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4. Implementing a Whole School Approach
Teaching & learning

In the classroom, mindfulness is best addressed through explicit teaching complemented by regular practiceThe following section provides an overview of MMA’s approach to both explicit teaching and practice of mindfulness and meditation in the classroom including lesson plans for Pre-primary to Year 10 and developmentally appropriate guided meditations which can be read or the recorded meditations played to the class.

Explicit Teaching

To implement a whole-school approach to mindfulness, students must first understand how their mind works when regulating emotions and how mindfulness can help them manage these challenging emotions in their everyday lives. MMA has provided 12 innovative, and developmentally appropriate learning activities for children in Kindergarten through to Year 10, with links to the Western Australian Health and Physical Education Syllabus and the Australian Curriculum.

The curriculum focuses on developing students’ knowledge of mindfulness and meditation; providing an understanding of brain science and how it links to mindfulness; and developing skills to recognise and regulate thoughts and feelings so that they might apply these self-regulation skills to their own lives.

Practice

The practice of mindfulness will be unique to each classroom.  It varies depending on the students’ age, readiness to embrace mindfulness and most importantly, the classroom teacher’s skill and confidence. MMA have planned a range of age appropriate classroom activities that can be implemented in any classroom


Mindfulness and Meditation service providers I can use

Below is a collection of mindfulness and meditation service providers and resources.

These materials will be made available to participants of the Personal and Professional Development Course, The Leadership Training Course and The Tailored Whole School Approach to mindfulness courses.

MMA's Online Hub is a resource for all mindfulness and meditation service providers. We do not necessarily share/promote the same views and values as the organisations listed in this section of the site.
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    Mindful Meditation Australia

    Who's Behind it

    Mindful Meditation Australia is a not for profit organisation developed in West Australia with research and education professionals. MMA is dedicated to developing evidence based mindfulness and meditation training courses with an initial focus on West Australian schools.

    What is it

    Mindful Meditation Australia Provide 

    Training Courses 
    Teaching and Learning Materials linked to the Australia and West Australian Curriculum
    Recordings of all mindfulness and meditation activities we deliver in our training courses
    Research into Mindfulness and Meditation, initially in schools 
    Awareness about mindfulness and meditation through promotion and events 

     

    How it works

    Mindful Meditation Australia has provided 12 innovative, and developmentally appropriate learning activities for children in Kindergarten through to Year 10, with links to the Western Australian Health and Physical Education Syllabus and the Australian Curriculum. These materials are made available to participants of MMA's training courses.

    Instructions

    Mindful Meditation Australia's teaching and learning materials will be made available to participants of the Personal and Professional Development Course, The Leadership Training Course and The Tailored Whole School Approach to Mindfulness courses

    All mindfulness and meditation activity recordings can be found here


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    Brain Breaks from MindUp

    Who's Behind it

    MindUP™ is run by The Hawn Foundation which is serving nearly 1 million children in the US, Canada, UK, Serbia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. The mindfulness and meditation was started 13 years ago.

    How it works

    Teachers allocate a few minutes at key transition points during the day, such as at the beginning of the school day and after recess and lunch, or when moving from one learning area to another.  All students are asked to pause and take several deep breaths to help them calm their mind and be reading for the next learning activity

    Instructions

    Coming Soon

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    Mind-Up

    Who's Behind it

    MindUP™ is run by The Hawn Foundation which is serving nearly 1 million children in the US, Canada, UK, Serbia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. The mindfulness and meditation was started 13 years ago.

    How it works

    The MindUP™ program offers comprehensive curriculum or teaching and learning materials that teach about how our minds and bodies work, values and provides mindfulness practices that help children improve learning and academic performance and teach social and emotional skills that aim to build resilience.

    Instructions

    MindUP™ teaching curriculum materials can be purchased online. Teachers can also take part in training that is provided overseas. https://mindup.org/

     

    Evaluation
    & Research

    https://mindup.org/thehawnfoundation/research-advisory-board/

    • Schonert-Reichl, K. A. and Lawlor, M. (2010). The Effects of a Mindfulness- Based Education Program on Pre- and Early Adolescents’ Well-Being and Social and Emotional Competence.
    • Mindfulness and S.Schonert- Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, D., Oberlander, T., & Diamond, A. (2011). Enhancing cognitive and social- emotional competence through a simple-to- administer school program.

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of MindUP™ on students in grades 4 and 5 (N=246), based on evidence centered on neuroendocrine regulation, executive functions and self and peer reports of pro-social behaviours.

    • Improved Optimism and Self-Concept
      - 82% of children reported having a more positive outlook
      - 81% of children learned to make themselves happy
      - 58% of children tried to help others more often
    • Healthy Neuroendocrine Regulation
      - Measurement of salivary cortisol revealed MindUP™ children maintained a healthy, regulated diurnal pattern.

