The Problem

Our current education system is failing to inspire the generation of creative, loving, and united young people we need to overcome humanity's global challenges.

"We are asking educators to do the impossible: to teach our students to be compassionate, motivated, high-functioning members of society without valuing or empowering them as the same."

Co-Founder & President, Michael Fenchel

In 2015, our Founder and CEO Dr. Ilana Nankin’s dissertation research revealed how the epidemic of teacher stress and burnout is negatively impacting both social-emotional and academic learning. She became inspired to take action, and our team of educators, researchers, and leaders has been working to understand and transform this critical problem ever since.  View Ilana's dissertation here!

“We must prioritize the whole of every teacher and student, not just the holes students fill out with their #2 pencils on standardized tests.” - Ilana Nankin, Ph.D.

The Research

We impact and study three essential, interrelated components of educational transformation:

  • Educator Well-Being: B4C draws upon evidence-based mindfulness and self-care practices to enhance the well-being of teachers and staff.
  • Student Social Emotional Learning: B4C leverages our powerful SEL*F curriculum to equip teachers to embody and facilitate authentic social-emotional learning for students.
  • School Community Wellness: B4C certifies educators to cultivate a climate of positivity, support, and success for all types of school community members.

The Results

BENEFITS FOR EDUCATORS

Mindfulness and yoga practices for teachers lead to increases in self-compassion and resilience to stress, enhanced emotional well-being, and reduced burnout.

Professionals receiving mindfulness interventions experience significantly less emotional exhaustion and more job satisfaction. [10]

Decreases in teacher stress and burnout lead to increases in student social-emotional and academic learning. [18]

BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS

In 2011, a meta analysis of 213 studies of SEL programs involving more than 270,000 students showed an 11 percentile-point gain in academic achievement. [12]

Daily meditation practice led to increased attendance, higher GPAs, and decreased suspensions by 79% in an inner-city San Francisco school. [13]

The results of 17 studies conducted in the Bay Area, varying in duration from three months to one year, showed benefits including reduced stress, increased emotional intelligence, decreased suspension rates, improved attendance, and enhanced academic performance. [14]

BENEFITS FOR COMMUNITIES

For every dollar invested in social-emotional learning interventions, there is a return of eleven dollars for society. [15]

There are significant associations between the social-emotional skills of a child and the likelihood of their long-term success as an adult. These social-emotional competencies increase rates of school graduation, employment, and average wages. They also decrease dropout rates, behavior issues in learning environments, drug use, teen pregnancy, mental health problems, and criminal behavior. [16]

A meta analysis of SEL interventions found tremendous benefits for communities, including: [17]

  • Drug use decreased by 6 percentile points
  • College degrees increased by a 11% advantage, with a corresponding monetary benefit of $1,138,054 per SEL student
  • STD diagnosis decreased by a 39% advantage, with a corresponding monetary benefit of $9,940 per SEL student
  • Arrests decreased by 19%, with a corresponding monetary benefit of $175,702 per SEL student
  • Clinical mental health disorders were lowered by 13.5%

[1]  Markow, Dana, Macia, Lara, and Lee, Helen. The MetLife Survey of the American teacher. Retrieved from URL. https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/foundation/MetLife-Teacher-Survey-2012.pdf 

[2] R. Ingersoll, L. Merrill, and D. Stuckey, Seven Trends: The Transformation of the Teaching Force, CPRE Report (#RR-80) (Philadelphia: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania, April 2014);

[3] R. Ingersoll and D. Perda, How High Is Teacher Turnover and Is It a Problem? (Philadelphia: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania, in press).

[4] Ronfeldt, M., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2013). How teacher turnover harms student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 50(1), 4-36.

[5] Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout, and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7(3), 182-195.

[6] Jennings, P. A., Frank, J. L., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2013). Improving Classroom Learning Environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE): Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 374–390.

[7] Kemeny, M. E., Foltz, C., Cavanagh, J. F., Cullen, M., Giese-­Davis, J., Jennings, P., … Wallace, B. A. (2012). Contemplative/emotion training reduces negative emotional behavior and promotes prosocial responses. Emotion, 12(2), 338.

[8] Roeser, R., Schonert-­Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., … Harrison, J. (2013). Mindfulness training and reductions in teacher stress and burnout: Results from two randomized, waitlist-­control field trials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 787–804.

[9] Hartfiel, N., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S. B., Clarke, G., & Krayer, A. (2011). The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 70-76.

[10]  Hülsheger, U. R., Alberts, H. J., Feinholdt, A., & Lang, J. W. (2013). Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), 310.

[11] Weare, K. (2014). Evidence for mindfulness: Impacts on the wellbeing and performance of school staff. Mindfulness in Schools.

[12] Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School‐Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta‐Analysis of Follow‐Up Effects. Child development, 88(4), 1156-1171.

[13] Kirp, D. L. (2014, January 12). Meditation transforms roughest San Francisco schools. Retrieved from http://www.sfgate.com/...

[14] Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School‐Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta‐Analysis of Follow‐Up Effects. Child development, 88(4), 1156-1171

[15] Belfield, Bowden, Klapp, Levin, Shand & Zander. (2015). The economic value of social and emotional learning. New York, NY: Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education: Teachers College, Columbia University.)

[16] Kautz, Heckman, Diris, Bas ter Weel, & Borghans. (2014). Fostering and measuring skills: Improving cognitive and non-cognitive skills to promote lifetime success. Paris, France: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

[17] Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School‐Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta‐Analysis of Follow‐Up Effects. Child development, 88(4), 1156-1171.

[18] Herman, K. C., Hickmon-Rosa, J., Reinke, W.M. (2018). Empirically Derived Profiles of Teacher Stress, Burnout, Self-Efficacy, and Coping and Associated Student Outcomes. University of Missouri.