Have you heard about Quiet Time programme and Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a very ancient, simple and natural technique, brought to light by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a foremost Vedic scholar who encouraged modern scientific research to study the effect of the practice of Transcendental Meditation on mind and body well-being.
The Quiet Time programme is based on the Transcendental Meditation technique, that has been taught worldwide for approximately 60 years and has been introduced into several public schools that have:
- high rates of youth behavior challenges,
- teacher turnover,
- academic achievement gaps around the world, from New Zealand to the USA, from Uganda to Thailand.
In Europe, the Maharishi School (UK), that includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation programme in its daily routine, started 30 years ago as a private school and in 2011 has been given a Free school status becoming government funded by the Department for Education, for the outstanding results of its student, even though it had an open admission policy.
Why not trying new methods also in schools across Europe?
We all know that nowadays Europe is confronted with a number of urgent challenges, such as the need to enhance social cohesion, manage migration trends and prevent violent radicalization. In addition, job creation and sustainable growth are also priorities.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to find solutions to challenges and support the growth of each individual and society. If we want to have a real long term impact in the society, it is definitely important to start working with students. They are the future.
As practice and research showed, Quiet Time/TM programme has an overall positive impact on school environments through decreasing stress and anxiety, increasing creativity and intelligence of students, increasing tolerance and resilience, to mention just a few.
Considering the benefits of Quiet Time/ Transcendental Meditation programme 12 European organisations and schools, including Maharishi schools applying the programme in UK and in Holland, got united and decided to test and promote the programme across European public schools.
EUROPE: objectives and activities
December 2016 marks the launch of the EUROPE Project – Ensuring Unity and Respect as Outcomes for the People of Europe, a project which aims to foster social inclusion, tolerance and other factors that prevent violence in schools. In particular, the EUROPE project seeks to establish the effectiveness of the Quiet Time/TM programme in different European contexts and identify potential enablers and barriers.
The EUROPE project introduces the Quiet Time/TM programme in Netherlands, Sweden, and Portugal – in at least 1 school per country – with at least 150 students per school, targeting schools with minority students or those with disadvantaged or migrant backgrounds.
12 project partner organisations are going to evaluate the benefits of Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation programme:
- for students, with measures of: stress, anxiety, negative behavior, violence, non-discrimination, respect and understanding, positive pro-social outcomes, such as tolerance, moral reasoning, resilience, coping ability, and academic performance.
- for teachers: self-confidence, motivation, tolerance and flexibility, perceived stress, levels of anxiety and mental health problems, job satisfaction and levels of teacher burnout.
- for the whole school community: atmosphere at school, inclusive learning environment, violence and bullying.
Looking at the results, we are going to prepare scientific articles to bring awareness of the Quiet Time/TM programme and the project results. Moreover, we will prepare a manual of best practices and road map to guide policy makers in the implementation of the Quiet Time/TM programme in other contexts.
More about EUROPE
The EUROPE project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme Key Action 3 – Initiatives for policy innovation – Social inclusion through education, training and youth and organisations involved are:
- Fondazione Hallgarten Franchetti – Centro Studi Villa Montesca (Italy) – coordinator,
- Stichting Hogeschool Utrecht [Utrecht University of Applied Sciences] (The Netherlands),
- Stichting Maharishi Vedisch Instituut (The Netherlands),
- Stichting Maharishi Onderwijs Nederland (The Netherlands),
- Universidade do Algarve (Portugal),
- Agrupamento de Escolas João de Deus [Teacher Training Centre] (Portugal),
- APEJAA – Associação de Pais e Encarregados de Educação da Escola João Afonso De Aveiro (Portugal),
- Cooperativa Cultural Ciencia Tecnologia Vedica Maharishi, CCCT (Portugal),
- Maharishi School Trust Limited (United Kingdom),
- Maharishi Foundation England (United Kingdom),
- MIKI – SVERIGE [Maharishi Institut for Kreativ Intelligen] (Sweden),
- and CESIE (Italy).
If you want to keep updated about the project process and results, and learn more about the approach of implementing Quiet Time/ Transcendental Meditation at schools, visit europe-project.org.
You can already join our community that involves teachers, head teachers, pedagogical co-ordinators, parent representatives from schools, students and parents associations, policy makers and all interested.
Follow us on EUROPE Facebook and you will learn more about Quiet Time/TM programme initiatives across the globe and Europe.