The Buddhist meditation of mindfulness is now being introduced in local schools, and among those involved is Byron Bay resident Maggie Clark.
She says she has been teaching mindfulness in her role as an SRE primary school teacher for two years.
She sees combining ethics and mindfulness classes as complementary; it provides a balance between personal development and social outlook.
Maggie says, ‘Mindfulness has allowed the student to get in touch with how different experiences make them feel and question which feelings and actions are useful and which ones aren’t helpful. An example from one of the students is that she uses meditation when her brother is annoying her and it makes her feel better.’
Maggie says she attended training in the Hawn Foundation’s new MindUp curriculum. It begins by teaching students basic neuroscience – how their brains work, and combines this with mindfulness practices.
Research on the MindUp programs demonstrate that children practising mindfulness experience a 24 per cent increase in positive social behaviour, a 15 per cent improvement in maths, a 20 per cent increase in self-reported social-emotional competence and skills and a 24 per cent decline in aggressive behaviour.
‘Not only do the children behave better, they also do better academically!’
A workshop with mindfulness teacher Janet Etty-Leal will be held in Lismore on Friday 24 February.
For more details visit www.mindfuleducation.com.au.