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A new educational paradigm for youth mindfulness.
With attention spans waning and stress on the rise, many teachers are looking for new ways to help students concentrate, learn, and thrive. The Way of Mindful Education is a practical guide for cultivating attention, compassion, and well-being not only in these students, but also in teachers themselves. Packed with lesson plans, exercises, and considerations for specific age groups and students with special needs, this working manual demonstrates the real world application of mindfulness practices in K-12 classrooms.
Part I, Why Mindful Education Matters, explains what mindfulness is, the science behind its benefits for students and educators, and the inspiring work that is already underway in the Mindful Education movement.
In Part II, Begin with Yourself, we are reminded that in order to teach mindfully, we need to be mindful. Here teachers will learn the when, where, and how of mindfulness so they can effectively embody its practices with their students. Mindfulness practices offer teachers self-care and attention skills that prepare them to teach with greater energy and mastery. Discover how simple exercises can help manage stress, focus attention, develop compassion, and savor positive experiences in everyday life.
Part III, Cultivating a Mindful Classroom, explores the qualities of a mindful teacher, the ingredients of a mindful learning environment, and helpful skills for appropriate, supportive work with cultural diversity, student stress and trauma, and varying age groups and developmental stages.
Finally, in Part IV, Mindful Education Curriculum, we learn eighteen ready-to-use mindfulness lessons for use in schools. These practical exercises, designed to foster skills like embodiment, attention, heartfulness, and interconnectedness, can be readily adapted for any age group and population, and the author draws from his extensive personal experience to offer a wealth of tips for introducing them to students in real-time.
Decades of research indicate the impressive benefits of mindfulness in social, emotional, and cognitive development, and as an antidote to emotional dysregulation, attention deficits, and social difficulties. This book invites teachers, administrators, and anyone else involved in education to take advantage of this vital tool and become purveyors of a mindful, compassionate, ethical, and effective way of teaching.
“In The Way of Mindful Education, Daniel Rechtschaffen offers educators the tools to develop classrooms and schools that cultivate attention while promoting kindness toward ourselves and others. . . . Most importantly, he provides the reader with ample resources and lessons that can be used immediately in the classroom. While the concept of mindfulness may initially seem complex and unconventional, it is a low-risk, high-reward approach to helping teachers and students manage the stresses that impact their daily performance. That alone makes it worthy of consideration by any school leader who values the emotional needs of students and staff members.” — Principal, a magazine by the National Association of Elementary School Principals
“The Way of Mindful Education . . . not only allows teachers to recognize an increasing need for mindful education, but also offers comprehensive and attainable methods as to how to go about introducing mindful education to their students. This book could greatly improve the academic experiences of children of all ages and backgrounds. . . . This book is written primarily for educators, however anyone working with children could benefit from its teachings.” — United States Association for Body Psychotherapy
“Solidly grounded and personally accessible, this is an insightful and compassionate guide to supporting the growth of mindful awareness in children and students. Speaking from a lifetime of experience learning and teaching about this important way of being in the world, Daniel Rechtschaffen shows educators and parents how to find the inner sense of clarity that is so essential in helping child and adolescent learners develop concentration, compassion, and connection in our increasingly chaotic and challenging environments.” — Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author, The Mindful Brain and The Mindful Therapist Executive Director, Mindsight Institute; Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine
“Paying attention well is the key to learning, and mindful awareness is a mental muscle we can strengthen. Daniel Rechstaffen has drawn on years of in-the-classroom experience to offer educators a sound, detailed guidebook for helping their students cultivate this special kind of attention, a capacity crucial for success not just in school, but also at work. The Way of Mindful Education shares tools that teachers and students will love, and that will enhance their learning, their wellbeing, and their lives.” — Daniel Goleman, PhD, author of Emotional Intelligence and Focus
“Have you ever wondered what a child taught mindfulness at an early age would look like when he grew up? He’d look like Daniel Rechtschaffen. The greatest strength of this valuable new book is in the combination of practical mindfulness-based tools for youth with the author’s integrated, compassionate worldview, developed through a lifetime of practice and honed for years in school settings.” — Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child; Co-founder, The Inner Kids Foundation
“This is the book the field has been waiting for. Rechtschaffen skillfully blends science and wisdom traditions, teaching readers the inner work that will prepare them to, in turn, teach mindfulness to young people, and providing a wealth of clear, child-centered strategies to help our educational communities approach instruction and learning in a mindful way. If we can take his message to heart, the field of k-12 education, where I have served for over four decades, is about to take a great leap forward.” — Linda Lantieri, educator; author, Building Emotional Intelligence; Senior Program Advisor and Co-founder, Collaborative for Academic Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)