Track “Education”

    This webcast series is a course on education, curated by Prof. Katherine Weare, Ph.D., Principal Investigator of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE).

    Overall there will be three series in the track of education with seven videos each. The three series will deal with the topics of

    Specifically, this first series in the field of education introduces contemplative education, outlines its scope, themes, and research base, and gives an overview of current developments in schools and universities across Europe and the rest of the world.

    The interactive webinar with Katherine Weare (90min.) for Q&A regarding the webcast on Education took place on November 24, 2020, at 18:00 CET. MLE Friends were be sent an invitation to register for this webinar.

    About the Expert & Curator

    Katherine Weare, United Kingdom

    Katherine Weare is Emeritus Professor at the University of Southampton, UK, and the Principal Investigator for the MLE Community of Contemplative Education (CCE) Initiative.

    Katherine is the curator and designer of this webcast series, weaving into its themes her own extensive experience and selected contributions from the community of experts from the CCE initiative she has helped to lead. She is known internationally for her work on contemplative and mindfulness based approaches, and is herself a professionally trained and active mindfulness teacher with a regular Vipassana meditation practice.  Her recent best selling book, co-written with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh “Happy Teachers Change The World” has been translated into 6 languages.

    She has a long term career as an expert on well-being, social and emotional learning, and mental health for young people and those who live and work with them. She has published widely, reviewed the evidence base, advised the UK government, EU and WHO, and developed practical strategies and programmes in these fields across most European countries. She is co-lead for Mindfulness in Education policy for the Mindfulness Initiative in the UK. Katherine is a Mind & Life Europe Association member.

    Education (Series 1) – Foundations of Contemplative Education

    Course Outline

    Part 1: What is contemplative education and why do we need it?

    An exploration of the aims and core concepts at the heart of CE. How practices such as mindfulness, meditation, compassion, and self-reflection for students and faculty are contributing to the transformation of school, university, and lifelong education to help us all meet the urgent challenges of the 21st Century. 

    By Professor Katherine Weare.

    Link to part 1

    Part 2: They are not trainee monks.

    How do we develop forms of CE that speak to the vibrant and complex lives of young people, start where they are, and build on their urge to feel fully alive? 

    By Guy Claxton.

    Link to part 2

    Part 3: Contemplative Education in Europe, a thumbnail sketch.

    As programmes and curricula to cultivate CE steadily develop across Europe, what is emerging about the principles and practice for effective implementation, evaluation, opportunities and challenges? 

    By Professor Katherine Weare.

    Link to part 3

    Part 4: Teaching mindfully.

    Some reflections on why mindfulness in education needs to start with the educator, as the root of bringing a more balanced and warm-hearted approach to our teaching and our students, and insights from an ex headteacher, mindfulness expert and programme developer on how this can be achieved to help teachers be more effective and feel more valued. 

    By Kevin Hawkins.

    Link to part 4

    Part 5: The evidence for contemplative education.

    What do we know about the impacts of CE from qualitative and quantitative research with students and teachers – on wellbeing, mental health, social and emotional learning, cognition/learning, teacher effectiveness, and self-understanding? What are the strengths and limitations of the current evidence and the research? 

    By Professor Katherine Weare.

    Link to part 5

    Part 6: Investigating contemplative education using qualitative methods.

    There is more to research on CE than numbers. How can we add depth to our investigations of CE using  first-person methods such as focus groups, interviews, and documents? How can we draw on a range of stakeholders and encourage student voice, and use appropriate theoretical frameworks such as action research, phenomenology and thematic analysis?  What is this adding to our understanding of CE and how it can best be cultivated? 

    By Caroline Barratt.

    Link to part 6

    Part 7: Peeping inside the black box: investigating the cognitive and neuro science of contemplative education.

    What can neuroscientific research tell us about how CE works? Some reflections on what we are discovering about the underlying mechanisms behind the impacts of CE, such as self-regulation, metacognition/ decentering and self compassion. 

