Students achieve higher grades and test scores that continue to rise with daily practice. Social emotional competence in children is called ‘Readiness to Learn’ and is more predictive of life success than IQ. It’s defined as the ability to regulate emotions and behaviors and to inhibit impulsivity. The challenge is that students often come to school with lots on their minds. While their bodies are in their chairs, their minds are elsewhere. Readiness to Learn can be fostered through daily mindfulness practices, leading to less stress, better school performance and improved life outcomes. The IE programs help students develop a daily mindful awareness practice, instilling the possibility of a lifelong habit. The programs have a positive impact on academic outcomes including 18-28% higher scores in reading, math and science and a 7-15% improvement in overall GPA, with longer times producing greater effects.
Students have fewer disciplinary instances including suspensions, detentions and bullying. Classrooms that participated in the program experienced a 63% reduction in behavior problems (from an average of 3.8 issues per day in Week One to 1.4 issue in Week Eight). The classrooms that didn’t participate increased their behavior problems by 10% from an average of 2 issues per day in Week One to 2.2 issues a day in Week Eight.
Teachers experience less stress and more enjoyment in teaching. Teachers are expected to help students manage their emotions and behaviors, yet are often not trained in the most effective ways to do so. By practicing mindful awareness skills each day with their students, teachers can foster a collaborative educational experience. The 10-minute a day program can fit within existing curriculum plans during normal transition times without extensive training. There is no prep or planning and no assessment required. Teachers simply launch the program from any networked device and press ‘Play’. As a result, teachers experienced 43% less stress than control classroom teachers (based on Perceived Stress Scale-PSS). They also experienced an 46% increase in their level of mindfulness. (based on Mindful Awareness Attention Scale - MAAS) Teachers also say they feel more confident managing their class and report that they can cover more academic material each day. The program helps teachers as much as it helps students!
Mindfulness to help combat Lead Crisis in Flint, MI
There's a large-scale community mindfulness effort underway in Flint, MI to combat a health crisis: Flint area children may have suffered irreversible damage due lead-contaminated water. The Greater Flint community in Michigan faces not only the task of supporting its youngest members in this time of crisis, but of remaining resilient in spite of it. This month, one local non-profit organization, the Crim Fitness Foundation, launched an ambitious initiative to bring mindfulness education to all of the Flint Community Schools and beyond.
Evidence from the emerging field of contemplative science points to mindfulness practices like mediation, yoga, and breathing exercises as potentially impacting brain systems and related cognitive and behavioral abilities shown to be most impacted by lead exposure.
Inner Explorer being one of the partners of CRIM Fitness Foundation, will provide mindfulness practice programs to all schools and households in the city of Flint.
Inner Explorer Noted In Mindful Nation UK Report
Mindful Nation UK, which you may have seen, is the first policy document of it's kind, containing recommendations for using mindfulness to address mental health concerns. The report covers four major areas: health, workplaces, criminal justice and education. Inner Explorer is noted in the report under education section (page 32)!
Huffington Post article highlights compelling research on Inner Explorer related to the Mindful Nation UK report. The article points out our unique potential to effectively scale, this reaching all the students in K-12 schools.
Mindfulness Education And Positive Youth Development Workshop
Co-Founder Janice Houlihan presented at the University of New Hampshire Learn for Life workshop. Janice spoke about Inner Explorer and mindfulness education and how they relate to positive youth development. Research indicates positive impacts on young people as well as adults who teach, guide and work with them. Janice discussed an integrated perspective that connects mindfulness education to social/emotional learning, including self-regulation, attention, healthy choices, empathy and compassion. In addition, the workshop highlighted strategies for implementing mindful awareness activities in various school and youth program environments. The audience experienced mindfulness activities for use with children, and a variety of available resources were shared. The workshop helped the audience develop a plan for implementing a mindful moment and mindful teaching in schools.