There are more and more voices that dare to question how education is in classrooms around the world and it seems that only alternative pedagogies are adequate and perfect for the development of children. No, this is not so. Although it is true that there are new pedagogies with good ideas and values, education ‘of all life’ does not have to be vetoed. It is true that traditional education must be reformed to be able to adapt to the new generations and we will agree on this. Education is beneficial in the classroom, it is not necessary to use new pedagogies, nor a traditional method … what matters is that the teachers who are in front of their students really believe in their profession.
Just like physical health, mental health is very important for everyone, including children and adolescents. That is why, when not working at an early age, children and adolescents are very vulnerable to having negative feelings.There is research that focuses on the positive ways in which we can strengthen our mental health. Meditation conscious awareness continues to emerge as a powerful way to achieve this.
Mindfulness changes the structure and function of the brain in a positive way. There is research that shows all its benefits and they are many and all positive. For example, meditation or mindfulness reduces anxiety, preserves the gray matter of the brain, reduces depression and stress, improves sleep quality and much more.
We know that it does great things for adults , children and adolescents… but until now there was little scientific evidence on the benefits of incorporating a meditation practice in the classroom.
Mindfulness involves being fully present at one time, as thoughts and experiences that come and go. Instead of letting them linger long enough to become a worry or a feeling that lingers too long – intrudes on the thoughts – let these thoughts pass and let the people look at them as observers.
Mindfulness and children
The results of the study clearly demonstrated the ability of these programs to positively impact the well-being of students and teachers in a progressive way. Seven schools from the interior, 4 from abroad and one regional school participated in the study. In total there were 1853 students and of all of them 104 participated. The teachers were trained in mindfulness and in the ‘Smiling Mind’ program to carry out this program with the students for five weeks. The students were then randomly assigned into two groups – one did meditation and mindfulness and the other did not. Teachers and students were asked to use this program three times a week.
By the end of the trial, teachers and students noted significant improvements in several areas including quality of sleep, well-being, ability to manage and accept emotions, concentration, and behavior at school. The students who found the greatest improvement were those with the highest levels of emotional distress at the beginning of the program. It is important to note that there was also a significant reduction in disruptive behavior in the classroom and in cases of bullying.
This does not need to be worked on in the classroom, it can be worked on anywhere, but it is a good idea to instill this habit in children and adolescents to improve their quality of life. The important thing is to do it and do it regularly.