Final report – The Conference Education without stress.pptx
On Friday, October 25th, at the Grand Hotel Napoca, took place the Conference entitled- Without stress – integrity, compassion, generosity . The event was dedicated to combating stress in the field of education, both among teachers and among students, is the first of its kind organized in South-Eastern Europe. 13 specialists from Romania, Portugal, Great Britain, and the United States of America offered practical solutions to regain harmony in the classroom for more joy and effectiveness in teaching and for a greater desire to learn.
The conference was organized by the Transylvania College Foundation, David Lynch Foundation, Transcendental Meditation Association, Leaders Foundation, and Skilled Handholders Association. The idea of organizing such an event came after it was noticed how little is talked about well-being and joy in schools in Romania.
“It is the first attempt to put the student and the teacher at the forefront of the educational process. So far the authorities have only talked about how much money is allocated, what and how to teach, and almost not at all about how to feel better, more fulfilled, happier, both teachers and students. A stressed mind is a mind that cannot learn, that cannot create, that is not free. Teachers are overworked emotionally, often also physically”, said Nicolae Stoian, the organizer of the event.
The event was all the more relevant because in Romania the school dropout rate was among the highest in Europe, and 40% of young people between 15-18 years old are functionally illiterate. Moreover, in the first three weeks after starting school, Romanian police officers found 275 crimes in schools or near them.
The conference had both a theoretical and a practical side and addressed all those concerned about EDUCATION: parents interested in the well-being of children, students, and teachers who wanted to improve school performance or employers concerned about the future workforce.
(The impact of transcendental meditation in education)
During the event, the results of two projects co-financed by the European Union entitled EUROPE and FRIENDS, carried out since 2016, were analyzed, attended by approximately 2000 pupils, teachers, and parents from England, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden. They have introduced in schools a quiet period of 10 to 15 minutes, before class hours and after classes, in which, whoever wants it, can practice a natural psychophysiological technique of deep relaxation, called transcendental meditation, and who does not, just sits quietly. The results seemed surprising. These breaks brought harmony back to the school. Teachers and students had better relationships, the desire for learning was much higher, students were more creative, violence in school was significantly reduced, and the phenomenon of burnout among teachers recorded significant decreases.
Other topics of discussion that were debated during the conference were: the importance of the school space and of the classrooms that can influence emotions, the way of thinking, the relationships with others and even the results of learning, the importance of education without stress, and the promotion of the values of integrity, compassion and generosity among children and the demands of the labor market at the leadership level. Moreover, during the practical workshops, Fred Travis PhD., a neuro-science specialist and director of the “Center for the Study of the Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition” at Maharishi Management University, USA, made a demonstration, with the help of an electroencephalograph to show how brain activity changes during the practice of transcendental meditation.
The workshop-education conference without stress – integrity, compassion, generosity represented only the first step towards producing a change in the education system in Romania. The participants in the event proposed pilot projects aimed at reducing stress in our schools in the country and increasing the desire for learning among students and the joy of teaching among teachers.