Cultivating Inner Resilience in Educators and Students: The Inner Resilience Program

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Lantieri, Linda; Nambiar, Madhavi; Harnett, Susanne; and Nagler Kyse, Eden. 2016. in Handbook of Mindfulness in Education: Integrating Theory and Research into Practice edited by Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl and Robert W. Roeser, 119-33, 1st edition. New York: Springer-Verlag

This chapter outlines The Inner Resilience Program (IRP), a program created in the wake of the terrorist attack on the 11. September 2001 in New York by a group of concerned educators and mental health practitioners. The IRP’s initial goal was to equip school staff, parents, and students at schools in Lower Manhattan with the necessary skills to build back inner strength and resilience. In the process,it became clear that the work being implemented in schools in Lower Manhattan had broader implications for the field of mindfulness and education in general.

In this chapter, the success of the IRP is presented through a study including a randomized selection of 57 teachers and 855 students in 33 different schools in New York. In sum, the study echoes the growing support for the fact that mindfulness practices can strengthen the brain functions that are responsible for emotion and attention regulation, empathy and compassion, and resilience in the face of life stress. In the context of inner peace and education, the study presents statistically significant improvement in the overall mental health of teachers and students who participated in the IRP.

Personally, I resonate with the researchers’ focus on the teachers’ well-being as essential for the student’s well-being. Thus, aligning with their underlying questions, I pay attention to the following in my research on inner peace and education: Who is taking care of our caregivers? Where will they get the space to rejuvenate their spirits and feed their resiliency?

In 2017, the IRP closed, bringing 15 years of research on mindfulness, inner resilience, and education to an end. For further information, follow this link:

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