Educators, desperate to offset the mental health impacts of COVID on students, are taking up mindfulness programs to address the wellbeing needs of students. But is the cheery praise for mindfulness based on expert evidence?
It’s becoming a staple within Australian education – from preschool to universities. The Smiling Mind Primary School Program, for example, has been rolled out to 445 schools across NSW, including 13 specialist schools, and is gaining increased direct funding support from government.
Many in education – including educators, school leaders and policy-makers – have welcomed mindfulness and are excited about what mindfulness may hold for education. But is enthusiasm for mindfulness outpacing the evidence in its favour? Do applications of mindfulness in education retain an overly narrow account of what mindfulness is? If we are using mindfulness with young people, what is it best used for?