Cover image for The way of mindful education : cultivating well-being in teachers and students
The way of mindful education : cultivating well-being in teachers and students
Rechtschaffen, Daniel.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2014.
Physical Description:
xxxii, 318 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB1065 .R387 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LB1065 .R387 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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"If you are a teacher, or an educator, or involved in school administration and curriculum development, the book you hold in your hands has the potential to transform your life, the lives of your students, and the life of the school itself, as well as education in America."--Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, from the ForewordWith attention spans waning and stress on the rise, many teachers are looking for new ways to help students concentrate, learn, and thrive. The Way of Mindful Education is a practical guide for cultivating attention, compassion, and well-being not only in these students, but also in teachers themselves. Packed with lesson plans, exercises, and considerations for specific age groups and students with special needs, this working manual demonstrates the real world application of mindfulness practices in K-12 classrooms.Part I, Why Mindful Education Matters, explains what mindfulness is, the science behind its benefits for students and educators, and the inspiring work that is already underway in the Mindful Education movement.In Part II, Begin with Yourself, we are reminded that in order to teach mindfully, we need to be mindful. Here teachers will learn the when, where, and how of mindfulness so they can effectively embody its practices with their students. Mindfulness practices offer teachers self-care and attention skills that prepare them to teach with greater energy and mastery. Discover how simple exercises can help manage stress, focus attention, develop compassion, and savor positive experiences in everyday life.Part III, Cultivating a Mindful Classroom, explores the qualities of a mindful teacher, the ingredients of a mindful learning environment, and helpful skills for appropriate, supportive work with cultural diversity, student stress and trauma, and varying age groups and developmental stages.Finally, in Part IV, Mindful Education Curriculum, we learn eighteen ready-to-use mindfulness lessons for use in schools. These practical exercises, designed to foster skills like embodiment, attention, heartfulness, and interconnectedness, can be readily adapted for any age group and population, and the author draws from his extensive personal experience to offer a wealth of tips for introducing them to students in real-time.Decades of research indicate the impressive benefits of mindfulness in social, emotional, and cognitive development, and as an antidote to emotional dysregulation, attention deficits, and social difficulties. This book invites teachers, administrators, and anyone else involved in education to take advantage of this vital tool and become purveyors of a mindful, compassionate, ethical, and effective way of teaching.

Author Notes

Daniel Rechtschaffen, a Marriage and Family Therapist, has a master's degree in counseling psychology. He founded the Mindful Education Institute and the Omega Mindfulness in Education conference, has developed a variety of curricula for mindfulness in the classroom, and leads mindfulness trainings for schools and communities around the world.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Rechtschaffen, founder of the Mindful Education Institute and the Omega Mindfulness in Education conference, uses his many years of experience to craft a beginner's handbook for incorporating mindfulness into a school curriculum. The book opens with a forward by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who initiated mindfulness practice in the US. Rechtschaffen begins his narrative with a section extolling the benefits of mindfulness practice, relating findings from current research and providing a general overview. He then advocates for teachers to first adopt a mindfulness practice into their own lives, imparting how these practices will aid the teachers themselves, their teaching, and their classes. The bulk of the book is filled with mindfulness lessons constructed to help teachers implement a mindfulness practice with their students. Lessons focus on typical mindfulness intentions: mindful eating, movement, and communicating; engendering gratitude; and the seminal breath. Teachers and administrators who want to instigate a mindful practice in their students will find this book a helpful guide. However, experienced mindfulness practitioners may find it offers little new to refresh a personal practice or leadership role. --Rebecca Carolyn Dierking, Truman State University

Table of Contents

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Forewordp. xiii
Introductionp. xxv
Part I Why Mindful Education Matters
The Way of Mindfulnessp. 3
The Mindful Education Revolutionp. 9
The History of Mindful Educationp. 15
Mapping the Movementp. 19
The Science of Mindfulnessp. 24
The Origins of Mindfulnessp. 36
Part II Begin With Yourself
Caring for the Caregiverp. 41
The When, Where, and How of Mindfulnessp. 46
Cultivating Embodimentp. 52
Cultivating Attentionp. 57
Cultivating Heartfulnessp. 61
Cultivating Inter connectednessp. 66
Cultivating Emotional Intelligencep. 70
Cultivating Mmclful Communicationp. 78
Mindfulness in Our Modern Worldp. 83
Part III The Mindful Classroom
Qualities of a Mindful Teacherp. 89
Essential Ingredients of a Mindful Classroomp. 95
Working with Diversity and Inclusionp. 105
Working with Stress and Traumap. 112
Working with Different Age Groupsp. 122
Part IV Mindful Education Curriculum
Introducing Mindfulness to Studentsp. 139
The Layout of a Mindfulness Lessonp. 145
Mindfulness-Based Curriculump. 150
Embodiment Lessonsp. 154
Language of the Bodyp. 156
Playing Mindfulnessp. 164
Mindful Movementp. 169
Mindful Eatingp. 175
Attention Lessonsp. 180
Anchor Breathp. 182
Mindful Listeningp. 190
Mindful Seeingp. 196
Stream of Thoughtsp. 201
Heartfulness Lessonsp. 208
Heartful Phrasesp. 210
Roots of Emotionsp. 217
Destructive Emotionsp. 224
Generating Gratitudep. 230
Interconnection Lessonsp. 236
Mindful Communicationp. 238
Natural World Lessonp. 245
Practicing Distractionp. 250
Mindful Engagementp. 256
Integrationp. 261
Personal Practicep. 266
Integration Exercisesp. 269
Heartfulness Send Outp. 272
Curriculum Samplesp. 275
Resourcesp. 295
Referencesp. 297