    By Dusana Dorjee.

    Link to part 7

    About the contributors to Education (Series 1)

    As the curator of this MLE webcast series, Prof. Katherine Weare, Ph.D., invited four experts who are current members of the Community of Contemplative Education (CCE): Caroline Barratt, Dusana Dorjee, Kevin Hawkins and Guy Claxton to share their insights.

    Caroline Barratt, United Kingdom

    Dr. Caroline Barratt is a lecturer and Deputy Director of Education – Innovation and Excellence – in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Essex. She is interested in qualitative research, particularly narrative methods, with marginalised social groups as well as mindfulness, pedagogy and social change.

    In 2014 Caroline first came across the idea of contemplative pedagogy and in response established the Contemplative Pedagogy Network. This connected her personal interest in meditation and the contemplative life with her role as educator. She is particularly interested in the potential of contemplative pedagogy in higher education to support and enhance the learning of students and teachers, education as activism and mindfulness for social change.
    Caroline is a member of the CCE – Research group.

    Dusana Dorjee, United Kingdom

    Dusana Dorjee, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist, author, meditation practitioner and teacher. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Science (with neuroscience focus) from the University of Arizona. Dusana also holds master’s degrees in clinical psychology (Comenius University) and cognitive psychology/cognitive science (University of Arizona) and studied at doctoral level philosophy of mind and science. She leads a research lab where she investigates changes in the mind and brain resulting from meditation practice in the context of well-being across the lifespan and broader focus on developmental neuroscience of well-being. Dusana has pioneered translational neuroscience research on secular meditation with children and adolescents in schools and proposed a framework for research in contemplative science. She received several research grants in support of her research, including a Mind and Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship.

    Dusana is currently developing new measures which may enable a more comprehensive and integrative investigation of modifications in the mind and brain with meditation in adults, adolescents and children. She has also co-authored (with focus on neuroscience content) a mindfulness and well-being curriculum called The Present Course for Primary Schools. Dusana authored two peer-reviewed books: Mind, Brain and the Path to Happiness (Routledge, 2013) andNeuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life (Routledge, 2017). Dusana has been regularly practicing meditation since 2000 with a particular focus on Dzogchen and has been teaching meditation since 2005.
    Dusana is a member of the CCE – Research group.

    Kevin Hawkins, Spain

    Kevin Hawkins has worked with adolescents and young people in various contexts for over 30 years – as teacher, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe. Until recently he lived in the Czech Republic where for 10 years he was Middle School Principal at the International School of Prague. Kevin trained in mindfulness in Europe and the USA with Mark Williams (Oxford Mindfulness Centre), Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo-Meyer (UMass Medical School, Centre for Mindfulness), and with Dr. Amy Saltzman (Still Quiet Place) and he has taught mindfulness to students, teachers and parents since 2008.

    In 2012 he co-founded MindWell, which supports educational communities around the world in developing wellbeing through mindfulness and social-emotional learning. Kevin is a Senior Trainer for the Mindfulness in Schools Project (UK); a facilitator of the evidence-based CARE program (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Educators); and he has worked as lead consultant to the International Baccalaureate Organisation on SEL and mindfulness. Kevin is a regular speaker, writer and presenter on the topics of mindfulness and social and emotional learning in education. His first book, Mindful Teacher, Mindful School: Improving wellbeingin teaching and learning, was published by SAGE in July 2017.
    Kevin is a member of the CCE – Teacher Education group.

    Guy Claxton, United Kingdom

    Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist with a special interest in the expansion of non-intellectual forms of intelligence. His books on the subject include Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less; The Wayward Mind: An Intimate History of the Unconscious; and Intelligence in the Flesh: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body Much More Than It Thinks.

    Much of his professional life has been spent trying to improve the quality education, so that it equips young people with minds fit for 21st century life. His education books include Building Learning Power; What’s the Point of School; New Kinds of Smart: How the Science of Learnable Intelligence is Changing Education (with Bill Lucas); and The Learning Power Approach.

