Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Modern Research in Education, Teaching and Learning
Teaching children to manage stress and be happy through mindfulness
Valerio Ferro Allodola – Maria Buccolo
The pandemic – we have been experiencing for about two years – has provoked new forms of exclusion and marginalization, of psychological distress in children and adolescents. The health emergency has created a significant revolution in the way of expressing emotions, in managing stress, in interpersonal relationships and in lifestyle. The continuous transformations have mainly affected the school context and have led to stressful conditions in teachers and children. It is, therefore, essential that the pedagogy and other human sciences in general aim to build selftraining paths, that lead subjects to re-learn to dream, to hope, to plan a life projected towards tomorrow.
In line with the 2030 Agenda, LifeComp (2020) and GreenComp (2022), we find extremely useful mindfulness practice to work with children in classroom. Mindfulness is the interconnection between the ability to direct attention to the present moment (self-regulation of attention) and the attitude connected to this moment, characterized by curiosity, openness and acceptance.
Most of the research on mindfulness training was for adults. In this paper, we want to support the adaptation of mindfulness techniques to work with children. In fact, it is argued that mindfulness training has the potential to improve children’s attention and concentration and improve memory. Exercises for teaching children to be aware are presented in progression, starting with awareness of the external environment, then with awareness through meditation exercises that characterize participation in cognitive processes. This, especially in the transition from primary to middle school.
keywords: emotional education; awareness; primary school; happiness; well-being.