Directors of the School: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Directors of the Course: Sidney Strauss and Elena Pasquinelli
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
Training teachers and pupils with mindfulness, social emotional learning and caring tools
Teachers are exposed to high levels of stress, commonly manifested in occupational burnout. Nor professional development programs neither workplace management normally address this issue. In addition, despite the crucial role of teachers in nurturing children’s social-emotional well-being, little has been done in the development of social emotional learning abilities among teachers and in developing the quality and quantity of care that they are able to receive from others, develop for themselves and extend to those around them.
A practicum course was developed for education students to provide theoretical framework for mindfulness research, training of self-application techniques, and guidelines for fieldwork with children, with the aim of improving quality of life by reducing anxiety and stress levels. Participants of mindfulness and control practicums were compared. Significant reductions in stress and rumination as well as elevated levels of mindfulness were observed in the mindfulness practicum only. In addition a program was developed for training actual teachers with mindfulness, social emotional learning and caring tools, for their own practice as well as for implementation with their pupils. Promising results were obtained among teachers and their students. The results suggest that mindfulness training can be successfully introduced into traditional academic as well as school settings.