    Guy was a founding faculty member of Schumacher College, and the Sharpham Institute of Buddhist Studies, both in Devon, England. He has studied in the Tibetan, Theravadan and Zen traditions of Buddhism. He is currently Visiting Professor of Education at King’s College London. Guy attended the inaugural meeting of the CCE in Rotterdam and has been a keen supporter and informal advisor to the CCE since then.

    Series 2: Making Contemplative Education Happen in Practice – The Rocky Road to Implementation

    Course Outline

    Part 1: The Evidence-Based Principles of Implementation and Overview of the Theme.

    Katherine Weare summarises what we know from the evidence helps and hinders. She explores the core importance of steadily building clear understanding, ownership and active engagement of all the stakeholders: teachers, students, parents, community and policy makers, and some examples from the UK of what can go wrong when mindfulness becomes too popular too quickly. 

    By Professor Katherine Weare.

    Link to part 1

    Part 2: Mindfulness in Schools Project: What have we learned from 10 years of Principles & Pragmatism?

    Claire Kelly of the well known Mindfulness in Schools suite of programmes that originated in the UK and have been taught right across Europe explores what they have learned. It includes an interesting warning on from the UK on the need to ensure work in education is authentic and based on deep understanding and the embodied skills and presence of teachers in the face of pressures resulting from the increasing popularity of mindfulness to turn it into cheap, quick and easy ?plug and play? programmes for children. 

    By Claire Kelly.

    Link to part 2

    Part 3: Mindfulness in Education & The Whole School Approach.

    Nimrod Sheinman working at the heart of well developed holistic approaches to CE and mindfulness in Israel explores their groundbreaking work on using a genuinely whole school, systems based and integrative approach. 

    By Nimrod Sheinman.

    Link to part 3

    Part 4: Implementing Mindfulness into Schools in Iceland – Whole School Approach.

    Bryndís Jónsdóttir from Iceland explores developing CE and mindfulness in schools in a sparsely populated country, and their pragmatic discoveries, including how to deliver on line learning of depth and quality. 

    By Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir.

    Link to part 4

    Part 5: Healthy Learning Mind (Finland).

    Salla-Maarit Volanen shares the experience of the Healthy Learning Mind programme in Finland, a context where teacher education and skills are taken very seriously and where teachers are used to taking their on professional decisions, and thus the core message to be begin with school personnel is easy to establish. 

    By Salla-Maarit Volanen.

    Link to part 5

    Part 6: Exploring Contemplative Education in Higher Education.

    Caroline Barratt, developer of the Contemplative Pedagogy network explores the opportunities and barriers to developing CE in Higher Education. 

    By Caroline Barratt.

    Link to part 6

    Part 7: Embedding within a Whole School/University Approach.

    Moving to holistic approaches in education. Katherine Weare explores what is meant by the often used phrase whole school approach, how ensuring a joined-up coherent approach needs close attention to the detail and careful coordination. She suggests a key is focusing particularly on the foundational skills and mechanisms that CE develops and which underlie human flourishing, including attention, metacognition, emotional regulation and self compassion. 

    By Professor Katherine Weare.

    Link to part 7

    Q&A Session based on Webcast

    On February 9, 2021, at 18:00 CET all MLE Friends will be invited to participate in a Q&A Session with Katherine Weare (curator of the education series) and the five contributors: Caroline Barratt, Claire Kelly, Bryndís Jónsdottir, Nimrod Sheinman, and Salla-Maarit Volanen. The interactive webinar was used to answer questions and deepen the discussion around the topic of the second MLE series in Education on “Contemplative Education – The Rocky Road to Implementation”.

    About the Contributors to Education (Series 2)

    Caroline Barratt, United Kingdom

    Dr. Caroline Barratt is a lecturer and Deputy Director of Education – Innovation and Excellence – in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Essex. She is interested in qualitative research, particularly narrative methods, with marginalised social groups as well as mindfulness, pedagogy and social change.

