According to recent research, a growing number of school-aged children are experiencing a plethora of social, emotional and behavioral problems that interfere with school success, interpersonal relationships, as well as the potential to become competent adults and productive citizens. What's more, many students are passive learners that mindlessly attend classes and complete the work. As a result, a growing number of young learners are unmotivated to learn, struggle with encoding academic content, and have trouble getting the grades that they desire. So what can we do to help these students? A simple strategy is to teach learners to be mindful and conscious of their academic approach.
What is Mindful or Conscious Learning?
Mindful or conscious learning is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and sensations. When taught to young learners, recent research suggests that training in this method can help students:
- foster empathy for peers and others
- reduce stress
- increase attentional abilities
- improve emotional regulation and social behaviors
- boost motivation
- raise grades
The best ways to teach children to be mindful and in the moment is to be fully present yourself and share your own thought processes. In addition, you can implement short meditations where you encourage learners to be aware of their breath and just observe their thoughts. Here are three useful videos. The first two videos can be shown to students and helps to explain the practice, while the third video shows practitioners in the classroom teaching this skill.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY. To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz