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Whilst research into the effects of mindfulness and young people is not as extensive as work with adults, it is growing rapidly. Results from the work that has taken place are very promising, and suggest that the effects of mindfulness on the young may be very similar to those on adults.
In “Evidence for the Impact of Mindfulness on Children and Young People” Professor Katherine Weare, an expert on Social and Emotional Learning (she was behind the primary and secondary SEAL programmes) and one of the UK’s leading figures in mindfulness in schools programmes, states that:
“Well conducted mindfulness interventions can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and wellbeing of young people who take part.”
“Mindfulness can contribute directly to the development of cognitive and performance skills and executive function. It can help young people pay greater attention, be more focused, think in more innovative ways, use existing knowledge more effectively, improve working memory, and enhance planning, problem solving, and reasoning skills.”
The Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) and the .b® Programmes
The .b (‘dot B’) Training Courses, ‘.b For Teens’, ‘.b Teach Certification Course’ and ‘.b Foundation’, have been developed by experienced secondary school teachers with mindfulness and research backgrounds. Based on the core mindfulness principles and structure of MBCT and MBSR courses, these courses are primarily for use by students and adults (teachers/ staff/ parents/ governors) in an educational context. The Mindfulness in Schools Project’s programmes are the UK’s first research-validated courses and are subject to on-going research by Exeter, Bangor and Oxford Universities.