Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness in education: a great deal of validating research has been around for several years, particularly in K-12 settings. Research confirms the myriad of benefits to both students and teachers (Poulin et al, 2008; Soloway, et al, 2011). In her book, Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness (2009), Deborah Schoeberlein David lists the following benefits of mindfulness practices in the classroom:
Benefits for teachers:
- Improved focus and awareness
- Increased responsiveness to student needs
- Enhanced classroom climate
- Improved overall well-being, emotional balance, and stress management
Benefits for students:
- Improved “readiness to learn”
- Strengthened attention and concentration
- Reduced anxiety before testing
- Increased self-reflection and self-calming
Ghoghet at a student Centered learning Conference: “The reaction of the educators was universally enthusiastic. Part of the overall feedback for the two days was the way Ghoghet helped to make the atmosphere so vibrant and exciting. Ghoghet is an effective learning tool for groups of all ages. It tends to energize people to think and be creative, and certainly does increase self esteem.” Donna Brandes B.A.,M.Ed.PhD
Teachers now have a simply structured and easy to learn package of meaningful learning opportunities that provide a practical way for students to develop the skills that lead to emotional intelligence. It takes around six weeks (one hour per week) to establish the environment of trust which is part of the learning necessary for emotional intelligence to develop. Once everyone feels safe to be themselves, it becomes very easy to maintain the environment. Essentially a teacher is challenged to:
- Gradually relinquish control to allow students the opportunity to assume responsibility for their own behaviour and education. Teachers end up having far greater influence as learning facilitators.
- Sharing the fun with the students. When students see the teacher engaging and learning as they go, they become even more excitied about engaging with Ghoghet.
“This was the first time that I had seen my class working cooperatively. The results of using Ghoghet with my class have been amazing and I feel the results will improve if we continue to play. I now have total faith in Ghoghet and feel any class who plays it will benefit from it” Emma Guy, Kewdale Primary, Western Australia
“One cannot begin to express the gratitude, or debt the students in the Faculty of Agriculture owe for your recent efforts in introducing us to Ghoghet. I would personally like to attest to the myriad of benefits of the program. Even University staff have noticed an increased participation rate in Faculty and Student affairs by those who attended the program.” Sean Poole, Student President, University of Western Australia
Once a cohesive learning environment has been established, Teachers can begin to blend the traditional curriculum with the play. We have many reports of significant improvements in students ability to absorb information in this environment.