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.
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.
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.'
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 -
From these core competencies, MBSEL extends to the
whole school community to -
Mindfulness creates a safe space to:
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.
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.
A daily mindfulness practice creates foundational support across all aspects of MTSS:
Inner Explorer’s MBSEL provides audio-guided practices with four age-appropriate programs for preschool through high school.