Robert W. Coleman Elementary School has started gaining attention due to their new replacement for detention with meditation, sending misbehaving students to a Mindful Moment Room.
#1 Meditation Room Teaches Stillness
The meditation room was created in partnership with Holistic Life Foundation allowing students to sit still, practice breathing and calming down their emotions.
The students are encouraged to discuss why they misbehaved in contrast to simply punishing them.
The foundation has run a ten year program called Holistic Me for elementary children with a selection of mindfulness and yoga classes.
#2 Holistic Me Promotes Sustainability
The holistic life foundation helps children learn about their community, taking care for the environment and nurtures wellbeing in underserved areas.
The program also allows kids to co-teach yoga classes taking on extra responsibility.
Robert W. Coleman Elementary has not had a single suspension in over a year, showing the positive impact of meditation.
#3 Meditation and Reduced Depression
A study by Filip Raes, researching five middle schools in Belgium, using about 400 students (13 ~ 20 years old), found that:
“Students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later. Moreover, these students were less likely to develop pronounced depression-like symptoms.”
Furthermore, a review by Madhav Goyal, MD, of The Johns Hopkins University, published in JAMA Internal Medicine (2014) looked at different types of mindfulness meditation among 47 studies, finding that it had the same moderate effect on treating depression as medication, as well as anxiety and pain.
#4 Reducing Stress
The Daily Telegraph reported that “after meditation training of 20 minutes once a day for only five days, people, had measurably less anxiety and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol”.
Meditation allows children and adults to take time to observe thoughts and emotions, becoming detached from them and therefore recognize them, before they can act out.
In an increasingly digitalized world of constant stimulation, many leaders in education, business and technology are suggesting meditation as a means of gaining perspective and enhancing focus and health.
For example Ariana Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post offered her editors to undergo transcendental meditation classes.
She has stated that “there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between performance and actually tapping into a place of peace, strength and wisdom within.”
#5 Meditation in Schools: a Growing Movement
Robert W. Coleman Elementary School is not the only school introducing meditation to classes.
Visitacion Valley middle school in San Francisco was notorious for being surrounded by drugs and gang violence.
In 2007 a meditation programme called Quiet Time was introduced to help deal with stress. The results included a reduction of suspensions by 45 percent and by 2009-10, attendance rates were over 98 percent.
There is also a campaign called ‘Mindfulness in Schools’ in the UK trying to educate and bring about mindfulness and meditation techniques to the next generation, learning calmness and how to deal with stress.