Actress Goldie Hawn is trying to revolutionize the classroom environment and the way kids learn by
incorporating mediation and “brain breaks.”
Hawn recently released her book, 10 Mindful Minutes, a guide for parents, grandparents, and teachers to help shape children’s brains and lead happy lives. While her Hawn Foundation focuses on improving child’s learning in schools, this book is her way to educate adults.
“What I do know is that MindUP works for children, so its principles can work for parents too,” Hawn says in her book. “I’ve always thought that the perfect metaphor for good parenting the advice give by airlines to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting you child with theirs. The same approach applies to being a parent. We need to gain the strength we need along with the awareness and intention to give the best possible start to our children.”
“In order to educate the whole child, we are bringing what we call ‘the fourth R’ to education after reading, writing and arithmetic – and that is reflection,” she adds.
Hawn also appeared on “Nightline” to promote her book, saying the statistics that show American children are among the most unhappy in the world was a wake-up call for her to try to give stressed out children mind breaks and increase “brain fitness,” thereby reducing fights on the playground, and increasing attentiveness, among other benefits.
“It’s not anything magical. It’s all biological and neurological,” Hawn told “Nightline” anchor Cynthia
McFadden. ”So let’s just take a breath and take a break. Teachers need it. Kids need it.”
Hawn is the founder of The Hawn Foundation, and has spent the past 10 years studying cognitive function and how the brain works. She worked with neurologists and psychologists to create the foundation’s signature MindUP program. MindUP is a set of social, emotional, and attentional self-regulatory strategies and skills developed for cultivating well-being and emotional balance. Among the various skills taught to students, focused attention and nonreactive monitoring of experience from moment to moment could have a long-term impact on brain function and social and emotional behavior, according to the foundation.
The Hawn Foundation funded research to measure the effectiveness of the MindUP program. A majority of children in the study reported that what they loved most about MindUP was that it helped them learn how to make themselves happy. Other findings from study include:
- Better reading scores
- Less absenteeism
- 25 percent reduction in aggression on the playground
- Better attention/more concentration
- Quicker reactivity in responding to teachers
- Better interpersonal relationships
- Improved ability to manage stress
- 63 percent rise in optimism among participants
Watch Hawn’s interview on “Nightline” below:
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