Peace of Mind recognizes mindfulness as the essential foundation for students’ acquisition and mastery of social and emotional skills and conflict resolution tools.
Peace of Mind is research-based and teacher-created.
The mission of Peace of Mind is to create kinder, more inclusive schools, reducing bullying and increasing student engagement, by helping students:
- Prepare themselves to learn: Students calm themselves and focus their attention.
- Form healthy relationships: Students develop the habits of kindness and compassion.
- Solve conflicts skillfully: Students become peacemakers who know how to stand up against bullying
Peace of Mind’s homeschool is Lafayette Elementary in Washington D.C.. Peace of Mind’s pilot schools include Horace Mann Elementary (2016-2017), West Education Campus, Orr Elementary School and Ross Elementary School in DCPS and Saint Andrews Episcopal School in Maryland (2017-2018).
Peace of Mind works. An April 2016 survey of students and faculty at Lafayette E.S. by Minds Inc. found that:
- 95% of teachers and 90% of 4th and 5th graders reported Peace of Mind Class helps students get along better with and be kinder to others.
- 97% of 4th and 5th graders reported Peace of Mind Class has been helpful to them inside and outside the classroom.
- 75% of teachers reported Peace of Mind Class helps students be more ready to learn in the classroom.
PROGRAMS AND SCHOOLS
The Peace of Mind Curriculum Series addresses the needs of PreK/K, Grades 1-2 and Grades 3-5. Peace of Mind also publishes a storybook series and supporting materials that enrich the curriculum. Peace of Mind works with schools to support teachers, counselors and social workers using the Peace of Mind Curriculum.
Home School: Lafayette Elementary School, Washington DC
The Peace of Mind Curriculum has been developed and taught since 2003 at Lafayette, the largest public elementary school in DC, and is still taught to 800 children a week by curriculum authors Linda Ryden, the school’s full-time Peace teacher, and Counselor Jillian Diesner.
Pilot Schools: Learning opportunities
Our first pilot program began Fall 2016 with a dedicated “Peace teacher” working with all first, second and third graders at Horace Mann, a diverse, multinational public school in Washington DC. Since the conclusion of the pilot, Mann has expanded use of the curriculum school wide. Currently, classroom teachers are delivering the Peace of Mind Curriculum at West Education Campus (K), Orr Elementary School (PreK and K) and Ross Elementary School (3rd grade) and Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Lower School in Maryland. Peace of Mind works with teachers to carry out pre- and post-surveys to gather data on teacher and student experience at all pilot schools. Peace of Mind supports teachers in person and online.
Wider Community of Practice
Teachers, Social Workers, Counselors in over 20 states and overseas have invested in Peace of Mind for their students, and are invited to regular Community of Practice gatherings to ask questions and share insights
Peace of Mind has been recognized in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and on CBS, ABC and Fox5, and in the recently released film A Joyful Mind. Please visit www.TeachPeaceofMind for more detail.
The Strength of the Peace of Mind Program: teacher developed and research-based.
The Peace of Mind curriculum is not only supported by an observed positive impact on hundreds of students over a decade, but also by current research.
Peace of Mind arises out of the work of teacher and curriculum author Linda Ryden. Linda began teaching her “Peace Class” at a public school in Washington DC in 2003, focusing on social and emotional learning and conflict resolution lessons. Her young students grasped the lessons intellectually; however, when children found themselves in challenging situations on the playground, at recess, or in their classrooms, they were unable to access what they had learned, overtaken by challenging emotions. Linda realized that by adding mindfulness to her curriculum she could offer students simple, powerful tools to manage challenging emotions, empathize with others, and resolve conflicts peacefully.
Research confirms that creating deliberate moments of quiet and focus in a school day as part of a mindfulness-based social emotional learning program is likely to decrease anger, violence, and anxiety in a school (Weare, 2013). Mindfulness training can help to enhance children’s attention and focus (Zenner et al., 2014; Zoogman et al. 2015), improve self-control and emotion regulation (Metz et al., 2013), and improve overall social emotional competence including increased empathy, perspective-taking, and emotional control, and less peer-rated aggression (Schonert-Reichl et al., 2014; Schonert-Reichl & Lawlor, 2010). We also know that creating a kinder, more positive school climate and dedicating class time for social emotional learning are two important and evidence-based approaches to bullying prevention (Bradshaw, 2015; O’Brennan & Bradshaw, 2013.) Peace of Mind offers an effective, proven way to build on the findings of all of these studies.
For more information
Linda Ryden , Jillian Diesner Cheryl Dodwell