Peace in the Classroom: Meditation for Teachers and Students

By Deslea Konza and Julie Pappas.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teachers need to be continually searching for new ways to manage themselves in an increasingly demanding profession and to give their students strategies to cope with the demands of their own lives. Inappropriate student behaviour adds to teacher stress and reduces quality teaching and learning. This paper reveals how meditation was introduced to five teachers in a disadvantaged primary school setting in New South Wales, Australia, as a means by which they could manage their own responses to stressful situations more effectively, and teach their students to manage their own behaviour. The teachers undertook a staff development program which guided them both personally and professionally in the use of meditation throughout an eight week program. The findings revealed that the teachers were able to reduce personal anxiety and stress, develop more positive relationships with their students, and create a more peaceful teaching and learning environment. Some also stated that the “mindfulness” that accompanied their meditation improved their skills of observation, data collection and reflection. The teachers were also able to teach meditation to their students, who demonstrated an increased ability to monitor their own behaviour both in and out of school as they developed alternatives to negative and destructive behaviours. In some cases this was reflected in greatly reduce periods of time spent in “time out”. An outcome of particular interest was the fact that the primary-aged boys responded to meditation more seriously than girls.

Keywords: Meditation, Primary Schools, Teacher Stress, Behaviour Management, Classroom Management

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 11, pp.107-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 567.729KB).

Dr. Deslea Konza

Director - Fogarty learning Centre, Faculty of Arts and Education, School of Education, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia

Assoc Prof Deslea Konza has had experience teaching students of all ages with a range of special needs. For 19 years, she worked in undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the University of Wollongong. She has recently moved to Edith Cowan University where she is Director of the Fogarty Learning Centre. This Centre provides professional development to teachers and pre-service teachers in the area of literacy and numeracy teaching; and conducts research into the teaching of Language and Literacy, Numeracy, Science Education, Early Childhood Studies, School Effectiveness, Behaviour Management, Children with Learning Difficulties and Curriculum Development.

Julie Pappas

Primary Classroom Teacher, New South Wales Department of Education and Training, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

Julie Pappas is a primary teacher with the NSW Department of Education and Training. She has taken her interest and expertise in meditation into schools to help other teachers and students use meditation as a self management tool. She has recently produced a meditation CD for children (Peaceful Journeys for Little Souls), and is writing a book on meditation.

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