There is a growing consensus among psychologists, educators, and the public at large that a more comprehensive vision of education is needed—one that includes an explicit focus on “educating the heart” and intentionally cultivates children’s social and emotional competencies and positive human qualities, including self-regulation, self-awareness, empathy, and compassion. This explicit and intentional focus on integrating educating the heart with educating the mind in school is necessary for the future of education and the world. Drawing from recent science, Kim will begin with a discussion on the importance of integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) programs with contemplative approaches. Following, Kim will highlight findings from research evaluating the effects of SEL programs that integrate mindful attention awareness on neural, behavioral, and biological processes, including new research examining epigenetics. She will pose some of the current challenges in the field of mindfulness in education, including:  How do we scale up programs and at the same time maintain program fidelity? How can we integrate these approaches into both in-service and pre-service teacher preparation? And, how do we determine which programs work for which individuals and under what conditions?  The presentation will end by offering some directions for future research. 

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, PhD

University of British Columbia

Convening Faculty, Reviewer

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl is an applied developmental psychologist and a professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture area in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at … MORE