The Garrison Institute’s Contemplative Teaching and Learning (CTL) Initiative works to develop the field of contemplative teaching and learning for K-12 educators and classrooms. It supports the field’s growth and evolution by introducing evidence-based contemplative methods to educators. These methods help improve student academic performance, reduce teacher burnout and create healthy school environments. CTL hosts high-level forums that facilitate dialogue among educators, scientists, funders and policy makers, about the development and implementation of contemplative- based teacher trainings, classroom pilot programs, publications and other resources for educators, researchers, teachers and schools.
As CTL continues to grow and support this emerging field, it can help redress the ongoing crisis in American education. Today nearly half of all K-12 teachers quit during their first five years, a quarter of students don’t graduate from high school (percentages are much higher among minorities) and five percent of schools are labeled as failing (percentages are much higher in urban areas).
The growth of contemplative education can help keep teachers teaching, keep students learning and help schools succeed. Contemplative practices strengthen skills such as attunement with others, emotional self-regulation, awareness, resilience, flexibility, insight, empathy, intuition and morality. Building these skills enhances a broad range of K-12 educational outcomes, from academic achievement to social and emotional learning.
A 2009 independent assessment found that CTL has made “significant” progress in building the professional field of contemplative education, gaining recognition and impacting the personal and professional lives of educators.
Guided by a distinguished leadership council composed of leading educators and scientists, CTL identifies, convenes and networks field leaders, hosting cutting-edge professional gatherings and offering actual and virtual hubs for exchanging information among researchers, educators, policymakers and funders. We disseminate our work widely through presentations, published reports and studies, journal articles and other media. This recent article about our CARE program in Edutopia, and this peer-reviewed journal article are examples.
"The wonderful thing about Garrison is that it provides a physical and conceptual space to carve out the trajectory of how to bring internal education into the mainstream. They had a fantastic conference last year. It was a groundbreaking, landmark achievement combining scientists and educational practitioners."
– Program participant
CARE for Teachers (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education) is a professional development program for educators, designed by the Garrison Institute, to provide them with tools to cope with stress and to support their students to flourish socially, emotionally and academically.
Based upon current research on the neuroscience of emotions, CARE introduces emotion skills instruction to promote understanding, recognition and regulation of emotion. It is offered to teachers through an annual summer retreat at the Garrison Institute, and has been piloted in several school districts.
A two-year, multi-district pilot research study funded by the US Department of Education (#R305A090179), evaluating CARE’s impact on teachers and classrooms, was recently completed in Central Pennsylvania.
The results from the two pilot studies have been published in a recent issue of The Journal of Classroom Interaction. This is very exciting news, as achieving an evidence-base for the CARE program will make it possible for us to grow the program and reach many more teachers and students.
"CARE enables teachers to be the role models we always wished we had growing up, and to become the kind of teacher they always wanted to be. It helps them release their stress and frustration and expand their sense of well-being. This markedly changes the climate in the classroom, bringing more joy into class and into teachers’ lives. It also turns out to be a very cost-effective way to make dramatic improvements in classroom learning."
– Adele Diamond, Ph.D.
CTL researches, develops and pilots various contemplative education tools for diverse settings. For example, The Garrison Institute collaborated with the Andrus Children’s Center in 2009 to provide specialized training for K-12 teachers working with at-risk traumatized children, called Creating Sanctuary from Within.
Adi Flesher, Director, Contemplative Teaching and Learning: Contact/Bio
Susan Fountain, Field Development Manager
Leadership Council: Patricia Broderick, Richard C. Brown, Adele Diamond, Mark Greenberg, Tobin Hart, Linda Lantieri, Peggy McCardle, Jerome Murphy, Elizabeth Robertson, Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Pamela Seigle, Mark Wilding, Rona Wilensky, Arthur Zajonc
Senior Advisory Board: Clancy Blair, Paul Ekman, Peter Senge, Dan Siegel, B. Alan Wallace