MINNEAPOLIS -- The students will meet with a teacher to learn how to find their "sound." After mastering that, they'll join others at school in complete silence, eyes closed, for 10 minutes of tranquility.
Concentrating on that sound, the idea goes, will help them get in touch with their inner conscience, and it could be the future of Twin Cities schools if recommendations by a group of transcendental meditation advocates are implemented.
The results, officials from the Consciousness-based Education Association said Friday, would include reduced stress and violence and improved grades. Officials from the Fairfield, Iowa-based company are urging schools in about 30 other cities across the United States and Canada to also consider transcendental meditation.
However, the program is costly. Beyond that, there is question of its effectiveness and concern about involving public school children in such a spiritual and experimental practice.
It would cost $500 per student each year to properly teach students to meditate. The program would cost $24 million for the 48,000 students in Minneapolis public schools alone.
Birch Jones, executive director of the Office of Student Engagement at Minneapolis schools, said the district already has a plan for dealing with student behavior and doesn't intend to try meditation.
"I'm not sure how parents would feel," Jones said. "I'd suspect that if they don't have a lot of information, they'd be very leery."
The meditation group points to charter schools in Detroit and Washington, D.C., as examples of its effectiveness.
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