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Nurturing Mindfulness in Education


Dr. Mark Greenberg




How can mindfulness practices nurture the development of attention and reflective skills? What part do caring, and compassion play in education?


There's an old story about a child who goes to his mother and says, "I don't want to go to school today." The mother asks, "Why?" The child responds, "Well, children aren't nice to me, teachers don't like me, and there's so much work to do. I just really think I have a stomachache; I really want to stay home today." The mother then says, "Well, honey, you're the teacher."

This story highlights a common problem - how to nurture mindfulness in schools. Many of you in this room are probably concerned about the nature of education. If you aren't, you should be. We have an excessive focus on achievement and standardized testing as the sole measure of educational quality. There's very little emphasis on the holistic development of a child into a well-rounded adult. This is a crisis that cycles back and forth every few years, varying slightly in different societies.

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