What does mindful learning mean to you? I want you to really take a minute and ponder this question.
I define mindful learning as the intersection of mindfulness and learning science. The way our education system is set up now, does not allow students to develop mindful learning skills simply because the demand is so high, the test preparation is so rigorous, and the purpose of true learning has been overshadowed by the perceived requirement to attend higher education in order to be valued in society.
Many students are extremely stressed out about school. I am sure you know a student who is overwhelmed with the demands of life and the mounting pressure of academics. In our technological advancing world, need for speed, and constant reminders to be doing more and producing more, students are struggling. Is there any way to help alleviate any of that?
This is where mindful learning comes in. Mindful learning is for both teachers and students. Teachers must do their part to ensure that their classroom feels safe, calm, and promotes student success. Although teachers are bound by curriculum and standards, they can still control much of the learning environment as well as some of the expectations and pressure on the students.
What can students control? Students can consider the 6 pillars of mindful learning: nutrition, environment, mind space, exercise, executive functioning skills, and support. Students can use these pillars to enhance their learning, deepen their understanding and practice valuable skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Each week I will release a new blog covering one of these pillars.
Your practice for this week is to notice when you are learning something new, are you learning it simply to finish and check it off or to actually understand it?