MLE Webcast: Education (Series 2)

Track "Education"

The MLE webcast series on Education was launched in 2020 with the first series. Curated by Prof. Katherine Weare, Ph.D., Principal Investigator of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE), the second series follows this track and illustrates opportunities and challenges regarding the implementation of Contemplative Education (CE).

Overall there will be three series in the track of education with seven videos each. The three series will deal with the topics of

Specifically, the second series looks at CE in practice: how do we best implement contemplative education in schools and universities? What helps and what hinders? What kind of evidence and thinking can we use to guide us? What is the experience of those on the ground working on programmes telling us? How is the varied culture of education in different countries affecting this process?

The interactive webinar with Katherine Weare (90min.) for Q&A regarding the webcast on Education will take place on February 9, 2021 at 18:00 CET. MLE Friends will be sent an invitation to register for this webinar. As the curator, Katherine Weare will be joined by the contributors of Series 2: Caroline Barratt, Claire Kelly, Bryndís Jónsdóttir, Nimrod Sheinman and Salla-Maarit Volanen.

About the Expert & Curator

Katherine Weare, United Kingdom

Katherine Weare is Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton, UK, and the Principal Investigator for the MLE Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) Initiative.

Katherine is the curator and designer of this webcast series, weaving into its themes her own extensive experience and selected contributions from the community of experts from the CCE initiative she has helped to lead. She is known internationally for her work on contemplative and mindfulness based approaches, and is herself a professionally trained and active mindfulness teacher with a regular Vipassana meditation practice.  Her recent best selling book, co-written with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh ?Happy Teachers Change The World? has been translated into 6 languages.

She has a long term career as an expert on well-being, social and emotional learning, and mental health for young people and those who live and work with them. She has published widely, reviewed the evidence base, advised the UK government, EU and WHO, and developed practical strategies and programmes in these fields across most European countries. She is co-lead for Mindfulness in Education policy for the Mindfulness Initiative in the UK. Katherine is a Mind & Life Europe Association member.

Further contributors

As the curator of this MLE webcast series, Prof. Katherine Weare, Ph.D., invited five experts who are current members of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE): Claire Kelly, Nimrod Sheinman, Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir, Salla-Maarit Volanen, and Caroline Barratt to share their insights.

Please find more information about the contributors below.

Series 2: Making Contemplative Education Happen in Practice - The Rocky Road to Implementation


Part 1: The Evidence-Based Principles of Implementation and Overview of the Theme.

Katherine Weare summarises what we know from the evidence helps and hinders. She explores the core importance of steadily building clear understanding, ownership and active engagement of all the stakeholders: teachers, students, parents, community and policy makers, and some examples from the UK of what can go wrong when mindfulness becomes too popular too quickly. By Professor Katherine Weare.

Link to part 1


Part 2: Mindfulness in Schools Project: What have we learned from 10 years of Principles & Pragmatism?

Claire Kelly of the well known Mindfulness in Schools suite of programmes that originated in the UK and have been taught right across Europe explores what they have learned. It includes an interesting warning on from the UK on the need to ensure work in education is authentic and based on deep understanding and the embodied skills and presence of teachers in the face of pressures resulting from the increasing popularity of mindfulness to turn it into cheap, quick and easy ?plug and play? programmes for children. By Claire Kelly.

Link to part 2


Part 3: Mindfulness in Education & The Whole School Approach.

Nimrod Sheinman working at the heart of well developed holistic approaches to CE and mindfulness in Israel explores their groundbreaking work on using a genuinely whole school, systems based and integrative approach. By Nimrod Sheinman.

Link to part 3


Part 4: Implementing Mindfulness into Schools in Iceland - Whole School Approach.

Bryndís Jónsdóttir from Iceland explores developing CE and mindfulness in schools in a sparsely populated country, and their pragmatic discoveries, including how to deliver on line learning of depth and quality. By Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir.

Link to part 4


Part 5: Healthy Learning Mind (Finland).

Salla-Maarit Volanen shares the experience of the Healthy Learning Mind programme in Finland, a context where teacher education and skills are taken very seriously and where teachers are used to taking their on professional decisions, and thus the core message to be begin with school personnel is easy to establish. By Salla-Maarit Volanen.

Link to part 5


Part 6: Exploring Contemplative Education in Higher Education.

Caroline Barratt, developer of the Contemplative Pedagogy network explores the opportunities and barriers to developing CE in Higher Education. By Caroline Barratt.

Link to part 6


Part 7: Embedding within a Whole School/University Approach.

Moving to holistic approaches in education. Katherine Weare explores what is meant by the often used phrase ?whole school approach?, how ensuring a joined up coherent approach needs  close attention to the detail and careful coordination. She suggests a key is focusing particularly on the foundational skills and mechanisms that CE develops and which underlie human flourishing, including attention, metacognition, emotional regulation and self compassion. By Professor Katherine Weare.

