ACEI invites you to submit a manuscript for an upcoming theme issue of Childhood Education. The journal will focus on the theme of mindfulness in education, including mindful teaching, teaching mindfulness, and the many ways that mindfulness can be used and interpreted as a pedagogical approach to enhance educational outcomes and optimal development.

Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting, and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts, and sensations occurring in the present moment. The concept of mindfulness originated long ago from meditational practices found in Buddhism. Today, the concept of is being translated into approaches that support focused teaching and learning while promoting stress reduction in various settings across many cultures. Educators around the world may be using the techniques of mindfulness, but know it by a variety of other names. Nevertheless, all mindfulness practices are rooted in contemplative practice that support emotional regulation.

Research has documented the physical, psychological, and social benefits of practicing mindfulness, which involves paying careful attention to your thoughts, feelings, and environment. Mindfulness applied in education settings can be an effective tool for decreasing stress of teacher and students, deepening learning, enhancing academic performance, and promoting emotional and social well-being. Due to the stresses placed upon students and teachers in an increasingly uncertain world, concern for teacher and student-targeted programs surrounding mental health and emotional well-being (MHEW) is increasing. Since the concept of mental health is not consistent or cohesive across cultures (Areheart, 2008; Diener, 2010), interdisciplinary approaches and alternative ways of understanding and addressing MHEW are needed. Mindfulness is an approach that can be used by teachers and students around the world to encourage healthy and supportive learning environments.

Mindfulness-based practices pose an effective alternative to current approaches for providing supportive educational environments that enhance mental health and promote teacher and student success. A student-centered classroom that uses mindfulness as part of the daily curriculum has the potential to encourage the development of critical and creative thinkers, empathic and compassionate individuals, and calmer and happier classrooms (Napoli, Krech, & Holley, 2005). Mindfulness is increasingly being recognized as essential for students, educators, and parents as, when used effectively, it develops the capacity for attention and awareness, which creates optimal conditions for teaching and learning.

Examples of ways that mindfulness might be approached for articles in Childhood Education include:

  • Classroom educators teaching mindfulness in their classes
  • Educators who use mindful teaching in their work with their students and the community
  • Educators who use mindfulness for their own personal well-being
  • Students who have experienced mindful teaching and learning mindfulness
  • Community members who have experiences with mindfulness (e.g., in refugee settings, with children who have experienced trauma)
  • Whole-school approaches to mindfulness
  • Teacher preparation for mindful teaching
  • Intersection of culture and mindfulness education
  • Teacher effectiveness and satisfaction when using mindfulness
  • Mindfulness techniques from around the world.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to Isabel Killoran at ikilloran@edu.yorku.ca by November 30, 2015.

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