    Increased Executive Function

    • - Children demonstrated faster reaction times while performing tests such as Dr. Diamond’s “Flanker Fish” trials. The correlates to heightened self-regulatory ability.
    • Positive Teacher Response
      - 100% reported that MindUP™ positively influenced classroom culture and that students were significantly more attentive.

    Academic Achievement

    • - 15% of students improved their math achievement scores
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    Perth Meditation Centre

    Who's Behind it

    Eric Harrison established Perth Meditation Centre in 1987 and has since taught 35,000 people how to meditate. His teaching style is rational, practical and free of spiritual or New Age ideas. He offers a range of meditations for relaxation and mental control which he likes his students to adapt to their own purposes. Nearly half his students are referrals from doctors or psychologists and he also works extensively in the corporate world.

    How it works

    Different training courses and several books and CD's on mindfulness and meditation.

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    Smiling Mind

    Who's Behind it

    Smiling Mind is a web and app-based program developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to people’s lives. The Smiling Mind App has reached more than 1 million people worldwide.
    More than 13,000 education providers use our programs in their classrooms.

    How it works

    Smiling Mind provides free web-based recorded mindfulness and meditation activities designed for many different year groups. Smiling Mind also provides trainers who can deliver workshops to individuals or schools.

    Instructions

    Visit the Smiling Mind website and set-up an account that enables you to play meditation to your class.

    Evaluation
    & Research

    Anecdotal reports from schools indicate that:
    - Smiling Mind is readily and positively received by teaching staff and students. Also reported that programs reduce stress, with 68% of participants reporting that they feel a greater sense of calm since using the Smiling Mind app.

    https://smilingmind.com.au/media/1194/research-project-report.pdf

     

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    Mindful Schools

    Who's Behind it

    Founded in 2007 in Oakland California. Mindful Schools provides online Mindfulness Intro courses, 6-week 'Mindful Educator' courses' and Year-long certification Course only available in America.

    How it works

    Mindful Schools offer educators practical skills for self-care, facilitation, and connecting with young people. They provide  simple, mindfulness practices that can be integrated into the school day and adapted for diverse environments.

    Instructions

    Registration for Mindful Schools training courses can be found on their website.

    Evaluation
    & Research

    In the 2011-12 school year, Mindful Schools partnered with the University of California, Davis to conduct one of the largest randomized-controlled studies to date on mindfulness and children, involving 937 children and 47 teachers in 3 Oakland public elementary schools.

    The Mindful Schools curriculum (which is taught to educators through our Mindful Educator Essentials course) produced statistically significant improvements in paying attention and participation in class activities versus the control group with just 4 hours of mindfulness instruction for the students – a very small, low-cost dose. Further instruction through our training courses could produce even more benefits.

    See this presentation for more details about the Mindful Schools study.
    A 2010 pilot study37 found that the Mindful Schools elementary-grades curriculum reduced depressive symptoms among minority children. Researchers randomized 18 minority children at a summer camp to either mindfulness or health education. Children were ages 8-11, and 64% were from Caribbean and Central American countries. An instructor led ten 15-minute lessons from the Mindful Schools curriculum. The mindfulness group showed significantly more reduction in depressive symptoms than the control group. Anxiety results were in the same direction but not significant (p=.07).

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    Mindfulness in Schools Project (.Be / PAWS B)

    Who's Behind it

    Developed in the UK in collaboration with Oxford University, University of Exeter, and Bangor University. Mindfulness in Schools  now has over 2000 teachers trained to Teach their various courses.

    How it works

    Mindfulness in Schools Project does not deliver curricula directly in schools but provides training to adults to teach its mindfulness courses to children and young people in schools.

    Instructions

    Schools can find a registered trainer or if they wish to teach the content themselves they are required to have done at least the equivalent of an 8-week training course in mindfulness as well as practice mindfulness themselves on a regular basis for 6 months following the end of the 8 week course. Training details can be fund on their website.

    Evaluation
    & Research

    MiSP Research Advisor Sarah Hennelly’s master’s project on .b indicated that an eight-lesson version was associated with improvements in mindfulness, resilience, and wellbeing, and that these benefits were sustained six months later. Interviews with pupils suggested that some felt more confident and academically competent.

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    Mindfulness Seed

    Who's Behind it

    Fiona Gauntlett is mindfulness practitioner that Developed her school based program in Western Australia.

    How it works

    Fiona Gauntlett offers mindfulness services to children and adolescents as well as adults, in private, community and school settings. Fiona's work encompasses facilitation of mindfulness sessions as well as programme development. She has trained hundreds of teachers, school psychologists and counselors in her programmes for youth which are now being implemented in a range of ways with thousands of Australian students.