    In 2014 Caroline first came across the idea of contemplative pedagogy and in response established the Contemplative Pedagogy Network. This connected her personal interest in meditation and the contemplative life with her role as educator. She is particularly interested in the potential of contemplative pedagogy in higher education to support and enhance the learning of students and teachers, education as activism and mindfulness for social change.
    Caroline is a member of the CCE – Research group.

    Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir

    Bryndís Jóna Jónsdóttir, MA in counselling and MA diploma in Positive Psychology at the University of Iceland. She is also trained as a mindfulness teacher from the UK (Bangor University & Breathworks) and is one of the founders and directors at the Mindfulness Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. She teaches part-time mindfulness and positive education to masters students in the Faculty of Education Studies at the University of Iceland. She is part of the Icelandic team in developing resilience program called Upright but the program is funded by the European Union and is collaboration within six other countries. From 2007-2016 she worked as a Human Resource Manager at the Flensborg College where she led the development and implementation of the concept of Health Promoting Schools, in which mindfulness is one of the key components. From 2014 to 2018 Bryndís Jóna lead the development and implementation of Positive Education into the school curriculum.

    Since 2017 she has been one of the leaders in the research team, working in collaboration with the Directorate of Health in Iceland, in developing holistic approach to implement mindfulness into schools nationwide. She has developed mindfulness material for teens both in Icelandic and English. As well as developing and leading pilot study on whole school approach on mindfulness in preschool. Her main passion is well-being in the educational field.
    Bryndis is a member of the CCE – Holism group.

    Claire Kelly

    Having had a career in teaching for over 25 years, 18 of which at Senior Leadership level, Claire Kelly joined the UK charity Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) in 2012 as their Director of Curricula and Training. As part of her role she creates classroom content, and trains teachers to deliver mindfulness-based programmes in school settings for 7-18 year-olds. She has also overseen the .b teacher training programme for the large scale MYRIAD research project in collaboration with Oxford University. This includes the largest everrandomised control trial involving the teaching of mindfulness in school contexts with over 8,000 students taking part in the trial.

    On behalf of MiSP, Claire also contributed to the Education strand of the Mindful Nation Report UK report. Claire Kelly is a teacher of mindfulness for adults (MBSR) having trained with Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice. She has taught mindfulness in a range of settings, including traditional primary and secondary schools, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, for clinical and educational psychologists, in pupil referral units (short-stay schools), universities, medical and veterinary schools.
    Claire is a member of the CCE – Holism group.

    Nimrod Sheinman

    Dr. Nimrod Sheinman is one of Israel’s leading mind-body and mindfulness in education experts, and an international spokesperson advocating mindfulness-based initiatives with children. He is the founder and director of Israel’s Center for Mindfulness in Education, co-founder of Israel’s Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and heads the International Soul of Education Initiative, now gaining momentum around the globe. About 20 years ago, supported by Israel’s ministry of education, he initiated the country’s first whole-school mindfulness in education project, among the first of its kind in the world. The benefits of the whole-school model have since reached thousands of children, teachers, and parents.

    In the last three decades, he presented mind-body medicine and mindfulness in education seminars in universities, institutes, hospitals and international conferences in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and Israel. He is the author of Food for Thought (1989, in Hebrew), and Imagery-based Therapy: A Workbook for Clinical Practice (1991, in Hebrew). He is a co-editor of Potentiating Health and the Crisis of the Immune System (Plenum Press, 1997). Dr. Sheinman was an Aeronautical Engineer, graduate of the Israel Institute of Technology (1973). He served as a chief project officer in the Israel Air-Force (1973-1978) and was a recipient of the 1976 Israel’s Air-Force Award. He is a keen photographer and a recipient of Nikon’s photography award.
    Dr. Sheinman is a member of the CCE – Holism group.

