FRIENDS Kick-Off-Meeting, Città di Castello – Italy
Launch of the project with a live discussion of all FRIENDS partners for a final review and agreement of the implementation work plan and next step.
Preparation for the implementation in schools
Beginning of the programme implementation in schools and in other non-formal educational settings with information sessions on the Quiet Time/TM programme offered to school and policy community members (administrators, teachers, staff, parents’ association, local authorities, etc.).
Pre-test and training of school staff: administrators and teachers
Pre-testing of school administrators and teachers as part of a four-month longitudinal study, measuring their level of anxiety, job satisfaction and subjective well-being before Quiet Time/TM programme’s implementation.
Training the teachers in the Quiet Time/TM programme.
Parents’ information sessions
A series of parent information meetings are held by the school with the teachers/experts of the TM technique: the Quiet Time/TM programme is explained and open sessions of questions & answers contributes for collecting parents’ inputs.
Pre-test and training of students
Training of students for starting the Transcendental Meditation practice during the Quiet Time moments. During the FRIENDS project this training took place in more than 40 cluster of schools, schools and non-formal educational settings in 4 countries (Portugal, Italy, UK and Belgium).
A subset of students receiving training is selected for the research. The students participating in the research are pre-tested and after about three months, post-tested with standardized tests. For a second subset of students, a control group is also used following an experimental design protocol. After post-test, also the control group starts the QT/TM training.
Learning communities are established at local, regional and National level in the partner countries. Face-to-face meetings are held between partners, associated partners and key stakeholders interested in the project in order to exchange knowledge and experience of the project benefits and results and to disseminate the Quiet Time/TM approach.
Seminars and Meetings
Organizing face-to-face dissemination meetings in combination with consortium meetings to allow the participation and contribution of all partners from Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and UK and of other interested stakeholders from different European countries.
Presenting project results in relevant events at local, regional, national and European level and organizing workshops for interested stakeholders in each partner country.
Post-test of school staff: administrators and teachers
Post-testing of the participating administrators, teachers, and school staff. These data have been analysed showing the impact of the Quiet Time/TM programme on measures such as anxiety, job satisfaction and subjective well-being. (See results in D5.5 and D6.9)
Students ‘delayed’ start group
The students’ control group is also trained in the Quiet Time/TM programme after the first stage of the research is completed.
Post-test of students
Both, experimental group and control group, are post-tested. These data have been analysed showing the impact of the Quiet Time/TM programme on students on measures such as increased resilience, vitality, personal realization and subjective wellbeing, and in the field of behaviour and interpersonal relationship, decreased disruptive behaviour, decrease in children relation problems and behavioural control problems.
Final assessment of the schools’ environment
Assessing the overall schools’ environment after the end of the testing process. This includes teachers’ satisfaction and motivation, personal and academic results and achievements, pro-social outcomes.
Empirical data collection and overall conclusions
Reporting the results related to the:
(a) Training of administrators, teachers and staff (e.g. anxiety and job satisfaction)
(b) Training of the students (results of both experimental and control group),
(c) Assessment of the overall schools’ environment
Policy Making Framework and recommendations for the Quiet Time/TM programme
A key instrument developed during the project is the Policy Making Framework (PMF), which allow interested parties across Europe to customize the outputs of the FRIENDS project for their local context.
This framework is providing material and guidance for successful policy development, implementation, and follow-up, to promote policies addressed to the development of holistic approaches to education aimed at every child’s comprehensive development, encompassing personal, social, cultural academic, emotional and non-cognitive aspects.
FRIENDS final conference in Brussels
Final European Conference in Brussels with the active participations of about 130 people including policy makers, principals, teachers, students and parents, non – formal education representatives, TM providers, and other stakeholders interested in the Quiet Time with Transcendental Meditation approach and inclusive education, from more than 15 European countries. Its central aim: to showcase project results and field experiences of the FRIENDS implementation, together with evidence-based policy recommendations for Quiet Time/TM programme’s implementation on wider contexts.
Project sustainability: the project continues...
- TM teachers participating in the project are available for new training, continuous follow-up and additional instructions for the students and staff in the schools
- Teacher training centers offering the training courses in TM to principals teachers and staff as professional training accredited to their careers
- Establishment and continuous enrichment of the FRIENDS research database
- Local learning communities involving parents, schools actors and policy makers at different territorial level foster the continuous scaling up of the programme with the engagement of new schools
- TM teaching centres provide on-going assistance and continuous support to promote the expansion of the project on a wider European scale
- Project partners maintain and update their channels of dissemination such as website, Facebook page and YouTube channel in English, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian for the exploitation of FRIENDS results in other contexts