MindUp and mindfulness : an optimistic expansion of the mission and vision of the MindUp program through contemplative, moral, and ideological inquiry

Christopher C. Regier
Due to " the alarming jump in stress, depression, and violence among today's children and young people" (The Hawn Foundation, Foundation History, para. 1) caused by the modern world which has created "everything from pollution, environmental toxins, noise, information overload [and] the relentless struggle to survive and succeed" (Liu & Blank, 2011, 81), The Hawn Foundation's mission "to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to navigate the challenges of the contemporary
more » ... of the contemporary world in order to lead smarter, healthier, and happier lives (The Hawn Foundation, Mission and Vision, para. 1) is a noble and worthwhile cause. A thorough examination of the MindUp's website reveals a dependence on the credible research in the field of Social and Emotional Learning. Nevertheless, excluding the media archives, monographs, and articles, nothing explicitly explains to the web browser how The Hawn Foundation interprets the nature of thinking, the mental and physical state of mindfulness, or the moral responsibility it has undertaken to help students cultivate "wellbeing, emotional balance, and resiliency" (The Hawn Foundation, Mission and Vision, para. 2) by having schools foster the skills of "focused attention and nonreactive monitoring of experience from moment to moment without judgement" (The Hawn Foundation, Mission and Vision, para. 2). Moreover, the website does not address any concerns about their program. I argue this paper proceeds on the assumption that that it is the responsibility of the Foundation to unequivocally articulate in their own words the key assumptions and beliefs underlying their curriculum, and, in particular, their understanding of the dynamics of thinking, the mental and physical state of being mindful, MindUp's moral underpinnings, and any prior allegations against the MindUp's mission and educational philosophies that have been resolved through democratic discourse. This paper will support the mission of The Hawn Foundation by first explaining what the MindUp program is, a [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0055417 fatcat:n3npsqz37fd5jjp4wvemrlxlj4