Introduction to Mindfulness

Using Mindfulness to improve teaching & learning

The concept of Mindfulness is not knew but research suggests that Mindfulness practices can help students focus better and be more attentive. A few minutes of mindfulness practice can actually improve the learning environment, students are calmer and learning improves.

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present. By acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and sensations mental space is created that helps the practitioner respond in new ways and make better decisions.

Staff and students alike are under ever increasing pressures, increasing workloads, stretching targets and peer pressures all add up. This increased stress and worry often impacts adversely on attention and productivity levels with negative effects for classroom management, student engagement and learning.

This one-day workshop provide a chance to investigate the potential benefits of using mindfulness within a learning environment.

Participants learn how mindfulness practice can assist teachers, trainers and learning support workers in their approach to planning, delivery and assessment of course objectives bringing a fresh way of looking at and overcoming barriers to learning. Delegates explore new strategies and approaches for responding to negative thinking, supporting learning and students’ individual needs.

The workshop demonstrates ways to introduce mindfulness techniques into the classroom, encourage students to think differently about themselves and their approaches, aiming for improved levels of course completion and achievement.

Delegates at all levels of involvement and responsibility can explore how applying mindfulness techniques can help to motivate and engage students into fulfilling their true academic potential.

This workshop includes an overview of the origins of mindfulness, results from research into how mindfulness practice has improved the teaching and learning experience and provides a way to develop strategies for involving mindfulness within their teaching and learning programmes.

The workshop also explores the positive benefits mindfulness techniques can bring to teaching staff and managers and ways that stress and perceived burden can be reduced.

For Whom

This workshop is designed for all staff involved in the delivery and wellbeing of teaching and learning aspects of the organisation.

The workshop provides an opportunity for participants to become more confident in their own knowledge of, and approach to, incorporating mindfulness activities and achieving qualifications that reflect the individual needs of their students.

Aims and Objectives

By attending this workshop, participants explore an extended range of strategies for identifying and demonstrating awareness of mindfulness in order to:

  • Understand better what mindfulness is and how mindfulness practice can reduce the damage caused by stress in the 21st Century in relation to those in the education sector
  • Become familiar with basic mindfulness techniques
  • Teach staff and learners how
    • stress can have a negative impact upon teachers, trainers tutors and learners alike.
    • Using mindfulness techniques can change one’s feelings in stressful situations from one of anxiety to taking control
  • Promote the use of mindfulness practice in order to improve
    • classroom management
    • behaviour issues such as poor time-keeping, concentration and attendance
  • Evaluate own practice and plan a mindfulness strategy to incorporate wider staff and learners within the organisation

Content

  1. How can stress have a negative impact upon teachers, trainers, tutors and students?

Session one explores how stress impacts upon teaching staff and students all under constant pressure, from testing and assessment to 24 hr pressure to communicate.

  • Pressures experienced by those involved in the FE sector
  • The impact of stress, both physical and mental
  • How this can this adversely affect teaching staff and students
  1. What is Mindfulness and how can it help to improve the teaching and learning environment?

The second session looks at the history and practice of mindfulness since its development.

  • How did mindfulness arise?
  • How is it used?
  • Using mindfulness in the learning sector in order to enhance the learning process.

This session also allows teachers/trainers to discuss potential barriers to learning such as poor concentration, bad behaviour and lack of self-control and learn how mindfulness techniques can help to address some of these issues.

  1. Planning a personal mindfulness strategy.

This session looks at ways to address individual and personal needs in relation to mindfulness and to begin to explore the wider potential of mindfulness in an education context.

  • Case studies and peer discussion will encourage reflection and action planning to include mindful approaches to planning, delivery and learning processes.
  • How research has shown improvements in the learning experience for both teaching and support staff, as well as learners.
  1. Practicing mindfulness techniques

The last session demonstrates a range mindfulness practice techniques and encourages the development on a personal mindfulness strategy