Mindfulness Matters in the Classroom: The Effects of Mindfulness Training on Brain Development and Behavior in Children and Adolescents

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Lyons, Kristin E., and DeLange, Jennifer. 2016. in Handbook of Mindfulness in Education: Integrating Theory and Research into Practice edited by Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl and Robert W. Roeser, 271-85, 1st edition. New York: Springer-Verlag

In this chapter, the authors delve into existing research on the effects of mindfulness training on brain development. They draw on the evidence that mindfulness training physically reshapes the brain, both by increasing brain density in regions responsible for learning and memory and by strengthening physical connections to brain regions involved in self-control. The research has primarily been conducted with adults, and therefore the authors link these findings to the possibilities of bringing mindfulness into classrooms. Equally, they concentrate on some of the preliminary (and successful) studies on mindfulness training with children. While its conclusions are rooted in cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology, the chapter’s purpose is to discuss practical guidelines for teachers wishing to integrate mindfulness practice into their classrooms.

IIn short, the authors offer key insights into how mindfulness training promises to increase the well-being of children. In reference to their further recommendations for future research, I find it worthwhile to investigate the necessity for teachers to have their own mindfulness practice in order to teach mindfulness to students. As they reason, “if mindfulness training is to be scaled up from small intervention studies to mainstream educational practice, it is likely not feasible to require all teachers to have a deep mindfulness meditation practice of their own”. In the context of this library, the chapter has directed my further research into inner peace as foundational to long-lasting peace.

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