I came across a great story in the NY Times about the use of meditation in schools to help students calm themselves to enable them to better focus on things (like school). Its’ called In the Classroom, a New Focus on Quieting the Mind. It discusses programs in Oakland and in Pennsylvania.
I like the idea of secularizing techniques like meditation and yoga, developed over thousands of years, for use in schools. It’s certainly not a silver bullet, but it is one more “tool” for improving the education of children.
I can see two potential problems that need to be addressed to get something like this going. Obviously, the secularization of the techniques must be complete because separation of Church and State is a constitutional requirement. Related to this, it’s important to stress that the use of these techniques is not an attempt to ween kids away from their own religious backgrounds. The article didn’t mention either of these as issues, so maybe these aren’t big problems.
Anyway, I will check into the program mentioned in Oakland to see how something like this can be brought into WCCUSD.
Here are some yoga-related links to some controversy-type articles:
Here is a link to just a regular article about a specific program: