How To Develop It Within the Schools
Shaun Kerry, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board
of Psychiatry and Neurology
Our schools can do a great deal towards
developing mindfulness in our young people. We need to
abandon rigid requirements and courses that are of marginal value.
A rigid curriculum results in excessive busywork and the postponement of
real growth and learning. We must weigh the time, energy, and cost of a
program against its future value.
One of the biggest errors that schools make today is that they try to exert too
much control over the lives of the student. It is critical that
children be able to develop in ways that are consistent with their own
|personalities. The system must conform to
the needs of its students, not vice versa. The child must know
that he is in charge of his own life and future.
Much of what I learned about this subject was
obtained during my twenty years
as a psychiatrist. In general, one of the primary responsibilities
of a psychotherapist is to help the patient undo what over controlling
superiors have done in the past. A good psychotherapist is
supportive, adapts to the unique personality of the patient, and allows
the patient to be comfortable with himself.
One of the most common patterns of behavior that I
observed in patients was that
they frequently hung onto 'clutter'. Junk would pile up in their
houses, and although they realized that it was becoming a problem for
them, they just couldn't let go of it. Their houses were a mess.
They were surrounded with items from the past, and simply couldn't let
go and move forward with their lives. Our educational system works
in a similar way. It is maladaptive and clings to obsolete
traditions that are not only ineffective, but also damaging.
There are some fairly simple things that could be
done to greatly improve the
quality of education in our classrooms. For example, meditation
using a stereo headset is easy to do and requires no training.
Itís a wonderful tool for developing whole-brain integration. Both
the theory and practical application can be taught as part of a health
screen audiovisual programming
into classroom curriculum. This is very effective for helping
students rapidly build a large fund of knowledge on a given subject.
It is entertaining and makes the teacher's job less stressful.
Develop a huge world-bank of educational satellite television
|This is all part of creating a seamless
interface with outside-world research and development. With the
aid of audiovisual programming, we could provide better instruction in
the bottleneck fields, as explained in the next page.
The role of teacher must be shifted from lecturer to educational manager. Intersperse these
presentations with group discussions. There could be structured
discussions, but also, ones where students could bring up any reasonable
topic or feeling. Additionally, we need to remove the excessive
busywork and homework. These steps will take unreasonable pressure
off of both the teacher and the student, allowing them both to lead more
be encouraged to express their wishes concerning what they would like to get
out of their educational experience, and teachers should be responsive
to their desires. Teachers should recognize that there are special
and unique things about each student. We need to spend more time
listening, and less time giving instructions. People - even young
people - have an instinctive sense of what they need.
The most important parts of this program are
cost free. The technological aspects do carry an
expense, but it is low compared to the overall educational budget.
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