In today’s world problems of low attention span, impulsivity and hyperactivity are affecting 2-7 % of children, with India reporting a higher than global estimates at 11%. Disturbances in regulating attention is believed to have a detrimental effect SEL competencies. Traditionally, the educational setups of ancient India were located in natural surroundings. Contemplative practices, and prayer time were the integral part of the daily routine. For this proposal, such educational systems are termed contemplative ecological educational systems. At one such existing unique educational system run by Dayalbagh Educational Institute for early child care and education, the pedagogy is grounded in contemplative practices from early ages with school readiness as its major objective. It holds nature-based activity and play as its method. Accordingly, the surroundings, building components and curricular content are structured to obtain a child friendly atmosphere with an interesting set of nature-based activities to turn out healthier, happier, better adjusted individuals. The study will examine neuro-cognitive indices (inhibitory control, sustained attention and working memory) along with the behavioral observations to investigate the role of contemplative ecological pedagogy on psycho-social factors (aggression, impulsivity, sharing, respect for nature and respect for others) and SEL competencies (empathy, gratitude, and self-regulation).

Pooja Sahni, PhD

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi