Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Discuss Education Reform with the Dalai Lama Next Month in D.C.

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Mind and Life Institute releases agenda for "Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century" conference, Oct. 8-9 at Constitution Hall

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Ultimately, we want to know what the value of mindfulness practice is to students, teachers and parents who are using these methods. Our dialogue with the Dalai Lama will look at what students need, and what research could be most relevant to young people.

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join the Dalai Lama, Marian Wright Edelman, and other prominent thinkers in education, neuroscience, psychology, and contemplative studies on stage at Constitution Hall at 2 pm on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Their dialogue about "Attention, Emotional Regulation, and Learning" will take place during the first day of a two-day conference on Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century, organized by the Mind and Life Institute.

Conference organizers said their goal is to promote more academic research into the value of integrating emotional, intellectual, and social learning into today's educational programs, It will be the 19th annual dialogue between scientific researchers into human consciousness and the Dalai Lama, who has written recently on secular ethics for the new millennium, and, methods of transforming the mind that enhance personal responsibility, love, compassion, and kindness.

Leading educators, scientists and policy makers will discuss the importance of researching the effects of mindfulness programs and curricula on educational environments, especially for students exposed to risk factors such as poverty, violence and divorce.

Beginning on Sept. 8, 2009, United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and President Obama launched a campaign targeted at all students in the U.S., called, "I am what I learn" The campaign ends November 2nd, 2009 when students will receive $1,000 for creating the best short video describing how they are personally going to improve their education in order to fulfill their dreams. The question posed for the video asks "Why is Education Important to Your Future"?

Secretary Duncan has long been interested in the social and emotional learning that students do in school, and in researching how differing forms of mindfulness can improve many aspects of the education system and student advancement.

Initial research indicates that school-based programs may be the best way for children to develop the non-academic but equally important skills necessary to be successful in modern society. Programs across the country that teach mindfulness of the self and others, have been shown to reduce harmful stress and significantly improve academic performance, work habits and self-esteem.

"We hope to draw more attention to expanding research into mindfulness-based educational approaches, such as social and emotional learning, said Adam Engle, Chairman of The Mind and Life Institute, "and how such reforms can improve attention, self-motivation, self-esteem, and healthy decision-making skills among school-aged children and teenagers."

Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century will take place from 9 am to 4:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 8, and from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm on Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 at DAR Constitution Hall, with entrance for the media on C Street between 17th and 18th Street, and for the general public on 18th Street between C and D streets. Tickets are on sale through TicketMaster, with discounts for students and groups of 5 or more.

"Our goal is not to promote any particular educational approach, but to generate dialogue and new ideas from experts in these fields," said Laura Baun, Operations Director of The Mind and Life Institute. "Ultimately, we want to know what the value of mindfulness practice is to students, teachers and parents who are using these methods. Our dialogue with the Dalai Lama will look at what students need, and what research could be most relevant to young people."

Participants in education, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy will participate in four sessions during the conference. The Dalai Lama will be active in each session, which include "Envisioning the World Citizen" and "Attention, Emotional Regulation and Learning," on Thursday, Oct. 8, and "Compassion and Empathy," and "Integrations, Reflections, and Future Directions," on Friday, Oct. 9.

Event Website: http://www.educatingworldcitizens.org

Organization Website: http://www.mindandlife.org

Press Inquiries: For conference-specific questions, please contact Sarah Goldberg at 301-887-1060 x118. General press inquiries may go to 530-1940. Please first visit the website, then email us with any unanswered questions. Call only if necessary.

Contact: Sarah Goldberg, 301-887-1060 x118

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