What if kindness, attention and gratitude were taught in schools just like math, history and reading?
That’s a question posed by UW–Madison’s Center for Healthy Minds, a research organization that studies the science of well-being and examines how to improve it across the lifespan.
Today the group is releasing its mindfulness-based “Kindness Curriculum” at no cost. This program is a 12-week curriculum designed for teachers to implement with their preschoolers.
Focusing on a range of themes, from encouraging kids to distinguish how emotions make them feel on the inside and outside to acts of kindness and forgiveness, the curriculum includes scripts, activities, parent letters and instructions for implementing each lesson.
The curriculum originated as part of a research study at the center, where early findings published in the journal Developmental Psychology in 2015 suggested the program could improve both emotional and social measures of child well-being. Children participating in the curriculum not only improved on social and emotional measures such as sharing, attention and empathy, but they also performed better on traditional academic measures such as grades when compared to children in the control group.