Here’s another arrow — or astra, if you will — in the quiver arguing for allowing yoga and meditation in schools and for kids and young adults.
It is an Op-Ed from the San Francisco Chronicle. The author, David Kirp, is a well-respected professor at UC Berkeley who has a reputation for telling things like they are — even if that means upsetting the powers that be:
At first glance, Quiet Time – a stress reduction strategy used in several San Francisco middle and high schools, as well as in scattered schools around the Bay Area – looks like something out of the om-chanting 1960s. Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can’t sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds. I’ve spent lots of time in urban schools and have never seen anything like it.
Now these students are doing light-years better. In the first year of Quiet Time, the number of suspensions fell by 45 percent. Within four years, the suspension rate was among the lowest in the city. Daily attendance rates climbed to 98 percent, well above the citywide average. Grade point averages improved markedly. About 20 percent of graduates are admitted to Lowell High School – before Quiet Time, getting any students into this elite high school was a rarity. Remarkably, in the annual California Healthy Kids Survey, these middle school youngsters recorded the highest happiness levels in San Francisco.
Reports are similarly positive in the three other schools that have adopted Quiet Time.
While Quiet Time is no panacea, it’s a game-changer for many students who otherwise might have become dropouts. That’s reason enough to make meditation a school staple, and not just in San Francisco.
As you perhaps can guess from Chronicle’s photo, the Quiet Time program is via the David Lynch Foundation. Here is a little from the foundation:
Transcendental Meditation, the core intervention of the Quiet Time Program, is a simple, easily learned technique, practiced by students and teachers while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It does not involve any religion, philosophy, or change in lifestyle. Over 340 published scientific studies document its effectiveness for improving health and learning.
This approach has been adopted by hundreds of public, private and charter schools worldwide—with strong support from students, parents and educators.
Does it feel like the swell keeps building?
Posted by Steve