Wesleyan College Assistant Professor of Education, Steven Haberlin, recently published and released a book titled Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus, and Connect.
After 25 years of meditating and several years of teaching a Mindfulness, Meditation, and Learning course here at Wesleyan, Haberlin decided to write a book in hopes that his research and methods could help other educators learn how to take up this practice in their own classrooms.
“This book is a guide for higher ed faculty from any field or discipline who want to implement meditation in the classroom.”
Haberlin says it also provides more in-depth content for those already doing some form of meditation and mindfulness with students. Through his own personal journey of meditation and mindfulness, Haberlin says he first decided to introduce meditation into his elementary school classes and noticed the benefits.
“I was trying to figure out how to infuse it into K-12 education,” said Haberlin. “Then I came to Wesleyan and noticed the undergrads were really stressed out, overwhelmed, and frazzled when they came into class.”
After implementing mediation at the beginning of nearly all of his college classes, Haberlin says he has noticed a significant difference in his student's focus and demeanor in the classroom.
“The students get a minute to pause and clear their minds so they can move forward in class with a better ability to learn.”
“Even prior to the pandemic, college students’ stress, anxiety and depression levels were at an all-time high,” he says. “It’s not enough to just teach anymore; you have to address the social and emotional aspects of the college students, so this is one of the techniques to doing that.”
As an education professor who works to prepare our current students for their future roles as educators, Haberlin hopes that his techniques will even inspire his current students, who may one day teach a classroom themselves, to implement these same practices.
A “learning experience that resulted in many stumbles along the road,” Haberlin says he believes it may help other educators find their way easier and remove some of the learning curves that comes with implementing these techniques in the classroom.