    Instructions

    Fiona Gauntlett provides training for teachers, school psychologists and counselors.
    four 'Mindful Attention Training' programs:
    1. MAT™ Foundation (full year course for secondary students)
    2. MAT™ Stress Management (for students in Years 11 and 12)
    3. MAT™ Toolbox (comprehensive course for secondary schools)
    4. MAT™ Sport (mental toughness for athletes)

    Evaluation
    & Research

    "Evidence-informed: grounded in the latest mindfulness research and methodology being used for youth internationally and is designed to teach mindfulness as a life skill".

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    Meditation Capsules

    Who's Behind it

    Meditation Capsules was developed in Victoria  by Janet Etty-Leal. The purpose is to connect people to the "positive possibilities of Mindfulness”.

    How it works

    Janet provides training and course materials that can be delivered to teaching staff and students.

    Instructions

    Schools register for training that is right for them. Different training includes:

    Teaching Staff

    • Creating harmony and co-operation in the classroom, Strategies for energy management, Opportunities for personal growth, Ways to integrate Mindfulness into the curriculum and school life

    Primary Schools

    • Identifying the difference between relaxation and meditation
    • Getting to know the body: Posture, Breathing, Nervous System
    • Getting to know the brain: Neo-cortex and Limbic System
    • Understanding the concepts of personal balance and energy management
    • Stress Awareness: Personal Triggers and Responses
    • Awareness of Words and their emotional links
    • Awareness of the Senses: Developing Self Awareness
    • Creative Approaches to Meditation: Visualisation and Imagery
    • Stillness Meditation: Deepening Concentration

    Secondary Schools

    • Physiological Mindfulness: posture, hydration, exercise, diet
    Evaluation
    & Research

    Research to date:

    • A Junior School, in Auckland, New Zealand trialed “Meditation Capsules: A Mindfulness Program for Children”, during the second half of 2013. Eighteen students ranging in age from 6 – 7 years, and 20 pupils ranging in age from 9 – 10 years learned about mindfulness

    Preliminary findings suggest that:

    - Mindfulness enhances the wellbeing and empathy of both students and teachers.

    - Mindfulness helps students to develop a greater awareness of their emotions and the feelings of others.

    - Mindfulness develops a student’s ability to focus their attention and seems to enhance academic performance.

    - Mindfulness particularly supports emotionally challenged students.

    - Mindfulness practice helps resolve conflicts.

     

    • Joyce, A., Etty-Leal, J., Zazryn, T., Hamilton, A., & Hassed, C. (2010). Exploring a Mindfulness Meditation Program on the Mental Health of Upper Primary Children: A Pilot Study. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 3, 17-25.

    Joyce and colleagues (2010) conducted a pilot study to evaluate the effect of a mindfulness meditation program on the mental health of upper primary children aged 10 to 13.

    - Significant decrease in scores on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for all participants, but this effect was strongest for those scoring in the borderline and abnormal categories in the pre-test.

    - Significant improvement in the group overall on the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), but it was largely due to improvements in students in the borderline and abnormal categories.

    - Anecdotal reports from the teachers indicate that students were more relaxed, settled and able to use breathing strategies regularly, that it was a good forum for personal reflection and focus, and increased willingness to take on new ideas.

     

    • Doctorate Thesis 2014
      Amina Kuby’s research into the effects of a mindfulness group on female adolescents’ psychological wellbeing revealed that improvements on measures of negative affect, worry, hyperactivity, general emotional and behavioural difficulties were associated with changes in mindfulness.
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    Online Yoga For kids

    Who's Behind it

    Gaia is a spiritually focused organisation dedicated to developing free meditation, yoga and inspirational multimedia for the public.

    How it works

    Yoga for kids collection of videos and discover a world filled with fun practices designed to make your child stronger and more flexible, both physically and mentally.

    Instructions

    Visit the Gaia website to play many free age appropriate yoga videos:

    https://www.gaia.com/style/kids

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    Perth based kids yoga

    Who's Behind it

    YOGAZOO is Perth’s first kids yoga school in Perth.

    How it works

    The Yogazoo -Yoga in my school program is designed and built specifically for children. It is designed to be accessible to all children of all ages and abilities to enhance their general well-being and unlock each individual’s potential. With a focus on children’s yoga combined with personal development, everything in a Yogazoo- Yoga in my school program is designed to make a difference and have a lasting impact on the children while at the same time capturing their attention in a meaningful, entertaining, and educational manner.

    Instructions

    Visit Yoga Zoo website: https://www.yogazoo.com.au/

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