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Nurturing Mindfulness in Education

Dr. Mark Greenberg | 32:23


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.

I've visited many countries and observed their education systems. I know you've introduced a new plan for Asian languages, which is wonderful. However, I would like to see a comprehensive plan for the holistic development of a child through music, art, and literature. This would help create engaged citizens who are active participants in our democracy and possess a strong sense of self. To me, this should be the fundamental goal of education. Reading and math are important, but they naturally fall into place when children are engaged in learning.

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