Research investigating why boys were getting excluded more than girl as a result of unacceptable behaviour by the school sheds new light on self-esteem, emotional literacy and attachments.
The causes of exclusion were found to be experiences of loss, or threat of loss of some of the basic needs for safety, belonging or identity. The losses led to the students experiencing feelings which included fear, anger and sadness.
Emotional control or lack of appeared to be an important factor in leading to exclusion especially as some boys constructed and expressed their masculine identity through only the emotion of anger. Anger often led to conflict and confrontation particularly when in a power-based teaching style which triggered explosions of anger and violent behaviour.
The students were introduced to meditation . It is important to understand what meditation is NOT. Meditation is not religious, it is not brainwashing or dogmatic, no-one else takes control and it certainly is not harmful, on the contrary it has demonstrated positive impact on immune system, pain and anxiety. Meditation is simply becoming aware, in its simplest form, it is the practice of watching one’s breath rise and fall, a “witnessing” of the flow of the breath in and out.
Results of introducing the boys to meditation had remarkable transformation effect, allowing them to work with their feelings and experiences so they can build attachments, emotional awareness and self-esteem in themselves and others.
Because meditation is an internal process it provides some of the pupils, especially boys an opportunity to get in touch with their emotional experiences without losing face. Meditation was found to be calming, encourage mental, emotional and physical well-being. Meditation has a direct impact on the listening skills, helping students engage with their education .
Teachers benefitted on many levels, including reduction of stress, help prevent projection and transference of ones own emotions and judgement upon others, helped in the relationships between students as well as teachers.
Victim to Creator (by Dav Panesar)
Symran (by Dav Panesar)
Mindfulness (by Dav Panesar)