Mindfulness in Education as a Whole School Approach: Principles, Insights and Outcomes

Nimrod Sheinman, Linor L. Hadar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Mindfulness in schools is a growing field, which is evident by the rapid increase of mindfulness in education programmes around the world. The interest is apparent by the growing number of reports, publications and peer reviews. Until recently, most of the published data examined interventions that were carried out over periods of weeks (4 20), were not implemented in the whole school, and were not continued as an integral part of the school's curriculum and culture. A long-term mindfulness in education project, designed from a whole school perspective, is a relatively new concept. As a mode of intervention, the best framework for such an approach seems to be the 'Health Promoting Schools' initiative of the World Health Organization, which has been defined, applied and studied. A whole school mindfulness-based model, when designed by these principles, involves full integration of mindfulness in the school curriculum, engagement of schoolteachers, incorporation of parents, and a gradual long-term process which influences the school's culture and climate. This chapter describes Israel's Whole School Mindfulness in Education (WSMED) programme, which has been implemented in various public primary schools (300 500 students each) since 2000. The programme was primarily designed for local health promoting schools, but has been implemented since in other schools with different orientations. In the WSMED model, mindfulness-based lessons become an integral part of the school's curriculum, are offered to all the classes on a weekly basis, and continue year after year as a mandatory topic. Although studies on mindfulness in schools have shown various shortterm benefits and outcomes, the effect of a whole school approach is still understudied. Moreover, because of the short-term nature of most existing interventions, we only seem to have a partial understanding of the diversity of children's experiences of mindfulness, their relevant perceptions and insights, and their gradual application of mindfulness-based practices in real-life situations. This chapter will address these issues through the guiding principles of the World Health Organization whole school model, and the framework and experience of Israel's whole school approach. We shall characterise the core hypothesis and principles of Israel's whole school approach, and illustrate a typical class structure. Finally, we shall delineate various research outcomes, gained over the past 16 years.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMindfulness and Education
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Practice
EditorsTamara Ditrich, Royce Wiles, Bill Lovegrove
Place of PublicationNewcastle
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781443878609
ISBN (Print)1-4438-7860-X, 9781443816885
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Includes bibliographical references at the end of each chapters and index.


  • Mindfulness (Psychology)
  • קשיבות (פסיכולוגיה)
  • Educational psychology
  • פסיכולוגיה חינוכית
  • علم النفس التربوي


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