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(Australia) Australian Cap. Terr.: "Mindfulness meditation" reduces school violence

Nov 25, 2018, Riotact: Deakin P&C Association calls for mindfulness trial across ACT schools to head off behavioural issues A mindfulness meditation program should be rolled out across ACT primary schools as a proactive and inexpensive way to improve student wellbeing and prevent bullying and violence, the ACT Parents and Citizens Association says. In a 2019 Budget submission, the Association says a recent trial of mindfulness for Year 3 students at Giralang Primary School in the ACT had been so successful that it had been extended to the whole school. It says the trial demonstrated a 95 per cent reduction in the negative behaviour of students, including violence, as well as contributing to a more settled classroom and better concentration, productivity and self-regulation. The trial drew on the Smiling Mind program, which included teacher training at a cost of $1500 per workshop, with free manuals and resources. … … The daily practice started with five minutes, gradually building up to the current 10-15 minutes within an allotted half-hour period…. “The mental health risk dropped by 51 per cent, the class teacher said they were calmer, there were positive changes in behaviour, they were finding their voices, feeling safer, and sleeping better.” Since then, with the whole school (including teachers) practising mindfulness, teachers are reporting that classrooms are more settled, students’ work output greater after mindfulness practice, and parents reporting better satisfaction with the school’s management of student behaviour. Ms Sexton says mindfulness is now part of the Giralang’s five-year strategic plan, and the principal believes it is critical in the future education of children. She said the mother of a child with autism had thanked her for setting up the trial because it had made such an enormous difference to him. … The Association wanted to see it more systematically rolled out across Canberra recommending a 10-primary school trial for Class 3 students over 12 months. The cost would be about $52,909, or around $1000 a week, including two 90-minute workshops with teachers from Smiling Mind ($1500 per workshop) and research using the free SDQ assessment tool. …

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