Meditation for Learning – Observatory of Educational Innovation

“Meditation can be used as a privileged resource for a pedagogical pause in long or prolonged sessions. Even in music, a pause is essential.” -Eloísa Heredia-

tIn the school environment, meditation is used to improve the development of learning skills and academic performance. It can also be incorporated as an initial teaching resource in any class or subject to ‘take’ students to a state of openness and favorable disposition to learn. The consistent practice of meditation generates a learning footprint in the person while also benefiting other dimensions of the human being holistically. Ph.D. Eloísa Heredia explained this in our June webinar. If you did not have an opportunity to see it, you can watch it here (in Spanish, English speakers can activate subtitles in English).

“Before incorporating meditation as a teaching tool, teachers must be trained and practice. It is essential to understand that well-being or tranquility cannot be conveyed if we ourselves have restless, anxious, or stressed minds.”

In this session, Professor Heredia presented the fundamentals of meditation as a millennial practice. She shared educational research findings that show that through meditation, it is possible to improve the atmosphere of the school. She also conducted a hands-on meditation exercise for the entire audience. I am sure that this exercise may serve as your first exposure to the practice, and you will be able to fathom the impact that meditation can have on you. Check her demonstration directly in the webinar at the time point 54:37. The video will be available at all times, so you can experience it whenever you want.

Here is a summary of the most relevant points of the webinar shared by Ph.D. Eloísa Heredia:

  • Incorporate time for meditating in the class planning; the reward is better receptivity by the students and improvement in their performance.

  • The practice of meditation is especially recommended during learning processes that require prolonged periods of attention and concentration from the students.

  • As in any educational planning, teachers must be clear about the pedagogical objectives set by the institution for which he/she works, as well as the teacher’s intentions.

  • The following are some essential teaching criteria to consider when integrating meditation into class:

    • Define the pedagogical goals, as well as the skills, material content, and procedures on which the teacher will focus.

    • Be clear to the students. Be sure they understand what will be done and why meditation is introduced as a teaching sequence.

    • Consider the age of the students, the stage of development they are in, and their interests.

    • Consider where the meditation practice will take place.

    • Think about the resources available to you.

    • Create the appropriate context for the meditation to be inserted as a pedagogical pause in the learning sequence.

  • It is advisable to intersperse pedagogical pauses in class to help students refocus and achieve a state of tranquility. For the teacher, these pauses facilitate the transmission and receptivity of the message they wish to convey.

  • Meditation is a resource that also triggers metacognitive processes; that is, it has to do with reflecting on how we are learning. Metacognition helps us review the path that we took to get to learning.

I invite all teachers and education professionals to explore the potential of meditation for human learning and well-being. Also, be aware of our upcoming webinars from the Observatory of Educational Innovation.

Ph.D. Eloísa Heredia Escorza is a professor in the Department of Humanistic Studies in the School of Education and Humanities. She is the national director of Punto Blanco: a space for reflection at Tec de Monterrey. She currently directs the research work, “Meditation, Wellness and Spirituality in the Students of this Institution.”

If your native language is not Spanish, you can activate the instant subtitle translation in the YouTube video included in this article. To enable this option, select the Subtitles option on YouTube (the subtitles will appear in Spanish), then choose the option Configuration ->Subtitles -> Translate Automatically and select the language that you prefer.