The mental health of Hong Kong students and teachers is always a public concern. Recently, positive education, which focuses on well-being and flourishing, has become increasingly popular among educators. To promote the well-being of school community, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust funded the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Hong Kong to launch a three and a half years’ project spans between 2019 and 2022, the ‘Jockey Club “Peace and Awareness” Mindfulness Culture in Schools Initiative’ (JC PandA) which aspires to promote mindfulness culture in schools.
Past decades of research have proven that mindfulness practice is effective in reducing stress and alleviating mood problems. Recent research also indicated that mindfulness can cultivate positive attitude towards life. Nowadays, mindfulness is widely used in the fields of medicine and psychology. While there is abundant evidence showing benefits of mindfulness in these areas, the application of mindfulness in schools is still in a relatively nascent stage and yet to be explored.
To ensure the sustainability of the mindfulness culture in schools, the project adopts a “train-the-trainer approach”. School teachers and school professional helpers will be empowered to teach mindfulness to their students upon completion of the training offered by JC PandA. The 9 seed schools (including 3 secondary schools, 3 primary schools, and 3 social development schools) and 27 affiliated school of the project will integrate mindfulness into their social-emotional learning curriculum. The 9 seed schools, which are located in different geographical areas in Hong Kong, will also become the nodes of the mindfulness educators’ network, supporting schools in the neighborhood to develop mindfulness culture.
JC PandA project is unique in that it is one of the pioneer large-scale projects in Chinese societies that explore the benefits of mindfulness for students and teachers in school settings. The research findings and experiences of the project will shed light on how mindfulness could be applied in the education sector, and enable educators in Chinese societies to apply mindfulness in building a healthy and flourishing school culture.