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'Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.' — Amit Ray
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Developing Mindful Meditation Practices in High Schools

The prevalence of societal changes in recent decades has had a noticeable impact on the well-being and engagement of teenagers, leading to a decline in mental health, breadth of interest, and feelings of inclusiveness within social settings.

Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of young people diagnosed with conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, ADD, dyslexia, and other related symptoms.

Scientific evidence exists highlighting the positive effects on mental health, learning, social engagement, and overall brain function of mindfulness and meditation, gratitude journaling, and similar practices.

The growing understanding of neuroplasticity in the brain has further emphasised the potential benefits of integrating these practices into educational settings.

Similarly, mindfulness and meditation have been found to contribute to the development of social and emotional skills encompassed within the ‘Personal and Social Capability’ learning continuum of the Australian Curriculum. These practices help students regulate their emotions, reduce stress responses and anxiety, and cultivate positive social connections.

Utilising the evidence supporting mindfulness and meditation, Mindful Meditation Australia (MMA) has developed programs that aim to improve the well-being and learning capacities of student, as well as school staff and parents.

The Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum developed, by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), includes seven General Capabilities that cut across subjects. There is ample evidence that mindfulness and meditation programs can directly enhance each subject area.

MMA has identified links to the specific General Capabilities of ‘Critical and Creative Thinking,’ ‘Ethical Understanding,’ and ‘Personal and Social Capability’, all of which can be positively developed through mindfulness and meditation programs.

To read the full report, linking mindfulness and meditation strategies and activities to Level 5 and Level 6 see the download button below

Curtin University Research

The outcomes of a study conducted by Curtin University on MMA’s whole- school program in 2022 demonstrated statistically significant positive changes in various areas, including social engagement, self-regulation, and cognitive significance.

The study showed improvements in students’ sense of belonging, mental health and well-being, executive functioning (such as focus and concentration), and positive impacts on school leadership and teaching staff. These positive changes were accompanied by reduced time spent managing student behavioural issues and increased effectiveness in teaching time.

The impact of these programs can be observed in various areas, including increased focus and concentration, improved creativity and idea generation, enhanced self-awareness, and reduced stress and anxiety, among others.

You can download a copy of the full research below

The Mindful School Pathway

Regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, enabling clearer thinking and effective decision-making.

MMA’s programs address student well-being and participation. MMA programs may even provide a framework for reporting purposes.

MMA’s programs are secular in nature and just as nutrition has been studied and implemented without religious concerns, mindfulness and meditation have been explored and developed regardless of religious background.

By implementing MMA programs and integrating mindfulness and meditation practices, students may increase self-awareness, empathy, and resilience, thereby establishing stronger relationships and navigating difficult situations more effectively.

MMA offers Whole-School mindfulness and meditation programs, which not only benefit students but also support staff wellness.

Independent evidence suggests that addressing staff well-being is equally important as student well-being. By adopting a multi-pronged approach that integrates simple strategies, schools may cultivate a flourishing culture that could otherwise be challenging to achieve.

As a not-for-profit organisation funded through philanthropy, MMA encourages schools to reach out for support in implementing programs that align with your school’s ethos, benefiting both staff and students. We are here to help.

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Developing Mindfulness and Meditation Practices in School to Address the Learning Continuum of the Australian Curriculum

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Curtin University Research

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