FRIENDS Final Conference – Part 1 & 2 – 4th December 2019
On December 4th, 2019, the FRIENDS project Final Conference: “Promoting Inclusive Education through Wellbeing”, an innovative approach to promoting social inclusion, equality and non-discrimination in the learning environment through The Quiet Time with Transcendental Meditation programme, took place at the Royal Library in Brussels, with the active participation of around 130 people, including, as well as the speakers, principals, teachers, students and parents.
A representative from the National Ministry of Education Directorate General for Education (DGE), Monitoring Team and Curriculum Development (Portugal), spoke on the topic of: “How to make possible innovation in a public educational system: the case of Portugal”.
Other participants were policy makers at local and national levels, including European Commission representatives, representatives of municipalities, university professors (from Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, the UK and India), NGOs, representatives from the business sector and from non-formal education, TM providers, and all those interested in the Quiet Time with Transcendental Meditation approach and inclusive education. Participants came from more than 15 European countries including from countries outside the EU and outside the project, such as Iceland, Denmark, Germany, France, The Netherland, India, South Africa, Luxembourg, Romania and Sweden.
The conference was followed by a networking buffet, an occasion for the different stakeholders and participating moderators of local learning communities to exchange contacts and experiences. This was the starting point for further expansion beyond the end of the project, including into new European countries.
D1.1 – Strategic Analysis: the status-quo
A strategic analysis has been developed to frame the Quiet Time with Transcendental Meditation programme for its successful implementation, reaching a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities and its effects in promoting social inclusion in the education systems on a wider European level.
D 5.5 – Overall conclusions, policy recommendations and lesson learned
This report covers the overall conclusions of the evaluation. It includes: · Statistical analysis and discussion of the quantitative data collected as well as the application of Categorical Content Analysis of the qualitative data collected. This part covers the results and discussion of: (a) the training of administrators, teachers and staff (e.g. anxiety and job satisfaction), (b) the training of students, and (c) the different surveys. · Recommendations for Policy Making · Lessons Learned, Conclusions of the Lessons Learned Log
D 6.9 – Policy recommendations
The project has developed a Policy Making Framework (PMF) for the introduction of the Quiet Time with Transcendental Meditation programme in schools on a larger scale. This framework provides material and guidance for successful policy development, implementation, and follow-up. A set of policy recommendations has been developed including the results of the evaluation with an emphasis on both the enablers of, and also the barriers to, scaled-up implementation. It further includes practical information for implementing the Quiet Time with Transcendental Meditation programme in schools on a wider scale.
D 7.1 – Support for policy reform
This report contains guidelines and recommendations for policy making, based on D5.5, as well as support to policy makers wanting to implement the Quiet Time with TM programme in the schools in their nations. It gives them the tools necessary for policy reform and for further successful dissemination and exploitation.
Frans Van Assche (University of Leuven, Belgium) speaking on the two-fold relationship between inclusive education and well-being … This presentation explores how the Quiet Time based on Transcendental Meditation (QT/TM) addresses this question.
Alberto Bramanti (Bocconi University, Italy) gives a vision of the FRIENDS project as an instrument for promoting well-being. He covers the need for systemic change, the cost saving and financial strategies that are strengthening well-being practices in the educational system, and policy recommendations at national and European level to foster systemic change.