Mindfulness training may improve achievement, reports Emily Deruy in The Atlantic. A Chicago study is looking for evidence of effectiveness of breathing and relaxation exercises or asking students to focus on a feeling or emotion.
Children learn to focus, handle transitions and recover quickly from upsets, said Amanda Moreno, an assistant professor at the Erikson Institute, a child-development-focused graduate school in Chicago. That frees up time for learning.
Moreno said she’s heard from teachers with students who have gone from five or six tantrums a day to none because they know they can go to their classroom’s “calm spot” whenever they feel like they’re spiraling out of control.
The program seems to be helping good schools get better, she said. It doesn’t do much for schools that lack a sense of community or a commitment to learning.
Mindfulness aims to “create compliant students who can manage their own behavior, focus on their assignments, and calm themselves when angry or frustrated with school,” wrote David Forbes in Salon.
That’s a bad thing, he argues. “Such students can then turn into passive, unquestioning consumers and cooperative workers who will help their corporate employers better compete in the global economy.”
People who can manage their own behavior also are a lot less likely to end up in prison.
Chicago teachers worry their students will be killed, writesMarilyn Rhames, who’s now an alumni counselor for a K-8 charter school.
Lee McCullum Jr., 22, — featured as the troubled kid turned honors student and prom king in the 2014 CNN series, Chicagoland — was shot and killed a few weeks ago. His girlfriend, Tiara Parks, 23, was killed a week earlier.