    Salla-Maarit Volanen PhD, Senior Researcher Folkhälsan Research Center and University of Helsinki (Dept of Public Health) Topeliuksenkatu 20 00250 Helsinki   E-mail: salla-maarit.volanen@helsinki.fi Mobile Phone: +358(0)50 542 10 85   Terve Oppiva Mieli- tutkimus- ja kehittämishanke Healthy Learning Mind Research and Development Project

    Salla-Maarit Volanen

    Salla-Maarit Volanen is a social scientist and a senior researcher at Folkhälsan Research Center, and at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine (Dept of Public Health). Volanen’s earlier research includes topics such as the role of social capital in well-being and the determinants of a sense of coherence and its impact as a positive internal resource promoting mental and somatic health.

    Currently, she directs the Healthy Learning Mind (HLM) initiative and research project. The HLM project investigates the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in Finnish schools, as well as explores the possible nationwide implementation and dissemination of mindfulness-based approaches in Finland’s schools.
    Salla-Maarit is a member of the CCE – Teacher Education and Research group.

    Series 3: Emerging and Challenging Areas and Next Steps for Contemplative Education

    Course Outline

    Part 1: Where is Contemplative Education (CE) going? Emerging Areas for Research and Development in CE and Overview of the Series

    Katherine Weare introduces the series, and explores a theme raised by several of our speakers – the potential downsides and the – often over hyped – dangers of CE and meditation practice. What are the small, and large pitfalls into which we can all fall if we are not careful? How do we, as best we can, cultivate forms of CE that are safe and beneficial for different people at different times? 

    By Professor Katherine Weare.

    Link to part 1

    Part 2: Contemplative Education and Radical Educational Transformation

    Katherine Weare explores a theme touched on by many of the speakers in this series –  the role of CE in responding to the challenges of a world in all kinds of social, environmental and existential crises, and offering all kinds of opportunities for creating ways forward and healing if we work together. What does CE contribute to efforts to help education to cultivate the skills, attitudes, sense of connection and ways of knowing that humanity urgently needs to ensure that we, and our beloved planet, thrive in the 21st century? 

    By Professor Katherine Weare.

    Link to part 2

    Part 3: Reducing Outgroup Prejudice among Youth with Mindfulness and Compassion-Based Programs.

    Stereotyping and prejudice are among the most prevalent and significant psychological and social problems in the world. These disturbing social phenomena profoundly affect the security, mental health and well-being of children. In this talk Rony Berger will describe two large studies that suggests that utilizing mindfulness and compassion-based programs can reduce intergroup stereotyping, prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory tendencies in elementary school children, reductions that were maintained 15 months following the programs. Furthermore, these intergroup attitudinal changes were achieved among Arab and Jewish Israeli pupils living in an ethnic violent area. These results have significant implications for implementing mindfulness and compassion-based practices in promoting positive intergroup relations, in areas characterized by ethnic tension and violent conflict. 

    By Rony Berger.

    Link to part 3

    Part 4: Teaching Mindfulness in Pre-Service Teacher Education

    Karlheinz Valtl highlights about the importance ofImplementing mindfulness into schools which requires teachers who are trained in it and who can embody it. In his talk he explains that this training should start from Phase 1 of teacher education at universities. It aims at far more than just showing how to teach mindfulness to students – it is a key element of teacher education that fosters teacher identity, self-care, resilience, presence, and engagement and that enhances the enactment of all other pedagogical knowledge and skills. 

    By Karlheinz Valtl.

    Link to part 4

    Part 5: Focus on Ethics (SEE Learning)

    Mikkel B. Kristiansen explores how Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning) answers the Dalai Lama’s vision for an education of the heart and mind and the promotion of basic human values and ethics through education. The Dalai Lama is absolutely is absolutely convinced that we can talk about and teach these values or ethics in a completely universal and secular way. We can do so on the basis of common experience, common sense and science and built around two pillars – common humanity and interdependence. This is basically SEE Learning. As you will learn in this talk, SEE Learning is a SEL program, it’s a mindfulness education program and it’s a contemplative education program – but it?s original intention is first and foremost to bring secular ethics into education. 

