Volume 2, Issue 5 | April 2022
HeartMind e-News: Teach, Learn, Lead
A monthly publication dedicated to trauma-informed, compassionate school practices that help educators, students, and families move toward a sense of wholeness and well-being
Revisioning Education: Curriculum, Examining Equity, and Including the Arts
The future of education? Where is education headed? This month in HeartMind eNews we explore three diverse opportunities to speed ahead into the future through a less linear approach to curriculum – a more individualized approach to education that uses the power of learning through the web: rhizomatic learning, correcting our harmful patterns of interaction through learning about and learning to avoid “microaggressions,” and using an arts approach to address self-regulation.

The three articles this month all focus on a common theme of revisioning what can happen in schools and classrooms.
  • This month, Maanasai Bulusu and colleagues introduce us to the first in a series of articles on rhizomatic learning” – used in the world of cryptocurrencies and high-tech approaches to learning, we believe it also has serious and important implications for the general educational curriculum.
  • The second article by Nicole Benquechea provides a needed primer on microaggressions, their impact, and steps to take to avoid them.
  • The final article by Tin Nguyen reminds us that social emotional concepts such as self-regulation can be approached in many ways, including turning to the arts to help express our feelings and emotions.
Featured Articles
Welcome to HeartMind e-News, dedicated to translating research and theory to practice, to aid implementation of compassionate practices in schools. Each issue has practical suggestions for teachers, researchers, school administrators, educational policymakers, mental health providers, students, and families. You are also invited to join the HeartMind Community to receive discounts on publications and workshops, networking opportunities, and special offers for virtual consultations and additional resources from the Center for Educational Improvement.
Rhizomatic Learning: The Future of Education?
Maanasi Bulusu, CEI Intern, Christine Mason, CEI Executive Director, Simon Glenn, Gregory Kerr, and Susannah Rosenthal
This is the first in a series of articles about rhizomatic learning. Stay tuned for future articles that will discuss the relationship to NFTs, gamification, cryptocurrencies, and token-economies.

Are you searching for a way to introduce complex concepts to students? One innovative technique, based on understanding the relationship between the structure of plants and online learning, is “rhizomatic instruction.” As we have researched rhizomatic learning, we have come to understand that it can be implemented to various degrees, with or without such features as gamification and token economies (look for HeartMind eNews articles on these subjects in coming months).

Asparagus, ginger, hops, and irises are examples of rhizomatic plants. The stems of rhizomatic plants don’t grow upwards and downwards like most plants, they grow horizontally and outwards, often splitting many times in many directions... Read more.

Microaggressions Have No Place in the Classroom
Nicole Benquechea, CEI Intern
“Where are you from?”

“No, where are you really from?”

How do microaggressions impact children? 

First, what are microaggressions? Microaggressions are the everyday, subtle, intentional — and often unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups (Sue, 2015). As Sue (2015) indicates, microaggressions, whether intentional or unconscious, communicate hostile, derogatory, and harmful messages. Microaggressions are “micro” because they often happen in small, private situations, yet their effects often impact people in massive and dangerous ways. Over time, being on the receiving end of these daily (yet often unrecognizable) attacks can lead to depression, social isolation, and lowered confidence... Read more.

Self Regulation through Arts Practice
Tin Nguyen, CEI Intern, Mishel Alexandrovsky, CEI Intern, and Christine Mason, CEI Executive Director
Self-regulated learning has been recently introduced as a way to help students take charge of their learning environment, as well as to construct their own timelines for studying and completing academic assignments. Importantly, self-regulation strategies can also be used to help students navigate through stress. In this article, we worked with Marina Hanna, a neuroscientist-in-training and advocate for arts-health pairing at Vanderbilt University, to examine how artistic activities can help bring mental health and socioemotional intelligence together.

If you are looking for strategies to help students self-regulate their emotions, the arts can provide a variety of avenues for them to further their understanding of themselves and their emotions. Art activities are not reserved just for those with a knack for drawing, painting, or printmaking. The use of visual arts has made its way into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs – reframed as STEAM (Segarra et al., 2018). Students use graphs, schematics, and illustrations as artistic tools to chart data or track their learning milestones (which is a self-regulated learning strategy)...

Upcoming Events and Announcements

Live Webinar Series on Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being!

Three, one-hour sessions on April 20th, April 27th and May 4th at 5pm.

Promotion extended: sign up by April 20th for substantial savings.
Use promo20 at registration to receive the series and book for $60

Cultivating Resilience: A Whole Community Approach for Alleviating Trauma in Schools

CEI's latest book is now available as a free e-book!

Available Now:

Cultivating Happiness, a new book by Dr. Christine Mason, Jeffrey Donald, Krishna Kaur Khalsa, Michele M. Rivers Murphy, and Valerie Brown.

Here's what readers are saying:

"Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement represents an immense contribution to the field. Beginning with research findings, the authors anticipate and address virtually every what, why, how, who, when, and where question that educators, parents, and the public may have about the book’s subject. Their goal is nothing less than to provide blueprints for an education that truly serves the needs of students and teachers in today’s troubled times. They have succeeded!"

Richard Brady
Author of Walking the Teacher’s Path with Mindfulness and Founder of the Mindfulness in Education Network
"This generously comprehensive manual will open new doors for any educator hoping to share best practices in introducing yoga and mindfulness to their students and schools. Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement fills an important gap in well-being in education work, reminding us of the crucial importance of paying attention to the body, mind, and heart when working with young people. Well-being is increasingly taking center stage in educational redesign initiatives, and the authors rightly emphasize the importance of teachers establishing their own awareness before setting out on this rich and rewarding journey with their students. With this valuable book by their side, teachers will be equipped with a wide range of practical self-care tools and approaches to bring greater well-being to themselves and their community."

Kevin Hawkins and Amy Burke

Learn more about Dr. Mason’s recent and upcoming books and availability on her website www.christine-mason.com