2012 Conference Information

Mindfulness: Foundation for Teaching and Learning

Fifth Annual Conference
March 16 – 18, 2012
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
(directions to the campus)

Program of Events

  • Amishi Jha, Keynote Address: Improving Attention and Working Memory with Mindfulness Training ~ Friday, March 16
  • Mindfulness in Education Conference ~ Saturday, March 17
  • A Day of Mindfulness: Alive and Awake ~ Sunday, March 18

Mindfulness meditation has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to reduce suffering and cultivate inner peace. Research shows that mindfulness also enhances learning and attention. There is growing interest in the possibility that this ancient meditative practice can support education and learning for both children and adults. Many educational institutions, including UCLA, Stanford, UCSF, and PENN have embraced mindfulness as an educational intervention by introducing it into their curricula and conducting research in the field. This three-day event will explore the uses of mindfulness in education.

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Amishi Jha, Keynote Address:
Improving Attention and Working Memory with Mindfulness Training

Friday, March 16th 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA
Cost: $20* through 2/15, $30* after 2/15

In this presentation Amishi Jha will describe a program of research that investigates Concentrative Mindfulness Training (MT), which involves focusing on a target object, such as a body sensation, visual image, or phrase, while actively disengaging from internal and external distractions. Her research, which looks closely at MT among other concentrative-based training programs, shows significant results across multiple studies and suggests that MT might be a useful tool for improving attention and working memory in children and adults.

Amishi Jha, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami. Her research involves the use of functional MRI, electroencephalography (EEG), and neurobehavioral measures to investigate the basic mechanisms of attention and working memory. Recently her work has expanded to investigating if and how attention and working memory are altered with mental training techniques including mindfulness-based practices in a variety of populations, such as pre-deployment military service members, medical and nursing students, teachers, patients with ADHD, and children.


Mindfulness in Education Conference

Saturday, March 16, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA
Cost: $80* through 2/15, $100* after 2/15 (includes breakfast and lunch)

Mindfulness-Based Education (MBE), a powerful tool to decrease stress, deepen learning, enhance academic performance, and promote emotional and social well-being, is increasingly recognized as essential for students, educators and parents. MBE may help to develop the capacity for attention and awareness, creating optimal conditions for teaching and learning. This day-long conference will include a plenary panel consisting of leaders in the field, interest group break-out sessions, and mindfulness practice sessions.

Conference Schedule

8:30 – 9:00 am Conference registration and breakfast

9:00 – 10:30 Conference opening and Plenary Panel Presentations

  • Linda-Susan Beard, PhD, Associate Professor of English, Bryn Mawr College
  • Megan Cowan, BA, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Programs at Mindful Schools
  • Robert Roeser, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Portland State University

10:45 – 12:00 Interactive discussion with panel members

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch

1:00 – 2:15 and 2:30 – 3:45 pm Break-out sessions tentatively include:

  • Early childhood education
  • Teaching young children in elementary school
  • Teaching children in middle school
  • Teaching young adults in high school
  • Teaching university students
  • Teaching teachers
  • Research on mindfulness
  • Developing a personal practice
  • Integrating personal practice and work
  • Parenting

4:00 – 4:30 pm Conference closing

Plenary Panel

Linda-Susan Beard, PhD, is an Associate Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College whose teaching negotiates between and among the worlds of African American, South African, and post-colonial literatures. She is editing the first comprehensive volume of the letters of Bessie Head, about whom she has written essays and given conference papers for 25 years. She served for five years as Faculty Coordinator of the Mellon Scholars Program and chair of the Africana Studies Program. She is involved in the new area of contemplative intelligence, having been in the first group of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s Contemplative Practice Fellows. King’s College recently awarded her an honorary doctorate for her work in integrating contemplative and intellectual ways of knowing.


Megan Cowan, BA, is an educator and Co-founder and Executive Director of Programs at Mindful Schools, an Oakland, CA organization bringing mindfulness training to students and adults since 2007. Megan has been practicing mindfulness since 1996, and teaching mindfulness to children since 2001. She experiences great joy in offering these tools of awareness and compassion to young people, preparing them to influence peace in our world. Megan also consults with families on how to incorporate and apply mindfulness to address a variety of struggles that families encounter and increase the happiness of households.


Robert W. Roeser, PhD, is a Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development in the Department of Psychology at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Dr. Roeser’s research focuses on schools as primary cultural contexts of adolescent development, and how experiences in classrooms and schools, with teachers and peers, affect adolescents’ identity development, social-emotional well being, motivation to learn, and educational lifepaths. His current research focuses on how practices like yoga and mindfulness meditation can be skillfully integrated into teacher professional development and secondary school settings to reduce stress, enhance well-being and self-regulatory capacity, and cultivate compassion among teachers and adolescents.


A Day of Mindfulness: Alive and Awake

Sunday, March 18, Full-day workshop, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA
Cost: $60* through 2/15, $75* after 2/15 (includes breakfast and lunch)

Come join us for a day of nourishing silence, mindful awareness practices and reflection. Develop your capacity to be fully alive – to rest in your present moment experience with openness and kindness. You will be guided through a variety of mindful awareness practices including sitting and walking meditation, mindful eating, and mindful movement. There will be meditations for cultivating sensory clarity, focus, loving- kindness and compassion. This day is for beginners as well as those with prior meditation experience.

“Only the day dawns to which you are awake.” Henry David Thoreau


Irene McHenry, PhD, is a psychologist, school consultant, author/editor of numerous publications including the 2009 Tuning In: Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning. She consults with organizations nationwide providing professional development and teaching mindfulness for administrators, faculty, trustees and aspiring leaders. Irene is a founder of several schools and initiated the founding of the Friends Council’s SPARC program – Spirited Practice and Renewed Courage, based on Parker Palmer’s teacher formation principles. She is the Executive Director of the Friends Council on Education and Board President for the Council for American Private Education.

Diane Reibel, PhD, is the Director of The Mindfulness Institute at the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Jefferson Medical College. She co-founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at Jefferson in 1996 and has been teaching MBSR for over 17 years. Dr. Reibel’s research includes the effects of MBSR on physical and psychological health in patients and medical students as well as in schoolteachers (K-12). She is coauthor of the book Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators (Springer, 2010).



Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr College Department of Psychology, Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Association for Mindfulness in Education, Friends Council on Education, Mindfulness in Education Network


Cancellation Policy

We regret that we cannot offer refunds for cancellations after March 2nd. Cancellations received by email by that date are eligible for a refund minus a processing fee following the event. Cancellations received after that date are not eligible for any refund. Contact mindfulnessconference2012@gmail.com if you cancel and do not receive a cancellation confirmation within a week.

How to Cancel
Submit cancellations via email: mindfulnessconference2012@gmail.com

Contact: mindfulnessconference2012@gmail.com

*Additional services charges will be applied.