In December of 2013, Chris Ruane, a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, and for many years a classroom teacher in Wales, gave a powerful and compelling speech in Parliament addressed directly to the Minister of Education sitting before him in the chamber.
The speech, which he entitled Mindfulness in Education, aimed to make the case for why the efforts in the UK to bring mindfulness into primary and secondary education is so important, and why all classroom teachers should be offered the opportunity to receive quality training in mindfulness.
He singled out a number of programs as exemplars, including what is called the ‘.b‘ program, a curriculum developed by Mindfulness in Schools, the work of two secondary school teachers, Chris Cullen and Richard Burnett. They have developed imaginative and highly popular approaches for teaching mindfulness in elementary and secondary schools in the UK.
Their group has a research program linked to the Oxford University Centre for Mindfulness. It is one of a number of inspiring mindfulness programs that Daniel Rechtschaffen describes. There are many others, both at home and abroad.
If you are a teacher, or an educator, or involved in school administration and curriculum development, the book you hold in your hands has the potential to transform your life, the lives of your students, and the life of the school itself, as well as education in America. I welcome its timely publication. May it be a useful and valuable resource for all teachers who wish to optimize both inner and outer learning and to nurture the unique potential and beauty of each of their students.