Read the new article on Quiet Time /TM published on POSTAL-The regional newspaper of Algarve, Portugal

Apr 22, 2024 | News

Read the new article on Quiet Time/TM published on Postal
The regional newspaper of Algarve, Portugal

POSTAL 22nd March 2024

We are excited to share insights from a recent feature in “POSTAL,” a regional newspaper from the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal. This article delves into the continuous expansion of the FRIENDS project, which is making significant strides in mental health and well-being within European schools. As we continue to navigate the complexities of education in today’s dynamic world, the importance of supporting the mental health of both learners and educators cannot be overstated.

Read below and discover how the FRIENDS project is contributing to this vital area, ensuring a supportive and inclusive educational environment across Europe!

Translation from the original article:

The Quiet Time project from the Dr. Alberto Iria School Group in Olhão was implemented on a very small scale in the 1998/99 school year followed by an interregnum. In the 2009/2010 school year the project started again, growing over the years and inspiring other schools both in Portugal and across borders to implement it.

The Quiet Time includes as a good practice the learning of the Transcendental Meditation technique and its implementation in the classroom context twice a day, in the morning before the start of teaching activities, and in the late afternoon after their completion. The time required to apply the technique at each of these moments ranges from 5 minutes (for 1st cycle students) to 14 minutes for 9th year students (3rd cycle). In the current academic year around 150 students are covered, from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle.  

Given the well-being and positive impact that the Transcendental Meditation technique has in students, these, their families and the educational community have a good reception and the evaluation they make of this educational strategy is very positive

 “Among the most prominent positive aspects is greater ease in managing emotions, better family relationships and improved school results”, said to POSTAL the project coordinator Paulo Côrte-Real, who shares here three of many quotes that express the perception and evaluation of students: 

Leonor Pires, 9th D: “The class is privileged to develop this project because we have better concentration, better creativity, we become more relaxed and we are able to better develop our abilities”.

Rodrigo Lima 6th A: “In the Quiet Time I felt that I was meditating with friendship, peace and silence”.  

Nuno Jóia 6th A: “When I do meditation, I feel relaxed and unconcerned with what is happening in the space where I am doing it. In the classes I no longer need to talk to my classmates so much.”  

The school cluster has already participated as a beneficiary in two European projects, where a research team from the University of Algarve, coordinated by Luís Sérgio Vieira, carried out scientific studies measuring various psychological dimensions in students and teachers. According to the results of the last study in students between 5 and 11 years of age there was a “decrease in hyperactivity, emotional symptoms, internal and external, total reduction of difficulties and conduct problems”.  

The project is part of the Educational Territories of Priority Intervention (TEIP) program, which continues to be part of the ALGARVE 2030 Regional Program.

ARLINDA FIGUEIRA

Director of the Dr. Alberto Iria de Olhão School Group

The “Quiet Time” project, implemented in this school grouping since many years, creates a transformative environment that translates into the positive impact on learning of our students, and fosters social and psychological well-being throughout the educational community.

Expanding the use of Transcendental Meditation

Interview with Paulo Côrte-Real – QT/TM school project coordinator

What benefits are recorded? 

We have seen multiple benefits over the years among which we highlight a very significant  improvement in the self-regulation of attitudes and behaviours, with a positive impact on the relationship between peers and in the classroom learning environment; decreased anxiety; an increase in attention and concentration capacity; an increase of resilience facing challenging  situations; increased self-esteem and self- confidence; greater maturity and responsibility; greater readiness to participate in activities/initiatives and increased awareness regarding collective well-being. All of these benefits come to translate naturally into an improvement in school results. The Transcendental Meditation technique has cumulative effects which is why I emphasize the direct proportionality between the number of weekly practices that each class does and the benefits/ results achieved.

Do the results justify the continuation of the project?

The answer is definitely yes.  

When we talk about using a resource that is very easy to learn and very easy to implement, which does not depend on resources external to the individual, which develops their full potential and ensures well-being, health and happiness, with extensive scientific  

validation, the continuity is a reality. I am convinced that the expansion of a strategy such as Transcendental Meditation will be a measure naturally adopted by more and more schools and school clusters in Portugal and in any other country that wants to be happier and more progressive.  

The Dr. Alberto Iria School Group, given its long experience in implementing this educational strategy in partnership with the Cooperativa Cultural Maharishi, will always be available to provide clarifications to all schools that wish to know more about this program. 

Are you a school member? Are you wishing to know more about the FRIENDS project and its next initiatives?

 

For further information
Quiet Time /TM Implementation coordinators contacts:
About the project

FRIENDS: Fostering Resilience-Inclusive Education & Non-Discrimination in Schools is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme under the Key Action 3 Support for policy reforms – Social inclusion through education, training and youth.