Meditation in Schools
There has been growing international interest in the potential of meditation type programs to support student wellbeing in schools.
At the Centre for Children and Young People we have been leading investigation into the opportunities, benefits and impact of a particular approach, Christian meditation, which is now practised in many faith-based schools and organisations, as well as in secular settings, around the world.
Our work in this space has been twofold:
- A major review of evidence relevant to Christian meditation in schools for the World Community for Christian Meditation’s (WCCM) Meditatio Centre, London.
- A mixed-method research study investigating the impact, over time, of Christian meditation in Catholic schools in Australia.
Further details on both of these projects, including research reports, summaries and full-colour pamphlets for schools are available below.
1) Research with the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM)
Christian meditation is now being implemented in schools and other settings in approximately 30 countries (WCCM, 2016). Given the widespread uptake, the WCCM’s Meditatio Centre commissioned a rigorous review of existing evidence on the benefits and challenges of meditation and mindfulness type interventions for children and young people, as a basis for identifying future research directions and refining best practice.
The CCYP undertook a comprehensive review of the research evidence on universal meditation and mindfulness with children and young people, including Christian meditation, charting the progress of research in this field, summarising the current evidence base and identifying gaps. A detailed report was produced along with a full-colour summary of the key findings, both of which will be used to inform the work of the WCCM as it seeks to strengthen the evidence around Christian meditation internationally.
Both resources are freely available to download:
- Summary of Benefits: https://doi.org/10.25918/REPORT.5
- Full Review of Related Evidence: https://doi.org/10.25918/3
Prof Anne Graham (CCYP, SCU), Julia Truscott (The CYRA Service / CCYP, SCU)
Research Partner: The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM)
2) Christian Meditation in Australian Catholic Schools
This study aimed to identify the impact, over time, of Christian Meditation on the religious and spiritual development of children in the context of Catholic education, as well as to investigate the impact on teachers facilitating the process. Religious and spiritual development in this study was understood broadly, in line with contemporary notions of spirituality. It included children and teachers’ relationships with God, themselves, others and the Catholic Church.
The study adopted a mixed method approach and involved four waves of data collection, following a cohort of students from Year 4 to Year 6.
Investigators: Prof Anne Graham (CCYP, SCU), Dr Donnah Anderson (Charles Sturt University), Dr Mary Ann Powell (CCYP, SCU), Dr Catharine Simmons (CCYP, SCU), Julia Truscott (The CYRA Service / CCYP, SCU).
Research Partners: Catholic Schools Office Lismore Diocese, Sydney Catholic Schools, The World Community for Christian Meditation.
Outputs to Date
Graham, A., & Truscott, J. (2020). Exploring mystery: Can Christian meditation at school nurture students’ relationships with God? Journal of Beliefs & Values, 41:1, 58-71. https://doi.org/10.1080/13617672.2019.1611070
Graham, A., & Truscott, J. (2020). Meditation in the classroom: Supporting both student and teacher wellbeing? Education 3-13, Published on-line ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004279.2019.1659385
- 2018 FINAL FULL REPORT
- 2014 Teacher Interviews Report
- 2017 school summary
- 2015 Teacher & Student Report
- 2016 Survey Report