Teaching Environmentalism: Mindfulness, Activism, and Student Performance
Academics that meditate and engage in other contemplative practices increasingly incorporate their practice into courses as a means of increasing students' capacity for focus and attention, social awareness, and activism. Do they also improve student's grades? Attention in class, especially if it extends to coursework completed outside of class and other extracurricular activities, should improve performance. To find out, the author conducted an experiment that tests this proposition. The author's results suggest that students who meditate do improve their grades, as well as their awareness and predisposition to engage in social activism. Yet additional practice - in terms of both time and the nature of contemplation - does not yield significantly higher grades compared with those of students who practice less extensively.