    By Mikkel B. Kristiansen.

    Link to part 5

    Part 6: Focus on Ethics (Wake Up Schools).

    Orlaith O’Sullivan, PhD, shares the Wake Up Schools approach of applied ethics in education. What explicit ethical supports can we use to imbue a school with the ethos of mindfulness and compassion? Sometimes described as ‘refined SEL’, the work of Wake Up Schools seeks to build capacity based on the principles of embodiment, service and community. Orlaith explores practical ways to create a sustainable culture of kindness and know that our happiness is not an individual matter. 

    By Orlaith O’Sullivan.

    Link to part 6

    Part 7: Mindfulness and Values.

    Michael Bready makes the case for a relationship-before-content approach to teaching mindfulness. For many young people, adolescence is a time of increased stress, self-consciousness, and fear of judgment from others, and this stress is exacerbated for the 50% of young people that experience one or more traumatic events by the time they reach 18. Feeling unsafe, then, is a ubiquitous experience for teenagers, and this state of being is the opposite of the openness and curiosity needed to authentically explore mindfulness. In this talk, Michael Bready explores how we can lay a positive foundation for learning mindfulness through positive relationships. 

    By Michael Bready.

    Link to part 7

    Q&A Session based on Webcast

    On mid-/end of April, 2021, all MLE Friends will be invited to participate in a Q&A Session with Katherine Weare (curator of the education series) and the five contributors: Rony Berger, Michael Bready, Mikkel Bjelke KristiansenOrlaith O’Sullivan and Karlheinz Valtl. The interactive webinar was used to answer questions and deepen the discussion around the topic of the third MLE series in Education on “Emerging and Challenging Areas and Next Steps for Contemplative Education”.

    Link to the Q&A

    Further Contributors to Education (Series 3)

    Rony Berger

    Dr. Rony Berger is a senior clinical psychologist who is an internationally recognized expert in dealing with the psychological preparation for and aftermath of terrorism and other major disasters as well as prejudice-reduction among ethnic groups in conflict. Dr. Berger is the co-director of The Center of Compassionate Mindful Education (CCME) at Tel Aviv University as well as on the faculty of the Stress, Crisis and Trauma program at Tel Aviv University. He is also on the on the advisory board of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University where he assists in developing manuals to enhance community resiliency.

    Dr. Berger has lectured, consulted and held workshops for a wide range of world organizations including such as FEMA, Red Cross, WHO, UNICEF e.g. and has led humanitarian delegations. He has published two books, wrote numerous articles in peer reviewed journals and authored several chapters on dealing with the aftermath of major disasters. Dr. Berger has also developed with the Mind & Life Institute a new educational program for both teachers and students, Call To Care, geared to cultivate compassion and pro-social orientation.
    Dr. Berger is a member of the CCE – Holism and Research group.

    Michael Bready

    Michael’s been a passionate practitioner of mindfulness for over 16 years and has spent long stretches on retreat in various meditation traditions in Nepal, India, France and the UK. He holds a graduate degree in Studies in Mindfulness from the University of Aberdeen and a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He founded Youth Mindfulness in 2011 and has taught mindfulness to thousands of children, teenagers and young adults as well as trained hundreds of educators. In the course of this work, he led the development of the first mindfulness programme for young men in prison in Scotland in partnership with the University of Glasgow. More recently, as a founding member of Mindful Nation Scotland (a collaboration of leading mindfulness organisations bringing mindfulness to politicians) he?s taught mindfulness to Members of the Scottish Parliament. His current passion is exploring what science is telling us about human nature and how this can lead us to a brighter, wiser and more humane future.

    Mikkel B. Kristiansen

    Mikkel B. Kristiansen is a visiting scholar at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he supports the international implementation and scaling of Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning). Mikkel has a background in education and organizational development and has been involved with H.H. the Dalai Lama?s vision for an education of the heart and mind for more than 15 years.

