Lori Gustafson, Chad McGehee and JusTme
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 | 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
In this session, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) instructors will share their experiences implementing a co-teaching model for mindful education with 5th grade teachers. Mindful Hip Hop artist JusTme also will share his musical approach to mindful awareness and his experience working with students.
The CIHM is exploring the effects of contemplative practices with 5th grade students and teachers. The current project is in year 2 of a 3-year study funded by the Department of Education. In the first year, CIHM staff created the training program and curricula that first train teachers in establishing their own contemplative practice, then support teachers as they begin to embody and teach the practices with students.
Classroom teachers and support staff took part in ten weeks of training to develop knowledge of core mindfulness concepts and to build a foundational personal mindfulness practice. The training program starts with practices of learning to pay attention in the present moment in nonjudgmental ways, and expands to include gratitude, loving kindness, and compassion practices. Building on this experiential knowledge, subsequent sessions include strategies for incorporating mindfulness practices into classroom time with students. The collaborative co-teaching model is intended to support gradual skill development and teacher confidence in a mindful approach to teaching.
An additional aspect of the co-teaching model is the teachers’ ability to tailor the student curriculum to the needs and culture of their classroom. Teacher and student creativity were supported, and in one school site this led to the creation of a music video supporting mindful awareness for students. Engaged by the lyrics and music of artist JusTme, students created and starred in their own music video that has been shared throughout the community.