Stress is a part of everyday life in most societies and affects all ages. The school environment particularly is affected by anxiety and stress. It affects teachers, pupils and parents and has a material impact on performance (Collie et al., 2012, McDonald, 2001 and Putwain, 2007). Multiple studies have shown that stress affects all aspects of life, including mental health, emotions, focus, memory and confidence. However, there are also numerous studies which show the remarkable impact of mindfulness training in schools on improving all the aforementioned characteristics (Kuyken et al., 2013, Zenner et al., 2014, Hupperta and Johnsonb, 2010). Now it is time to find a way to help not only students, but also the whole of society, to manage their stress level and live healthier, happier and more productive lives.
Power Brain Education (PBE) is a unique mindfulness and wellbeing programme specifically designed for schools. It helps teachers and pupils release their stress and develop focus, confidence, emotional regulation, memory and creative effectiveness through innovative training focused on engaging the full potential of the brain. The programme includes physical, emotional and cognitive exercises, as well as postures, breathing techniques, guided imagery and neuroplasticity games that improve overall health and therefore raise happiness and productivity. Through the programme, students are promoted to have a better connection with themselves and others, and they are able to react more positively to their environment.
We have received amazing testimonials and statistical results internationally that show our programme has transformed school environments into more positive, focused and harmonious places to study and work, and we would love to share this programme on a wider scale in the UK. Schools and funding bodies in the UK want to see the effects of Power Brain Education(PBE) programmes in our school system. We will use money raised to study the effect of PBE in the UK in greater detail and collect data for the Department of Education with the hope that all kids in the UK can receive the benefits of programmes such as ours.
Power brain Education background:
PBE originates from South Korea and has been well established there for 20 years as well as in Japan, China and the USA. In the USA, where it has been running for 10 years, over 250,000 students are under cover of PBE with 400 schools and 15,000 teachers trained.
In Europe, one teacher is pioneering PBE in Denmark where the first European whole school staff training took place in September 2017. In the UK we have 9 instructors who have trained through personal finance in 2016 and have been working and/or volunteering in over 10 schools.
You can see footage and testimonials from the USA in the video clip below:
How does PBE work?
There are ten key parameters that Power Brain Education focuses on, these include:
Managing Stress and Test Anxiety
Test anxiety is a chief cause of student underperformance and stress is a prime contributor to educator burnout. Through BE, students and teachers learn simple and effective stress management tools (breathing, mindfulness training, emotional release, etc) to ensure they approach a task with a confident, relaxed and focused mindset.
Improved Focus & Memory
Brain Education (BE) utilizes a variety of methods to improve focus and memory:
- Brain-based physical exercises promote optimal energy and oxygen flow to the brain;
- Neuroplasticity coordination activities integrate the left and right brain hemispheres;
- Isometric breathing and visualization training promote alpha brain waves;
- Specific memory enhancement strategies empower our students to improve their short and long-term memory, dramatically aiding in comprehension and retention.
Increased Productivity & Learning Efficiency
Time on-task is the number one indicator of student productivity and BE gives students and teachers hundreds of exercises, activities and strategies to maximize their learning efficiency while cultivating a nurturing and positive learning environment.
Confidence & Positive Attitude
Consciously developing self-efficacy – a student’s belief that s/he will be successful in a given task – is a huge part of boosting student achievement and overall self-esteem. BE provides proven confidence building activities that empower students to maximize their academic and social success.
Mindfulness & Movement
Research has shown conclusively that movement is essential to healthy brain development as exercise creates the nerve connections needed for optimal brain functioning. In addition, it helps to circulate blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain and stimulates the production of hormones that combat stress and depression. BE provides simple, effective and fun daily exercises that are seamlessly incorporated into the school day.
The programme trains teachers and in particular students themselves to lead these short activities during the school day.
The results of the previous studies on PBE in the USA Schools.
The results of the different studies which have done in four schools in the USA show that performing the program even in a short period of time, between six to eight weeks, in these schools has incredible impacts on the students (Graph 1). It decreases emotional symptoms, contact problem, hyperactivity and peer problem and increases prosocial behaviours in the students. In addition, positive parameters (often feel happy, always finish work on time, believe they are smart, excited about school, always hear direction and love themselves) grow in the students under cover of PBE .
