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This handbook addresses the educational uses of mindfulness in schools. It summarizes the state of the science and describes current and emerging applications and challenges throughout the field. It explores mindfulness concepts in scientific, theoretical, and practical terms and examines training opportunities both as an aspect of teachers' professional development and a means to enhance students' social-emotional and academic skills. Chapters discuss mindfulness and contemplative pedagogy programs that have produced positive student outcomes, including stress relief, self-care, and improved classroom and institutional engagement. Featured topics include: A comprehensive view of mindfulness in the modern era. Contemplative education and the roots of resilience. Mindfulness practice and its effect on students' social-emotional learning. A cognitive neuroscience perspective on mindfulness in education that addresses students' academic and social skills development. Mindfulness training for teachers and administrators. Two universal mindfulness education programs for elementary and middle school students. The Handbook of Mindfulness in Education is a must-have resource for researchers, graduate students, clinicians, and practitioners in psychology, psychiatry, education, and medicine, as well as counseling, social work, and rehabilitation therapy.
In this chapter, we describe the MindUP program: A universal, mindfulness-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program designed to be implemented in schools by regular classroom teachers. We discuss how mindfulness practices and SEL activities may be synergistic, potentially bolstering the efficacy of each, and describe the iterative process of developing, implementing, and evaluating a program that includes both elements. We suggest that the transitional years of pre- and early adolescence (i.e., 9-12 year olds) may be a particularly effective time to introduce mindfulness practices to young people. We emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary research in evaluating mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for students and teachers alike, research that utilizes mixed-method designs and that examines multiple outcomes from multiple observers (e.g., self-reports, teacher reports, peer reports). To illustrate our perspective on implementation science and mindfulness programs in education, we provide an overview of several studies conducted on MindUP. Furthermore, we report findings from research examining students’ and teachers’ descriptions of their experiences with MindUP as a way in which to further understand the program’s effectiveness from the perspectives of the consumers. Finally, we discuss potential directions for future research on mindfulness-based SEL programs.