In-class meditation's popularity expected to rise
- Meditation is seeing increasing popularity on K-12 campuses, particularly via a practice developed in Washington, DC, in the '90s dubbed "Quiet Time."
- A recent piece from The Huffington Post focuses on BUGS, a New York City charter school focused on sustainability and holistic learning, where three staff members are in charge of educating students on "the practice of and science behind meditation."
- Currently, 18 schools in the nation utilize Quiet Time practices specifically, and many more are incorporating "mindfulness" into health curriculum.
Data on Quiet Time is limited since the trend is still relatively young, but according to The Huffington Post, preliminary studies have found that students tend to have higher grades, fewer suspensions, and better mental health.
New York appears to be at the center of the recent move toward more mindfulness in schools. Health classes at many New York independent schools are abandoning awkward lectures on the harms of drugs and promiscuous sex in favor of a broader repertoire that includes topics such as life skills and mindfulness. In fact, the Independent School Health Association is currently pushing for the adoption of health guidelines that encompass "emotional, intellectual, and social well-being," which is what mindfulness, meditation and yoga would fall under.
Of course, there will always be hurdles when trying to bring something new into public education. For example, California's Encinitas Union School District was sued by the National Center for Law & Policy over the instruction of yoga. The two parents behind the suit said the classes violated the separation of church and state.