Let's Chill! The Effect of Daily Mindfulness Practice on the Growth of Boys' Emotional Intelligence — Karen Maitland, St. John's Preparatory School, South Africa

  • Pedagogical Approaches (2011-12)

Mindfulness is a critical skill that can help young people to develop greater self-acceptance, counter stress, and build resilience. Contemporary definitions of mindfulness consider it a quality of human consciousness, which, when developed through training, can raise our awareness of our thoughts and feelings (Black, 2011).

The author was interested in developing a daily mindfulness programme for her Year 6 boys at St John’s College Preparatory School in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her goal was to help them manage relationships better and gain greater social and self-awareness. She wondered if, on a daily basis, her boys would accept “being still”—to chill. Could a mindfulness strategy be effective in developing the boys’ emotional intelligence? Would young energetic boys embrace a strategy that asked of them to close their eyes and focus on their breathing?