Could this be the answer to student stress?

by Heather Jane26 May 2015

All-girls school Santa Maria College in Perth has taken the step of including meditation in its curriculum over the past 18 months in an effort to improve students’ peace of mind and well-being.

Carol Bell, head of senior school, said meditation helped relieve anxieties associated with students’ final years, which are often very busy.

"Particularly in the senior years, we've become more aware of their increase in anxiety and the fact that they are so very busy," Bell told the ABC.

"They are always thinking about what's next, what's in the future or worrying about what's happened in the past.”

Bell, who is a devotee of the practice, added that meditation was also a practical way of introducing a skill set that allowed the girls to “unplug”.

Overseas research has showed meditation can enhance the concentration and focus of those who practice it.

Bell said she has noticed a difference in her students’ peace of mind since introducing the practice.

"We've certainly noticed the difference coming into exams and heavy assessment schedules that the girls are facing those a bit more relaxed," Bell said.

"I'm not seeing girls having meltdowns or in tears because they can't cope.

"There is very much a 'we can do it' attitude."

Another school harnessing the benefits of meditation is Sydney’s John Colet school, where students are given time to sit still in their chairs and think about the next educational activity they are transitioning into.

“We see that this habit of pausing in the gaps as well as doing formal meditation leads to them being able to do tasks in a still but alert state,” Gilbert Mane, the school’s former principal, told Dr Adam Fraser, a leading voice in productivity and well-being.

“Our vision for the children is to have them totally immersed and present in life.”

COMMENTS

  • by Marisa Matthys 27/05/2015 7:09:58 PM

    To the Educator,
    At St Michael's Parish School in Ashburton we have been meditating daily for three years and weekly for three years prior to that. We find it creates a sense of peaceful worthwhileness in our students, staff and parents. Our School was involved in a study by ACU on the affects of daily meditation with extremely positive results. We believe meditation is most effective when the entire school stops at the same time. It minimises disruptions and ensures we have a consistent whole school approach. As the Principal, I utilise meditation to help relieve and prevent the daily stresses of my position. It works for me and our community.