School Testimonials (USA);
“As a principal who has successfully turned a struggling school from a “D” to an “A”, I have found Brain Education to be a truly transformational system for my staff and students. At times it has been difficult to encourage different groups within the school to work together. BE has facilitated a sense of collaborative teamwork which has improved relationships and promoted the family atmosphere essential to teacher and student success. It is creating a supportive community of caring. With this positive environment, group decision making becomes easier as people are more open to new ideas. We recently celebrated this culture of health, happiness and peace with our school wide “HSP Day” event. We look forward to implementing BE programs at PS 001X as we continue to make great gains in our academic and social progress.”
Principal, PS 1X
“Participation in the Brain Education for Enhanced Learning program is giving my students the tools they need to live a more balanced life. They are learning to take care of their bodies, use their brains and control their emotions. The greeting “Hello, Power Brain” is our signal to activate our physical and mental resources to manifest our dreams in the world. BE is helping us rewire our kids for success.”
Principal, PS 111Q
“One of the purposes of the Quality Review is to gather and assess data to support student outcomes. In so doing, we found there was a disconnect between our students’ mental and physical wellbeing. We felt the need to connect the physical, emotional and cognitive aspects of intelligence to improve student achievement. Brain Education for Enhanced Learning (BE) has helped improve the level of student engagement which has led to a more focused learning environment. Our students have raised their achievement as measured by traditional and nontraditional domains. Since we introduced BE, they are more confident and they interact in a much more positive way with other students and adults. In my classroom observations, students are able to sustain their concentration for a noticeably longer period of time in all the core subjects.”
Retired Principal, PS 65X
“The most direct impact I see is the change in the attitude of our teachers. We are more collaborative and use BE language to support each other. We are also able to support ourselves. When we make a mistake we keep a more positive frame of mind. This positive, confident mindset is transferring to the students who thoroughly enjoy and look forward to all our BE activities.”
Principal, Lenox Elementary, Baldwin, NY
“I love how this programme combines brain training with yoga and tai chi principles and is presented in such an easy way to deliver straight to the children.”
The project plan:
As schools often have limited funding for such programmes we are fundraising to run a school research programme, the results of which we will use to apply for large-scale research grants and share with contacts already made in the UK Department of Education to help us trial our programme in a larger number of schools.
1) Purchase the software required to conduct the research;
- Matlab; £1800
- SPSS; £912
- Costs of Questionnaires/scales; Still waiting for the quote.
2) Employ a professional researcher to conduct the pilot scheme; approx £4000.
3) Employ a business mentor to guide us through 1 year of setting up including creating a business plan and implementing it to create a sustainable base from which to grow; approx £25,000
* In the first step of the project our six part-time staff will work voluntarily to reduce the cost of the project.
We would really appreciate any donation you can make to promote health, happiness and hope in the UK schools.
COLLIE, R. J., SHAPKA, J. D. & PERRY, N. E. 2012. School climate and social–emotional learning: Predicting teacher stress, job satisfaction, and teaching efficacy. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 1189.
MCDONALD, A. S. 2001. The Prevalence and Effects of Test Anxiety in School Children. Educational Psychology, 21, 89-101.
PUTWAIN, D. 2007. Researching academic stress and anxiety in students: some methodological considerations. British Educational Research Journal, 33, 207-219.
HUPPERTA, F. A. & JOHNSONB, D. M. 2010. A controlled trial of mindfulness training in schools; the importance of practice for an impact on well-being.
KUYKEN, W., WEARE, K., UKOUMUNNE, O. C., LEWIS, R., MOTTON, N., HENNELLY, S. & HUPPERT, F. 2013. Effectiveness of the Mindfulness in Schools Programme: A Non-randomized Controlled Feasibility Study.
ZENNER, C., HERRNLEBEN-KURZ, S. & WALACH, H. 2014. Mindfulness-based interventions in schools—a systematic review and meta-analysis.