MindUP: Improving the Environment of Our Classrooms

I have been writing about brain-based research, particularly with regard to children and students. Too often, our educational systems are not attuned and aware, and they may not have the capability to create positive, classroom learning environments. We know from current neuro-scientific research that brain states really matter when it comes to listening, learning, testing and completing tasks.

Helping children learn skills to succeed in life

The Hawn Foundation proves the importance of brain-states.
The Hawn Foundation proves the importance of integrating brain states with learning, wholeness and happiness. (Photo courtesy of

One program that has caught momentum is from the Hawn Foundation (by Goldie Hawn.)  Ms. Hawn began her journey by looking at happiness in our culture and our children.

Because she realized it wasn’t an easy task to prove what happiness really is, using her and other’s resources, she worked diligently with a team of scientists to form the Hawn Foundation. After bringing together a team of researchers and other professionals, she developed the Mind-up program™.

Her program includes curriculum for teachers which helps them to:

  • Help kids maintain focused attention
  • Form more accurate perceptions of students
  • Think more clearly especially under pressure
  • Improve communication with students, parents and staff
  • Improve the overall classroom climate by infusing it with optimism and hope
  • Helps to create a stronger, more vibrant school culture
  • Be happier, more joyful and grateful — a disposition that ultimately spills out of the classroom and into private life
  • Experience greater job satisfaction

This program has been used all across the world.

MindUP™ is another evidenced-based program which shows how these kind of approaches are making significant changes in the environments of our schools and in the lives of students and teachers. It is my hope that we can embrace the concepts already developed in a program like this one and continue to build on this research to further improve our educational systems.

Kudos to Goldie Hawn and all those that work with her in the Hawn Foundation for our courage, innovation, generosity and commitment to our children world-wide.

If you would like to learn more about this program, you can go to the Hawn Foundation website:

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network

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