Yale program partners with app to promote mindfulness in schools
- The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence will partner with the widely-used education app ClassDojo to help educators learn how to teach the concept of mindfulness to students, which supporters hope can improve optimism and lower stress levels for students across the world.
- Only 13% of schools in the nation have mindfulness programs today, despite a strong interest from educators to learn how to introduce the concept to K-12 students suffering under increased stress and anxiety, according to a joint press release from the Center and ClassDojo.
- The partnership will involve the use of several videos that will feature animated characters popularized by the education app. Discussion guides will also be available that will help steer conversation towards methods that students can use to manage their stress and anxiety.
Studies increasingly indicate that teaching students approaches to mindfulness offer positive results for students. The practice seems to have a particularly positive approach on vulnerable student populations, with one 2015 study finding that low-income students from urban middle schools were reported to have reduced levels of stress and depression, as well as more ability to handle challenging situations.
School districts around the country are responding to students’ difficulties with increasingly unconventional approaches and processes, and these new approaches are all the more interesting in that they come at a point when the national conversation on education policy is shifting away from centralized authority under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Taking school time to offer an opportunity for mindfulness may be a hard sell for educators and administrators concerned with test scores, but in an ongoing multi-year analysis of 16 Chicago public schools, researchers are finding that mindfulness education may increase the amount of quality instruction time. Educators in the study reported that a mindfulness exercise could get a lesson back on task after lunch in three minutes, where it used to take a half hour. This could be a salient selling point to hesitant school districts; mindfulness can get results not only in the social and emotional health of students, but in performance as well.