Mindfulness in Schools

Learning from the Inside Out

Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Learning (MBSEL) is a new approach that builds on the framework of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), with an emphasis on daily mindfulness practice as the foundation. With continued daily practice, students will be strengthening critical brain networks associated with learning. They will also be bolstering their skills to face trauma and adversity with creativity, compassion, and resilience. This generation of children will be equipped to finally break the cycle of poverty.

SEL vs. MBSEL - WHAT’S
THE DIFFERENCE?

Mindfulness is known as the ability to pay attention to the present moment with curiosity and kindness. Over 7,000 scientific studies demonstrate the benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction formatted programs, including MBSEL, proving they reduce stress and amplify learning. A growing number of these studies focus on the benefits to educators, students, and families.

The traditional SEL curriculum is designed to activate the prefrontal cortex (PFC), known as the brain’s executive center; this is the same part of the brain that ‘learns’ math and science. However, when the brain is stressed, the prefrontal cortex becomes inactive. As a result, a person is unable to access what they cognitively know, making them prone to reactivity. MBSEL programs target this disconnect by helping children develop the inner capacity to self-regulate during moments of stress.

HOW MBSEL WORKS

In an MBSEL program, the educator plays a 5-10 minute audio-guided mindfulness practice during the school day. Within each practice, students (and teachers) are encouraged to engage with skills such as self-awareness and self-control through the lens of personal experiences, exploring how these experiences show up in the body and in the mind. Additionally, they learn various breathing techniques, as well as how to notice and possibly reduce tension in the body to help regulate the emerging emotions they are reflecting on. In this way, MBSEL teaches traditional SEL skills, with the added benefit of targeting and attenuating the body’s natural stress response. Both educators and students practice mindfulness together, and as a result, the student becomes 'ready to learn' and the
teacher becomes 'ready to teach.'

How MBSEL Helps
the Community

As viewed through Inner Explorer’s MBSEL Core Competencies, mindfulness creates the circumstance in which meaningful interpersonal development can take hold for schools, families, and communities as -

Daily Mindfulness Practices

Create a habit of reducing stress and exploring one’s direct experiences, leading to greater self-awareness.

Focused Awareness Practices, Including Breathing and Senses

Reduce fight-flight response, interrupting reactivity and strengthening the ability to self-regulate.

Open Awareness Practices, Including Thoughts and Emotions

Expand ability to reflect on personal patterns and behaviors, building the capacity for social awareness.

Connection Practices including Gratitude, Kindness, Self-Care, and Forgiveness

Improve decision making and nurture relationships with self and others, Me to We

Improve Classroom Climate and Well-Being

Leads to teachers’ readiness to instruct and students’ readiness to learn.

Transform School and District Culture.

Creates a mindful learning community with common language and practices.

Bridge Mindfulness Practice from School to Home (2Gen Approach)

Creates a consistent and powerful cycle of engagement when families practice too.

Develop the Next Generation of Leaders to Solve the Challenges of our Times

Builds resilience, academic excellence, collaboration and compassion.

BREAKING DOWN THE KEY COMPONENTS OF MBSEL

From these core competencies, MBSEL extends to the
whole school community to -

NSBA banner

MBSEL CORE COMPETENCIES DISMANTLE BARRIERS OF INEQUITY AND INJUSTICE

Mindfulness creates a safe space to:

  • Cultivate emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills).
  • Develop compassion for self and others.
  • Cope with difficult emotions.

MBSEL provides the foundation of awareness necessary to address biases and break down barriers in order to create inclusive communities that actively promote social, economic, and educational equity and racial justice.

school teachers with kids

MBSEL IN SCHOOLS: LEARNING FROM THE INSIDE OUT

With continued daily practice, students will be strengthening critical brain networks associated with learning. They will also be bolstering their skills to face trauma and adversity with creativity, compassion, and resilience. This generation of children will be equipped to finally break the cycle of poverty.

MTSS

HOW MBSEL SUPPORTS SCHOOL INITIATIVES

A daily mindfulness practice creates foundational support across all aspects of MTSS:

  • Academics
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Mental Health Services
  • Behavioral Supports
  • Restorative Practices
EASE OF IMPLEMENTATION

Inner Explorer’s MBSEL provides audio-guided practices with four age-appropriate programs for preschool through high school.

  • No stigma, as the entire classroom practices together.
  • No curriculum, prep or planning.
  • Easily scalable.
  • Available in English and Spanish.
  • 2Gen Aligned: “Tune In” feature allows families to participate in a shared experience with their children.
  • Inner Explorer@Home app is easily downloaded onto any smart device and makes daily practices available to the whole school community even during holidays, vacations and out-of-school time.
Teachers and kids

ACCESS MBSEL with INNER EXPLORER