Edutopia: SF School Uses TM to Overcome Problems

by Mario Orsatti on February 28, 2012

Edutopia has become a force for innovation in American education. Founded and funded by the The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), Edutopia is a free, non-profit website that uses blogs, articles and videos to highlight evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their education, careers, and adult lives.

The video below was produced by Edutopia and featured on their website:

“Quiet Transformation at an Embattled School”
Surrounded by poverty and escalating violence, a San Francisco middle school has embraced the twice daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique as a “Quiet Time” program–one that has made students feel safer and teachers more productive, and has brought unity and purpose to the school.

Laurent Valosek, Executive Director, Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education:

“The research is showing that stress is a major problem in our educational system. We can’t have an effective educational system unless we address the problem of stress.

James Dierke, Principal, Visitacion Valley Middle School:

“I think that many urban schools today are run like jails because many of the kids are out of control. That’s because of the environment they live in. In order for kids to learn and be creative, they have to feel happy and safe. I heard about Quiet Time and we took a brave step forward into a new world of teaching our students how to meditate.”

Rose Ludwig, 6th grade teacher, Visitacion Valley Middle School:

“We’re giving the kids a coping mechanism. The problems that you have keep coming, except your ability to deal with them changes. Behaviorally you see a difference, especially I definitely saw a correlation between their behavior and their being more manageable in class after they started meditating.”

Carlos Garcia, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District:

“If we continue to do what we have always done, we’re always going to get what we always got. Is that good enough? I don’t think that it’s good enough for the 21st century. We need to be the outliers to try things that have never been tried and see if they work. In education our job is to touch the future.


“I strongly believe that education is the single most important job that education has,” says Edutopia founder, George Lucas. “Education is the foundation of our democracy—the stepping-stone for our youth to reach their full potential…. Our Foundation documents and disseminates the most exciting classrooms where these innovations are taking place. By shining the spotlight on these inspiring teachers and students, we hope others will consider how their work can promote change in their own schools.”

Read the Edutopia blog, “Risking Peace at a Troubled School” by clicking here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/stw-student-stress-meditation

To hear a presentation by this school’s principal about a multi-year study of the effects of the Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation program on this middle school, go to:
http://www.tm.org/blog/students/james-dierke/

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Related posts:

  1. Pioneering school principal brings peace to inner city children
  2. New Research Finds TM Helps Ease School Stress
  3. Breaking the “predictive power of demographics”: SF principal talks about how TM helps his students
  4. TM school among England’s new “Free School” pioneers
  5. Combating poverty and exceeding expectations: LA school students benefit from TM
  • Philip Magnier

    Is this Edutopia video on TM? That should be made more explicit, either way.

  • http://www.studiowagner.com.ar Johann

    I would like to know which are the spiritulal contents of TM, because I am buddhist and sometimes it seems to be a empty tool. And considering it comes from India I cant believe it is spiritually empty

    • Mario Orsatti

      Johann, you are so very right. There is a great treasure of spiritual content in the Transcendental Meditation program. His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi describes this dimension of it in great detail in his two most well-read books: “The Science of Being and Art of Living,” and “On the Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation and Commentary.” These wonderful books are both available online at Amazon.com. If you want to listen to a short video of Maharishi talking about the essential spiritual dimension of the Transcendental Meditation technique, you can go to: http://www.tm.org/blog/nhp/maharishi-transcendental-meditation-lake-louise/

      You might also enjoy browsing through the wonderful essays on TM & spiritual experiences written by Dr. Craig Pearson by going to: http://www.tm.org/blog/author/dr-craig-pearson/

  • Mario Orsatti

    Philip, thanks for your comment. This video is about the use of Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique in a growing number of San Francisco public schools. It would be more informative to the public if the producers of this Edutopia video were explicit about the form of meditation being used by the school. If you go to the Edutopia website you will notice that they received several comments related to your observation. You may want to add your feedback as well by going to:
    http://www.edutopia.org/stw-student-stress-meditation-overview-video

    You can watch the principal of this school speak more about it by going to: http://www.tm.org/blog/students/james-dierke/

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