    In this period, he has contributed to the development of several major organizations including the international training organization ? The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom. For the past 2,5 year he has been working for the Danish Government in curriculum development, implementation and evaluation.
    Mikkel is a member of the CCE – Teacher Education group.

    Orlaith O’Sullivan

    Orlaith has been practicing mindfulness for over 22 years in the tradition of Plum Village / Thich Nhat Hanh. She is internationally recognised for her work teaching mindfulness and cultivating happiness. She teaches to all ages and has created several initiatives to share mindfulness in fun and creative ways. Orlaith teaches mindfulness to children up to 14 years on the virtual learning platform Adventure2Learning. Her courses Mindful Family, Strengths to Thrive (for teens), and Cultivating Happiness were the first courses of their kind in Ireland. These courses are founded on learning together as a family, blending mindfulness and character strengths and positive neuroplasticity. Orlaith is founder of five mindfulness community groups (two based in Dublin city for adults and for children, and three international online groups, for adults, for families and for teachers).

    In Ireland, Orlaith works directly with NEPS (National Educational Psychological Service), HSA, HSE, parents? associations and after-school groups. She works with the pupils, staff and parents of schools. She is International Co-ordinator for Wake Up Schools, an international grass-roots movement to support teachers and create mindful educational communities. Orlaith is also a founder member of the Community for Contemplative Education and serves on the Steering Group on Mindfulness in Education for the Mindfulness Initiative (UK). Orlaith co-produced Ireland?s first mindfulness retreat for educators in 2018 and the world?s first online retreat for families with Plum Village monastics in 2020. She also helped to establish the community festival Family Day – Ireland’s largest celebration of the diversity of the family in Ireland today. She is an advisor to the World Happiness Festival and speaks regularly at conferences, including the Mindfulness in Education Summit, Preschool Mindfulness in Education Summit and various wellbeing and mindfulness events. She was a reader for the award-winning textbook ?Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide to Integrating Mindfulness in Education? by Prof. Katherine Weare and Thich Nhat Hanh.

    Orlaith is an experienced and passionate teacher. She holds a PhD in English and is known for weaving poetry into her practice. She is a leader in Mindfulness & Strengths and is also a certified teacher in Rainbow Kids Yoga. She served as Child Protection Officer when working with Devon County Council in the UK; she was trained in Child Protection and holds a recent Garda Clearance.

    Karlheinz Valtl

    Karlheinz Valtl’s degrees include a doctorate in Pedagogy and Psychology (University of Regensburg, Germany), First and Second State Exams as a teacher, and numerous advanced trainings in psychology, spirituality, body work, and pedagogy. He is the Scientific Director of the first Master?s Degree in mindfulness in German language (entitled Mindfulness in Education, Counselling and Health Care) that started in 2018. He currently leads the project Mindfulness in Teacher Education and Schools(Achtsamkeit in LehrerInnenbildung und Schule, ALBUS) at the University of Vienna where he also teaches educational science as an Assistant Professor. Additionally he works as a lecturer for Didactics of Higher Education at the Technical University of Vienna. The current academic focuses of his work are: Mindfulness and compassion in education, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) und Social-Emotional Competencies of teachers (SEC), Didactics of Higher Education (at university level) with a special focus on personal transformation processes in teacher education, Gender- and Sexual Education and Educational Supervision/Coaching.

    Together with his team he twice a year organizes the Symposium on Mindfulness in Education at Vienna University. He is a member of the Austrian Mindfulness Initiative (Initiative Achtsames Österreich) that strives to implement mindfulness in politics, and he is founder of the Austria based Network Mindfulness in Pedagogy (Netzwerk Achtsame Pädagogik, NAP). Karlheinz Valtl is External Examiner in the Master?s degree program Studies in Mindfulness at the University of Aberdeen (GB), and formerly was director of the renowned Institute for Sexual Pedagogy (isp) in Dortmund, Germany.
    Karlheinz is a member of the CCE – Teacher Education Group.

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