From the forums

20th April 2012 at 01:00

Mindfulness lessons

Should teaching "mindfulness" and compassion be compulsory? It's not part of the PSHE curriculum yet, just a proposal currently.


Yet more enforced "niceness" - it would be far more productive if we could ensure that children could read, write and do basic maths before we try to turn them all into empathetic bleeding heart wussies. Our economy will eventually fall behind the rest of the world, as we stop educating our children, stop making them competitive and focus all their school lives on being nice.


I still wonder, do kids need to be hugged, loved and cherished quite so much? Experience tells me that those who had it a bit tough grew up to be independent, self-sufficient and, usually, willing to lend a hand. Those who were mollycoddled grew up to be spoiled, parent-dependent and self-serving adults. Society today focuses itself on the wrong aspects of childrearing.

The Pobble

The jaundiced responses on here prompt the question: who would be able to teach it, for God's sake? Particularly if "teaching by example" was the prescribed "methodology".


I'm all in favour of children "being nice and friendly and inclusive and huggy". I admire any parent who's taken the trouble to encourage this in their own children, rather than leaving it to a school to do for them.


I'm tempted to say that pupils with special educational needs or emotional and behavioural difficulties probably do benefit from an approach like this, but clever pupils in the mainstream would, I suspect, treat it with the disdain they give to other "non-subjects" such as (elements of) PSHE and citizenship. I find myself agreeing with those who say that this is really the job of parents.


Children who have some kind of religious education outside school - or within a faith school - will be taught about charity, giving without expecting anything back, the benefits of helping others, patience, modesty, not backbiting and not doing things for show but for God.


It doesn't seem to be that successful so far.


Join the debate at

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today