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This article draws on research in neuroscience, cognitive science, developmental psychology, and education, as well as scholarship from contemplative traditions concerning the cultivation of positive development, to highlight a set of mental skills and socioemotional dispositions that are central to the aims of education in the 21st century. These include self-regulatory skills associated with emotion and attention, self-representations, and prosocial dispositions such as empathy and compassion. It should be possible to strengthen these positive qualities and dispositions through systematic contemplative practices, which induce plastic changes in brain function and structure, supporting prosocial behavior and academic success in young people. These putative beneficial consequences call for focused programmatic research to better characterize which forms and frequencies of practice are most effective for which types of children and adolescents. Results from such research may help refine training programs to maximize their effectiveness at different ages and to document the changes in neural function and structure that might be induced. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Child Development Perspectives is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Adults often feel the pressures of today's fast-paced world and think back longingly to a time when their daily lives were a lot less hectic. One third of the respondents in one study report that they are living with "extreme stress" and almost half feel that the level of stress in their lives has increased over the past five years. Children are not immune to this high pressure epidemic. This article highlights research in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and demonstrates how teachers help students learn the skills to handle stress, manage emotions, achieve wellness, and develop inner resilience. ["Cultivating the Social, Emotional, and Inner Lives of Children and Teachers" was written with Madhavi Nambiar.]