Mindfulness in Educational Settings: Spotlight on the Middlesex Program

Around the country, more and more schools and colleges are bringing mindfulness to their students. While programs vary in how they are offered, they all contribute to equipping young people with invaluable skills and creating a more mindful and compassionate world.

In 2009, Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, made a commitment to mindfulness, beginning with a school assembly and optional Sunday afternoon sessions. Since 2011, the full-time Director of Mindfulness Programs, Doug Worthen, has developed their offerings and helped to create a gentle school-wide mindfulness revolution.

“Mindfulness has had a tremendous impact on my life. I’ve learned to focus on the task at hand, and in doing so I find more enjoyment in each task than I could have ever imagined.”
—Middlesex student

Overview of the Middlesex Mindfulness Program


1. To expose all members of the Middlesex community to mindfulness in a clear, accessible, and relevant way, and to support those who are interested in continuing mindfulness practice.

2. To support other interested schools and organizations in developing a mindfulness program by making information about our program and our research freely available.

The program includes:

● A full-time director of mindfulness
● A required semester-long “Introduction to Mindfulness” course for all new students
● Advanced mindfulness courses for students
● Introductory and advanced mindfulness courses for faculty and staff
● Introductory and monthly drop-in mindfulness courses for parents
● Individual mindfulness meetings for students, faculty, and staff with the director
● A weekly all-school practice during Wednesday chapel
● A weekly drop-in practice led by different members of the community
● Mindfulness support for student athletes and the athletic department
● Mindfulness Club for interested students
● Mindfulness resources and support for interested alumni
● Annual summer mindfulness retreat for adult members of the school community
● Annual summer teen mindfulness retreat on campus (through Inward Bound Mindfulness Education)
● Support for other schools and organizations interested in starting a mindfulness program


Interested in developing a mindfulness program for young people in your school or community? Find out more about iBme’s Teacher Training.