Last June, a group of designers met in Vancouver to partner with the Dalai Lama Center, in an effort to make mindfulness training an integrated aspect of the school experience.
"Mindfulness" can seem like a vague term, and I wasn't sure what it included when I first heard it. Generally, mindfulness means an increased awareness of others and one's own feelings. It includes internal activities like self-awareness, and external activities such as meditation.
It was interesting to discover in this challenge that there have been studies showing that mindfulness practices, when incorporated into the classroom, increased student optimism and positive behaviors like compassion for others, while reducing anxiety - all aspects that lead to a better learning environment.
But many teachers did not know how to incorporate mindfulness practices into the school environment, especially when those practices are not yet widely valued. Meditation - one of the more visible practices used in mindfulness training - is considered by some to be doing nothing, and to others, to be a practice of a particular religion like Buddhism. Others may also resist adding time to the day that could otherwise be spent on Math and English.
So, how could we make mindfulness practices easier for teachers to integrate into their classrooms?
Find out what we explored by watching the amazing video created by Hatch.