Link to part 7

Q&A Session based on Webcast

On February 9, 2021, at 18:00 CET all MLE Friends will be invited to participate in a Q&A Session with Katherine Weare (curator of the education series) and the five contributors: Caroline Barratt, Claire Kelly, Bryndís Jónsdottir, Nimrod Sheinman and Salla-Maarit Volanen. The interactive webinar was used to answer questions and deepen the discussion around the topic of the second MLE series in Education on "Contemplative Education - The Rocky Road to Implementation".

Link to the Q&A

About the Contributors

Caroline Barratt, United Kingdom

Dr. Caroline Barratt is a lecturer and Deputy Director of Education - Innovation and Excellence - in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Essex. She is interested in qualitative research, particularly narrative methods, with marginalised social groups as well as mindfulness, pedagogy and social change.

In 2014 Caroline first came across the idea of contemplative pedagogy and in response established the Contemplative Pedagogy Network. This connected her personal interest in meditation and the contemplative life with her role as educator. She is particularly interested in the potential of contemplative pedagogy in higher education to support and enhance the learning of students and teachers, education as activism and mindfulness for social change.
Caroline is a member of the CCE - Research group.

Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir

Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir, MA in counselling and MA diploma in Positive Psychology at the University of Iceland. She is also trained as a mindfulness teacher from the UK (Bangor University & Breathworks) and is one of the founders and directors at the Mindfulness Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. She teaches part-time mindfulness and positive education to masters students in the Faculty of Education Studies at the University of Iceland. She is part of the Icelandic team in developing resilience program called Upright but the program is funded by the European Union and is collaboration within six other countries. From 2007-2016 she worked as a Human Resource Manager at the Flensborg College where she led the development and implementation of the concept of Health Promoting Schools, in which mindfulness is one of the key components. From 2014 to 2018 Bryndís Jóna lead the development and implementation of Positive Education into the school curriculum.

Since 2017 she has been one of the leaders in the research team, working in collaboration with the Directorate of Health in Iceland, in developing holistic approach to implement mindfulness into schools nationwide. She has developed mindfulness material for teens both in Icelandic and English. As well as developing and leading pilot study on whole school approach on mindfulness in preschool. Her main passion is well-being in the educational field.
Bryndis is a member of the CCE - Holism group.

Claire Kelly

Having had a career in teaching for over 25 years, 18 of which at Senior Leadership level, Claire Kelly joined the UK charity Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) in 2012 as their Director of Curricula and Training. As part of her role she creates classroom content, and trains teachers to deliver mindfulness-based programmes in school settings for 7-18 year-olds. She has also overseen the .b teacher training programme for the large scale MYRIAD research project in collaboration with Oxford University. This includes the largest everrandomised control trial involving the teaching of mindfulness in school contexts with over 8,000 students taking part in the trial.

On behalf of MiSP, Claire also contributed to the Education strand of the Mindful Nation Report UK report. Claire Kelly is a teacher of mindfulness for adults (MBSR) having trained with Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice. She has taught mindfulness in a range of settings, including traditional primary and secondary schools, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, for clinical and educational psychologists, in pupil referral units (short-stay schools), universities, medical and veterinary schools.
Claire is a member of the CCE - Holism group.

Nimrod Sheinman

Dr. Nimrod Sheinman is one of Israel's leading mind-body and mindfulness in education experts, and an international spokesperson advocating mindfulness-based initiatives with children. He is the founder and director of Israel's Center for Mindfulness in Education, co-founder of Israel's Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and heads the International Soul of Education Initiative, now gaining momentum around the globe. About 20 years ago, supported by Israel?s ministry of education, he initiated the country?s first whole-school mindfulness in education project, among the first of its kind in the world. The benefits of the whole-school model have since reached thousands of children, teachers and parents.

In the last three decades, he presented mind-body medicine and mindfulness in education seminars in universities, institutes, hospitals and international conferences in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and Israel. He is the author of Food for Thought (1989, in Hebrew), and Imagery-based Therapy: A Workbook for Clinical Practice (1991, in Hebrew). He is a co-editor of Potentiating Health and the Crisis of the Immune System (Plenum Press, 1997). Dr. Sheinman was an Aeronautical Engineer, graduate of the Israel Institute of Technology (1973). He served as a chief project officer in the Israel Air-Force (1973-1978) and was a recipient of the 1976 Israel's Air-Force Award. He is a keen photographer and a recipient of Nikon?s photography award.
Dr. Sheinman is a member of the CCE - Holism group.

Salla-Maarit Volanen

Salla-Maarit Volanen is a social scientist and a senior researcher at Folkhälsan Research Center, and at University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine (Dept of Public Health). Volanen?s earlier research includes topics such as the role of social capital in well-beingand the determinants of sense of coherence and its impact as a positive internal resource promoting mental and somatic health.

Currently she directs the Healthy Learning Mind (HLM) initiative and research project. The HLM project investigates the effectivenessof mindfulness-based interventions in Finnish schools, as well as explores the possible nationwide implementation and dissemination of mindfulness-based approaches in Finland?s schools.
Salla-Maarit is a member of the CCE - Teacher Education and Research group.