Looking back at nearly a half century, a lifetime really, spent in academic chemistry (I started my first college chemistry course in 1972 and decided that this was “it” for me), I can see plenty of choices that I made over the years that were guided by the need that I felt to do things faster, to do things bigger, and to just do more. Perform my experiments more quickly. Write a paper that will make a bigger impact. Do three projects instead of one.
Only rarely did I ever stop to consider whether this orientation was in keeping with my natural tendencies or would create a satisfying life for me, a life well-lived. Instead, I labored under the assumption that I needed to set my objectives and perform my work in ways that would please others and the only way to do that was to consistently exceed their expectations.
I was inspired to reflect on all this recently when I read an essay by Dr. Irene Nobeli, “In praise of slow,” that appeared on the back page of Science magazine (Working Life, 2 Feb 2018). Continue reading
This livescience.com news item caught my eye (‘Can You ‘Catch’ Stress in a Classroom? Science Says Yes’ by S.G. Miller, livescience.com, 27 June 2016)
Head lice and strep throat aren’t the only things you can catch in a classroom. According to a new study from Canada, stress may be contagious, too.
Researchers found that when 4th- to 7th-grade teachers reported feeling “burned out,” their students also had elevated stress levels.
My picture of a social education activist is someone with high ideals, a person who lives their life according to principles that can serve as an example to us. This rosy picture, however, hides the high costs that can accompany a life of commitment. P. Gorski has this to say, “Activist burnout, which causes activists to disengage from their activism, is a formidable barrier to the sustainability of social justice movements, including those focused on social justice in educational contexts. However, the cultures of these movements often disregard the importance of self-care, seeing it as self-indulgence, putting activists at even higher risks of burnout.” Read the rest of Gorski’s article, “Relieving Burnout and the ‘‘Martyr Syndrome’’ Among Social Justice Education Activists: The Implications and Effects of Mindfulness” in the Urban Rev (2015) 47:696–716 DOI 10.1007/s11256-015-0330-0
Here are my top picks from the Feb ’16 issue of the Mindfulness Research Monthly newsletter, a publication of the American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA). The newsletter lists several interesting articles describing the effects of mindfulness interventions on military personnel. My top picks include studies of the connections between mindfulness practice and perceived stress in college students, successful parenting behaviors, and stress levels during romantic conflicts. I also picked out several review articles examining the status of mindfulness research with regard to job burnout, executive functioning, ADHD, and possible concerns about the suitability of mindfulness practice.
Here are my top picks from the January ’16 issue of the Mindfulness Research Monthly newsletter, a publication of the American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA). Several articles describe how mindfulness interventions affect student stress and teacher burnout. Another article that might interest those who would like to teach meditation recommends ‘best practices’ for conducting mindfulness programs in public schools.
The American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA) publishes a monthly newsletter called the Mindfulness Research Monthly that lists recent research publications and studies. Quite a few of these research investigations bear on issues that might be interesting to members of the Reed community so I will start publishing short lists of my top picks from the newsletter.
What follows is a list of articles mentioned in the December ’15 issue that describe how mindfulness interventions affect academic performance, working memory, emotional resilience, and more. (Note: only a few articles are ever available through our library’s subscriptions so be prepared to file interlibrary loan requests.)