On October 16, the National Summit on Student Health and Education was held in New York City. Over 375 educators, government leaders, and philanthropists attended the Summit, which highlighted the benefits of 35 years of scientific research and classroom experience with the Quiet Time Transcendental Mediation program. Over 85 schools have already signed up to start the program.
Highlighted in this second of a two-part report on the Summit are comments from several of the principals, assistant principals, and students who spoke during the Summit:
George H. Rutherford II, Ph.D., a 44-year educator in Washington, D.C. and the current principal of Ideal Academy Public Charter School, where every student from grades 6 to 12 meditates, said that when the students began to meditate together, they “got along better with one another, attendance improved, and academic achievement went up.
Fights, behavior incidents, and suspensions went down.”
Rochelle Jones, Ed.D., assistant principal at Weaver High School in Hartford, Connecticut, first introduced the program to a small group of students. When the English, Math, and Science scores of the test group went up, she implemented it school-wide. Since then, 500 students and teachers have learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique.
“Kids tell me they appreciate the program and now they are excited to come to school,” she says.
Joseph Thomas, a senior at Weaver High School, explained that the Transcendental Meditation technique improves his athletic performance, gives him more energy for training, and helps him calm down after football practice.
“The TM program minimizes the craziness in the school.”
Angela Dunnham, president of the senior class in Weaver High School, described how during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation program the noise and distractions of her environment magically disappear.
“Weaver is becoming a more harmonious place as a result of students regularly practicing the TM program.”
Nancy Spillane, head of Lowell Whiteman Primary School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, saw a video segment on the NBC Today Show about the success of the Quiet/Time Transcendental Meditation program in Detroit. “I thought if I didn’t look into it, I might be doing a disservice to our children,” she says. The school incorporated the Quiet Time into the school curriculum by cutting back just a few minutes of each class period. “Now the teachers wouldn’t want that time back: students’ concentration and attention increased and discipline issues decreased.
In one year, all the teachers, as well as several board members and parents learned the Transcendental Meditation program.”
James Dierke, principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco and national middle school principal of the year in 2008, found “a tremendous happiness” in his school. “Student and teacher absences have been reduced, and the general attitude of the school has improved greatly since we started the Quiet Time activities.”
Ashley Deans, Ph.D., director of international programs for the Committee for Stress-Free Schools who also served for 18 years as the principal of the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, explained that the TM® technique is key to the educational process because,
“Only the experience of inner silence gained during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique develops the whole brain.”
To view the Summit in its entirety, please visit webcast.stressfreesummit.org.
For more information about the expansion of the Transcendental Meditation program in education, see www.TMEducation.org