Time/Transcendental MeditationProgramme's value for the academic achievement and improved health of students, teachers, staff, and parents is increasingly recognized through studies done by leading research and educational institutions in different countries.
The Transcendental Meditation Programme helps students by dissolving stress and fatigue, promoting balanced functioning of mind and body and more harmonious behaviour.
by Global Good News staff writer
13 September 2010
Like others schools around the world, schools in New Zealand are facing many challenges. Stress Free Schools’ Quiet Time Programme offers an innovative solution to meet these challenges; this programme has now been implemented in a school in Auckland.
The Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation Programme has been used in schools around the world for the past 35 years. The value of this programme for the academic achievement and improved health of students, teachers, staff, and parents is increasingly recognized through studies at leading research and educational institutions in different countries.
Lucy Davy, MSC, Hon ENVSC, has been a driving force behind Stress Free Schools in New Zealand. In 2009 she managed the implementation of the first Transcendental Meditation Quiet Time Programme in the country at a South Auckland school. Lucy has been practising Transcendental Meditation since she was 5 years old.
Quiet Time is a unique programme that involves the introduction of two 15-20 minute periods into the school day; one when the students first arrive and one just before they leave. During Quiet Time students practise a very simple, scientifically validated technique called Transcendental Meditation.
Teachers and other school staff practise the technique before and after school. The Quiet Time Programme including Transcendental Meditation has been introduced into many schools worldwide, particularly in Latin America, the United Kingdom and the United States—and now in this school in Auckland.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a simple, natural, effortless technique practised sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The technique allows the mind to settle inward, beyond thought, to experience a silent reservoir of energy, creativity, and intelligence found within everyone—a natural state of restful alertness.
During the practice, the brain functions with significantly greater coherence and the body gains deep rest. The unique state of restful alertness produced during the Transcendental Meditation Technique dissolves stress and fatigue, promoting balanced functioning of mind and body and more harmonious behaviour.
Members of the Executive Board of Stress Free Schools New Zealand, express their thoughts about the Quiet Time Programme:
‘At a time when schools are increasingly under pressure and both teachers and students face higher levels of stress, it is appropriate for us to consider alternative approaches to addressing these issues. I personally commend the Stress Free Schools organization and those leading it to you.
‘I know that what they are asking us to consider is valuable and has a very valuable contribution to make to the school system here in New Zealand. It is an additional tool in the educational repertoire. While there are various attitudes and responses towards Transcendental Meditation in the community generally, its impact on schools and education is impressive.’
— Dr Stuart Middleton, Ph.D., Executive Director, Manukau Institute of Technology, Former Principal of Aorere College Manukau, Fulbright New Century Scholars Award 2007.
‘Stress in our students can lead to poor academic achievement, apathy, depression, behavioural problems, substance abuse, violence, and consequent teacher burnout. These problems are not going away and often educators are criticized unreasonably for the poor performance of students affected by stress. One answer lies in Transcendental Meditation which has been proven to reduce stress in students with remarkable improvements in their desire both to learn and to take part in school life.’
—Greg Taylor, O.N.Z.M, Former Principal of Mount Albert Grammar School, Government appointee to the Council of the University of Auckland.
Another Board member of Stress Free Schools New Zealand, Dr Guy Hatchard, international researcher and former Associate Professor at Maharishi University of Management, explains that ‘Research is making it increasingly clear that fragmentation of brain development is at the heart of problems faced in schools today.
‘It is heartening to review the research on Transcendental Meditation and see that holistic brain development is easily achieved. The results are impressive: improved concept development, increased IQ and academic achievement, reduced stress and anxiety, improved behaviour, and increased creativity.
‘The Stress Free Schools Programme incorporating Transcendental Meditation has now been used in hundreds of schools with great ease and success. These results are urgently needed in New Zealand schools where students’ behaviour and academic attainment is increasingly influenced by high levels of stress and anxiety which the Stress Free Schools approach quickly eliminates.’
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