What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The solutions have not been implemented yet, but research from the Mindfulness in Schools Project shows that the program has increased students’ self-awareness, self-regulation, self-efficacy and self-determination. It has also increased their well-being, resilience and mindfulness. As it is expected with continued mindfulness practice, effects after 6 months were stronger than immediate effects (Hennelly, 2010).
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
We are planning to run a successful pilot study and use Dream Life Skills Assessment Tool to measure results. Then using relative high profile in the UK we are planning to attract additional funding and get more schools involved with the program. We are planning to get a 50 teachers trained to run the programs in the next 3 years.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
We see two main barriers: aversion to feelings of compassion and funding.
Some people feel averse to feelings of compassion because of two main reasons:
1)Feeling empathy can make them weak or make them vulnerable to others who do not have their interests at heart.
2) It reminds some of a lack of nurturing relationships in their childhood
We will use RSA's excellent public profile to dispel such fears through our written outputs(e.g. on popular blogs, or in related events).
Funding, especially in the time of austerity in UK is a further challenge for issues that appear non-central. We plan to use our relatively high profile, partnerships with schools and foundations to seek further funding, and will liase with RSA Fellows to seek out catalyst funding too.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
We have completed the programme and are beginning to measure results.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
We have published our results and are expanding into new iterations with more schools.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
I had my own aha moment when reading about the Dalai Lama hearing about problems relating to self-esteem for the first time. He had never heard of such a thing! It occurred to me that I am happiest and most productive when at ease with myself, and kind to myself. Such an experience connects you more deeply to the needs of others and makes you more available. It also occurred to me that in the West being self-compassionate is not as prominent a cultural feature as it could be, and that this probably needs to be emphasized more in how we teach mindfulness,
Also, since children cannot meditate as long as adults, it became very clear to me that SC needs to be taught not only through meditation but more generally. Then I got in touch with those teaching mindfulness and SC to children and decided to create a structured programme at scale.