PEDAGOGICAL CONVICTIONS

Present in connection versus abstract future:

Harmony

Estimated time: 20'

 

Objectives

The objectives of this nano-course are: 

  • To introduce the concept of harmony as a transversal value of Vivadi's program.

  • To review the background and pedagogical advantages of the use of mindfulness techniques in schools.

 

We suggest you re-visit these objectives when you complete the course!

Introduction:

Start from scratch

 

Our students are not simply cerebral hemispheres. And their bodies are not mere vehicles of thought. The student must be understood as an integrality that must be nurtured in all its dimensions. That is why the care, preservation and harmonious control of physical and spiritual integrity play a fundamental role in the acquisition of skills. Moreover, if they are based on sociocultural expression and interaction, as is the case with the use of language. In Vivadí we dedicate time and space to the "here and now" of our students; We seek to connect their bodies with their minds and souls to develop their learning as a single entity.

 

Harmony

For some, the absence of visual stimuli can feel stifling. After all, a healthy imagination does not come naturally to everyone.

The activity of Mindful Seeing may be helpful to anyone who identifies with this.

It is a simple exercise, requiring only a window with some kind of a view. The facilitator guides the group following these steps:

Step 1: find a space at a window where there are sights to be seen outside.

Step 2: look at everything there is to see. Avoid labeling and categorizing what you see outside the window; instead of thinking “bird” or “stop sign,” try to notice the colors, patterns, or textures.

Step 3: pay attention to the movement of the grass or leaves in the breeze. Notice the many different shapes present in this small segment of the world you can see. Try to see the world outside the window from the perspective of someone unfamiliar with these sights.

Step 4: be observant, but not critical. Be aware, but not fixated.

Step 5: if you become distracted, gently pull your mind away from those thoughts and notice a color or shape again to put you back in the right frame of mind.

 

Concept Video

It's showtime

In the next video, Pablo Doberti, founder of Vivadí, introduces the rationale behind the concept of harmony as one of the fundamental pillars of any learning process.

Readings

Food for thought

 

Suman Virdi Batra is a registered children’s yoga teacher and mindfulness coach. She also trains teachers for the program "yoga in you school", which includes introduction of three minute yoga breaks in the classroom. The following article makes serious and assertive approach to the importance of working with the “entire student” in schools.   

Quotes

Wall of the wise words

 
“The real meditation is how you live your life” - Jon Kabat-Zinn
“Be happy in the moment, that's enough. Each moment is all we need, not more” - Mother Teresa
 

Call to action

Into the wild

In every teachers practice there are certain customs or behaviours that deserve recognition by the merit of their pedagogical outcomes. But there are also other habits in a teacher's life that make us wonder if a better option is possible. We invite you to reflect on the following points:

 

A- As a Vivadí teacher, at what specific point of the class do you feel students connecting with their own “Here and Now”? That is, how do you feel you have been able to improve your students' level of awareness through the different activities?

 

B- Think about the different pedagogical interventions you could do to help your students improve their level of connection with the present in your classes. 

 

C- What would you change? What would you preserve?

 

Summary

In a nutshell

1st Concept - The consideration of body experience is central to the process of language acquisition. Awareness of the "here and now" of the student enhances the efficiency of his cognitive process.

2nd Concept - Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training methodologies.

3rd Concept - The application of mindfulness in schools is aimed at calming and relaxation of students as well as educators to build compassion and empathy for others.

4th Concept - Scholars argue that the application of mindfulness practice enhances the goals of education in the 21st century, which include adapting to a rapidly changing world and being caring and committed citizens.

5th Concept - Research shows that the common trait that makes someone successful is not race, culture, language, neighbourhood, IQ nor income.  It is self-control.

6th Concept - The three important components for designing mindfulness programs in school should be short, child-friendly and consistent practice.

7th Concept - Self-regulation should be taught alongside academics. Imagine a whole generation of children who are self-aware enough to make thoughtful choices.

 

Self-assessment

A look in the mirror

Unlike other Nano courses, this time we are not going to concentrate the self-assessment on the concepts that you have acquired throughout it. Instead, we are going to propose to you a brief test called MAAS (Mindful Attention Awareness Scale) that is commonly used to guide a measurement of the level of self-awareness with which you usually manage in your daily lives. It should not take more than 10 minutes and will allow you to reflect on practices and behaviors that most likely have implications in the way you conduct your classes.

MINDFULNESS TEST OR FULL ATTENTION

Questionnaire name: Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)

Author: Kirk Warren Brown, Ph.D. & Richard M. Ryan, Ph.D.

The MAAS is a questionnaire with fifteen items designed to assess a characteristic of full dispositional attention; that is, the open or receptive awareness of attention and attention to what is happening in the present. The questionnaire shows strong psychometric properties and has been validated with samples from university students, communities and cancer patients.

Instructions

Below are a series of statements about your daily experience. Using a scale from 1 to 6, indicate how often or infrequently you have each experience in your daily life. Please try to respond according to what your experience reflects and not what you think your experience should be. Please consider each statement separately from the rest of the statements.

1= Almost always   2= Very frequently   3= With some frequency

4=Not frequently   5= Rarely   6= Almost Never

1. Sometimes I am experiencing an emotion and I am not aware of it until some time later. 
2. I break or spill things out of carelessness, for not paying attention or for thinking about something different.
3. I find it difficult to remain focused on what is happening in the present. 
4. I tend to walk fast to get to the sites and I don't pay attention to what I experience along the way.
5. I tend not to notice emotions of physical tension or discomfort until they really claim my attention.
6. I forget the person's name as soon as they tell me the first time.
7. Sometimes it seems as if I am moving in “automatic” without much awareness of what I am doing.
8. I do the activities in a hurry and without being really attentive to them.
9. I so focused on my goal that I lose contact with what I am doing now to achieve it.
10. I carry out jobs or tasks automatically, without being aware of what I am doing.
11. I find myself listening to people with "one ear", doing or thinking something different at the same time.
12. I drive my or ride on buses on “autopilot” and then I wonder why I went there.
13. I feel constantly worried about the past or the future.
14. Sometimes I find myself doing things without paying attention.
15. I tend to "snack" without being aware of what I am eating.

Now, we invite you to calculate the average result of your answers to the 15 statements and see where you are in the MAAS!

Remember that:

1= Almost always   2= Very frequently   3= With some frequency

4=Not frequently   5= Rarely   6= Almost Never

So, add up your 15 answers, and then, divide that number by 15.

The lower scores reflect lower levels of dispositional mindfulness (and which, by the way, are related to high levels of stress, anxiety, depression or other psychological distress); and the highest reflect high levels of mindfulness.

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