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Effectiveness of mindfulness in schools

The results of the MYRIAD Project (My Resilience in Adolescence) were recently released and there is much to be said about them. MYRIAD was a large scientific study of mindfulness in schools, specifically on the efficacy of scaling up and doing a universal roll out of a mindfulness programme for adolescents.

MYRIAD is the first large scale randomised trial (with more than 28,000 pupils, taught by 650 teachers in 100 different schools) to see whether mindfulness could be easily and cost-effectively scaled up – this time by training teachers who were new to mindfulness and the curriculum. MYRIAD also explored the impact of mindfulness training on teachers’ mental health and wellbeing, and on school climate.

The most significant outcome for me was the important role that the teacher’s personal mindfulness practice plays. In previous studies, where the curriculum was taught by experienced mindfulness teachers with an established practice, the positive outcome on the students was much higher. In the MYRIAD trial, teachers need not have had any interest in mindfulness, were excluded if they had previously recently trained in it and had usually only taught it once at the point of being assessed. The results clearly showed how mindfulness needs to be taught from a place of embodiment for it to be effective. It is not simply a set of slides and a script.

You can read more about MISP’s response to the results here.