NYSASCD Journal

Fall 2018 Impact

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32 e Benefits of a Classroom-based Mindfulness Practice Adam Kuranishi and Simone Kuranishi Improving students' mental health and the school climate are priorities for school districts across the state. A growing consensus among administrators, educators, families, and policy-makers recognizes the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in cultivating supportive and responsive schools. Classroom teachers have a unique capacity and responsibility to foster healthy learning environments, and mindfulness proves to be an effective SEL strategy. e authors are experienced teachers who have integrated mindfulness in their daily instruction. is article shares research, guidance, and reflection for colleagues looking to enhance school climate through a classroom-based mindfulness practice at all levels of education. Policy Promotes SEL Practices As of July 2018, all K-12 schools in New York are mandated to provide mental health instruction. Districts must design a comprehensive health program that enhances "student understanding, attitudes and behaviors that promote health, well-being and human dignity" (Mental Health Education in New York Schools of 2016). To assist schools in this endeavor, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) released a 79-page guide with mental health curricular resources, guidelines, and recommendations. e state encourages districts to take on a "whole school, whole child, multi-tiered approach" to student wellness, including SEL (New York State Education Department 29). Adam Kuranishi (M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University) is a Ph.D. student in Social Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also a Social Studies and Special Education teacher at the Manhasset Secondary School (New York). Adam's research interests include inclusive pedagogy, critical theory, and disability studies education. Adam's work has been published in Harvard Education Press, Teacher Education and Special Education, and Edutopia.

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