieve this by offering in-class instruction, professional training, and other resources to support mindfulness in education.
  • Our program brings dramatic improvements in concentration, attention, and empathy among students, while building a climate of calm in the classroom  … (about 1/2).

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Address: Mindful Schools, 1944 Embarcadero East, Oakland, CA 94606, USA;

About 2/2 /The Need: Stress in schools in the United States is high. In urban areas, the detrimental affects of poverty can cause high school drop-out rates to approach and even exceed 50%.  

The pressure to increase test scores affects teachers and children in all schools. The competition to gain admittance to college causes turmoil for students throughout the country. In short, stress impairs the effectiveness of our educational system. Common problems in our schools include:

  • Inability to focus
  • Impulsivenss, leading to difficult classroom management
  • High levels of stress impacting both students and teachers
  • A lack of connection between students and their school community

In addition, attention spans are rapidly declining due to the “instant gratification” children and adults are often taught through the media and the rapidly-evolving world around them.

Studies have shown that stress inhibits key parts of the brain that are necessary for learning. Before we address how and what children are taught, we must first ensure that they are indeed prepared to learn. Children with less stress in their lives and those who can focus and handle stress they face outperform their peers. This is one cause of the achievement gap, which widens continually as children grow. Why not address it at its roots?

The problems facing education today are complex, often take students and educators out of the present moment and require a wide variety of solutions. But no matter what the solutions, we must ensure that children are present for their lessons in order to maximize their learning potential. That is what our program does.

Our Solution:

We use a simple but powerful technique called mindfulness to teach children how to focus, manage their emotions, handle their stress, and resolve conflicts. Instead of simply telling children to do these things, we show children how — through direct experience. It allows children to make wiser decisions in the heat of the moment, rather than only in retrospect.

Mindfulness develops an “inner compass” – a true lifetime skill that is highly preventive. Understanding one’s own thoughts and feelings can save massive future expenditures to address juvenile delinquency, poor academic performance, stress, mental disorders, etc… In addition, having a mind that is calm, focused, and empathetic allows children to increase their scholastic aptitude, particularly if they experience a high degree of stress outside of school.

The skills we learn as children are the ones at which we become best, which is why we begin teaching children in elementary school. All children can benefit from the vital skill of mindfulness, which helps them succeed at school and in life … (full text).


Inner Kids;

Mindfulness in Education Network;

The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, Canada.

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