University of Leeds Mindfulness in Schools Knowledge Hub
Dr Siobhan Hugh-Jones welcomes
you to the University of Leeds
Mindfulness in Schools
The following link is for the 18 Conference Presentations from the ESRC funded Leeds University Conference we attended on 3 April 2014 'The Potential of Mindfulness in Schools: Working with schools and services towards evidence-based practice'. Keynotes are from Professor Katherine Weare, Southampton University and Dr Nimrod Shinman, The Israel Centre for Mind-Body Medicine along with the paper by Silke Rupprecht from Germany on 'Mindfulness training for teachers’ wellbeing and professional competence.'
On the Leeds Hub you will find:
Founder of The Mindfulness Foundation
Yoga Bowers with Professor Katherine
Weare at the 2014 University of Leeds
Mindfulness in Schools Conference
Welcome and Introduction to the Mindfulness in Schools Conference 3 April 2014 by Dr Siobhan Hugh-Jones
We are a diverse body today, with differing levels of knowledge and understanding about mindfulness, about schools, about mental health, about education and, most importantly, about children and young people. This diversity testifies to the broad remit of the conference– to be an platform for the dissemination of research on mindfulness in education, but also a forum where the academic , education and mindfulness communities can engage in ongoing dialogue about what mindfulness in education might be for, for whom, and how we might best bring mindfulness to schools so that we can continue to research its effects, the best models of implementation and discern the key ingredients and mechanisms of change – all so that we can work towards evidence based practice and best practice.
Despite our different interests and contexts of work, we are all here because of an interest in children and young people – although our concerns might be wide-ranging, from an interest in readiness to learn and academic engagement to mental health, to socio-emotional development, and wellbeing. And we are all here because we are wondering if mindfulness might be helpful in addressing some of these issues.
The proliferation of mindfulness programmes, and its exposure in the media, has facilitated curiosity in many sectors about what mindfulness might bring, or what mindfulness might do. The research evidence on mindfulness, as well as personal stories of its transformative effects, make a compelling case. But this proliferation is also problematic, as there is concern that the core principles of mindfulness are becoming diluted or even misrepresented. Add to this the reality that schools often need and want rather quick-to-implement programmes that address discernible issues, as well as a culture of randomised controlled trials and early evaluations - a mix which might mean that we are in very real danger of dismissing the true potential of mindfulness in schools because we did not do it properly.
So, our dialogue today is set against that backdrop: our focus is about mindfulness in education, and the extent to which mindfulness programmes can help school communities to cultivate the kinds of attention, awareness and emotional skills, as well as a conducive attitude, to realise a more present way of living and learning.
Our programme today will take us from opening addresses from two very experienced, but very different, researchers and practitioners with experience in mindfulness in schools. We then move to individual research papers from the UK and Europe before taking a closer look at some questions about mindfulness in schools and what is happening in Leeds specifically. As we are a multidisciplinary audience, we will not just be talking about mindfulness, but also service priorities, school case studies and how to work together effectively to realise mutual interests. We will have time for questions and discussions, and a longer discussion point later in the afternoon. I would like to thank in advance all of our contributors, and to our audience members for leaving no doubt very busy work schedules to be here today. Whatever your working context, or your understanding of mindfulness, I hope that you find something in the day that meets your particular interest or need.
Dr Siobhan Hugh-Jones
Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology
Institute of Psychological Sciences (1.09), University of Leeds, LS2 9JT
T: +44 (0)113 34 35744
ESRC Mindfulness in Schools Project
Mindfulness at Work
White Rose Consortium Mindfulness Approaches with Children and Young People