Mr Lewis visited both the ‘North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education’ based at the School of Education and the School of Psychology’s ‘Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice’ (CMRP).
The Minister’s visit to the ‘North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education’ is at a time of far-reaching and exciting developments for education and initial teaching education and training in Wales following the recent publication of the Donaldson and Furlong Reports.
The Minister met with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor John G Hughes, senior leaders and students studying at the Centre. The Minister also attended an exhibition of the work of students graduating from the BSc Design and Technology with QTS programme who will be moving on to teach in secondary schools across Wales and beyond from September 2015.
Whilst at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, the Minister learned about latest research on the potential of mindfulness training in enhancing well-being in Welsh schools.
A research team led by Dr Dusana Dorjee has been, over the last three years, conducting studies in primary and secondary schools in north Wales, evaluating the impact of mindfulness training on well-being of pupils and teachers and concentration of pupils. The research studies pioneered a new approach to assessment of the mindfulness outcomes in children – they focused on measures of changes in brain functioning of pupils recorded using a portable EEG system in schools. Initial findings from these studies were presented to the Minister during the visit, and their implications for a broader implementation of mindfulness into Welsh education was discussed.
Education Minister, Huw Lewis said: “I congratulate Bangor University on their ongoing research into mindfulness and how it can be used within the curriculum. This is an interesting area of work with lots of potential benefits for the emotional health and wellbeing of our learners and I look forward to seeing the more advanced findings in due course.”
Dr Dusana Dorjee said: “The initial results suggest that mindfulness training is beneficial to well-being of school teachers. In our studies we have found that about a half of the teachers trained in mindfulness are ready to deliver mindfulness training to their pupils within six months.”