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Creating Mindfulness in the Classroom

April 27, 2020 written by PDC

These days we regularly hear about fostering mindfulness in our daily lives. But what about introducing that concept into our classrooms? Imagine a learning environment where every student is objective and non-judgmental, and they are able to cultivate and maintain a sense of genuine receptiveness to new ideas and information. Does this sound like an ideal teaching situation?

Creating Mindfulness in the Classroom

These days we regularly hear about fostering mindfulness in our daily lives. But what about introducing that concept into our classrooms? Imagine a learning environment where every student is objective and non-judgmental, and they are able to cultivate and maintain a sense of genuine receptiveness to new ideas and information. Does this sound like an ideal teaching situation?

That is because it is! However, it never happens by accident. Creating a mindful classroom environment requires careful planning and a complete understanding of the relevant concepts—which is what Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne’s popular Creating a Mindful Environment course teaches.

 

What is Mindfulness?

Berkeley has explained the concept of mindfulness as “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.” When a person is in such a receptive state, they are ready to listen carefully and think critically before speaking or doing a task. Ever cognizant of their own emotions and any physical, mental, or spiritual distractions, a mindful person never acts on impulse or makes a snap judgment. Instead, they are fully present in the moment, taking a considerate, balanced approach to whatever activities in which they are engaged.

Mindfulness done correctly brings out the best in people by mitigating so many of the things which make us behave as anything less than our best. In many ways, it is the optimal state for a learner. It takes an adept teacher to facilitate the process of reaching that idyllic state. We will show you how this is attainable at any stage of your teaching career.

Introducing Mindfulness in Modern Classrooms

When sitting in a learning environment, a learner needs to be in the proper state of mind, relaxed, focused, and receptive. Unfortunately, our modern society seems to drive young people in the opposite direction, literally turning them away from mindfulness through constant exposure to scintillating media and a non-stop flow of information. How can youth expect to cultivate mindfulness when they are being bombarded with a steady influx of calls, texts, photos, memes, clickbait, videos, ads, and news that has been painstakingly crafted by professional marketers to target them?

Our modern students have been born into an era of ceaseless, often stressful, distraction thanks to the Internet, mobile devices, and instant everything. This, in turn, is having significant impacts on their attention-spans, on how they learn to acquire and process information, form opinions, and make decisions. In the meantime, the concept of mindfulness is getting left in the dust. Students are unable to engage in lessons fully and to prepare for the future. It is up to teachers to change that!

Introducing mindfulness into K-12 students’ lives will provide them with the opportunity to explore new perspectives. This will also empower them with the ability to harness several innate tools they may not have realized they ever had. From improved collaboration to more effective communication skills, the teaching of mindfulness will enhance learning by clearing away ineffective thought-processes and obstacles which can often get in the way. 

Objectives for Creating a Mindful Environment  

This course is not just about theory. It covers mindfulness in the context of real-life instructional scenarios, which can be applied to classroom lessons. The concepts are not at all complicated, but teachers often do not know how to get started. Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne’s Creating a Mindful Environment course provides a thorough, but straightforward, step-by-step template for teachers to add to any classroom easily.

Our curriculum is made specifically for busy K-12 teachers and features straightforward, self-paced content that can be completed online. A few of the goals include:

  • Discovering the real long-term cost for students who can not engage in mindful learning.
  • Acquiring a more profound knowledge about how mindfulness works to improve behavior and functioning in academic settings.
  • Proven methods for transitioning from theory to practice in the classroom.

Through this course, students will learn precisely how to incorporate mindful techniques into any classroom environment, no matter what grade level they teach.

Successful completion of the course not only leads to a direct and long-lasting benefit for students, but it can also impact your professional career by allowing you to leverage new skills towards salary advancement, license renewal, or recertification. Students are encouraged to seek approval from their district or state before enrolling.

Creating a Mindful Environment can be applied toward the Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne’s certificates, such as:

 

(Note, certificates are not designed to meet district or state requirements necessarily, so check with your district or department of education if you need to satisfy specific educational criteria.) 

 

With so many great reasons to sign up, let us see what you will learn in our Creating a Mindful Environment course:

The Nature of Mindfulness

  • How mindfulness correlates to the process of aging.
  • How to embrace uncertainty and engage creativity.
  • Mindfulness while working.
  • The effects of mindfulness on physical and mental health.
  • How to teach mindful behavior.
  • Ideas for creative distraction in the classroom.
  • Insights into learning theories related to delayed gratification, rote memory, forgetting, intelligence, and the illusion of the right answers.

The curriculum also dives into mindlessness and its detrimental effects on education. Topics include:

  • Self-image and learned helplessness.
  • Being trapped by stereotypes, labels, and categories.
  • The hazards of automatic behavioral responses.
  • Single perspectives and unconscious bias.
  • The power of context and how it directly impacts opinions.
  • Purposeful education for specific outcomes.

 

How to Register

Our Creating a Mindful Environment course offers such a wide array of benefits that we know you are eager to get registered. That is why we have made it as easy as possible to get started! All courses offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne are open for registration at any time during an open semester. Students can earn graduate, non-degree semester credit, as reflected on the official transcript from the university.

Registration can be done online or over the phone.

Courses are offered ongoing during three semesters. Students may choose to enroll in up to a maximum of 15-semester credits at any time during each semester.

 

Fall: September 1 - January 31

Spring: February 1 - May 31

Summer: June 1 - August 31