Nurturing Mindfulness and Education

Dr. Mark Greenberg on how to plan for the full development of a child, not just their grades.

Photo: WellspringCS/

If you’re not concerned about the state of education right now, Mark Greenberg suggests you should be.

“We have a xenophobic focus on achievement and achievement-testing as the measure of how good our education systems are,” says Greenberg, “and very little focus on the whole child and the idea of nurturing of children’s full development to become an adult with full potential.”

At the other end of the classroom, there are some exquisitely stressed-out teachers, says Greenberg. He notes how a recent study from Germany compared how teachers have similar stress profiles as Romanian orphans.

Greenberg says the problem has reached such heights that we’re beginning to consider fund out-of-the-box research involving social and emotional learning.

In the 2012 Mind & Its Potential conference, Greenberg talks about his mindfulness and education research at The Prevention Research Center at Penn State University. 

Greenberg emphasizes that much of this research is limited in scope and requires a lot more investigation before some of its more promising claims can be leveraged—although people frequently make positive claims about mindfulness and yoga. He mentions that only a single study has been published thus far on the topic of kids and yoga, yet many sources have made claims about the effectiveness of yoga in education.

1:00 Introduction

8:19 What is mindfulness and what the field looks like

11:30 Mindfulness & teachers: Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) for teachers program

20:40 Yoga & children

25:44 Conclusion