Programs » Transcendental Meditation / Quiet Time

Transcendental Meditation / Quiet Time


Quiet Time Program at Gage Park

What is Quiet Time?
Quiet Time is a program approved by the Chicago Public Schools to reduce student stress. Quiet Time involves the introduction of two restful 20-minute periods into the school day in which students have the opportunity to experience a peaceful break in their lives, providing a counterbalance to the hyper-stimulating tension of urban culture. The key component of Quiet Time is an evidenced-based stress reduction and cognitive development technique known as Transcendental Meditation® (TM). If students choose not to meditate, they are free to select another quiet activity, such as sustained silent reading or quiet sitting.

Why is the school introducing the Quiet Time program?
The school is introducing the program because stress levels are high and stress is now known to negatively affect student development, achievement, and behavior. High levels of stress are a major predictor of student misbehavior and the number two predictor of academic failure. Stress causes or contributes to anxiety, depression, anger, violence, bullying, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, low self-control, brain impairment, ADHD, lack of creativity, poor memory, and inability to think critically. Stress is a gating factor that is blocking the road to health, well-being and success for children today.

What is the research study that is being conducted?
The research is being conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The purpose of the study is to do a rigorous evaluation of the value of students practicing Transcendental Meditation. For the purposes of the study, students will be randomly assigned to either a TM group or to sustained silent reading. The Crime Lab will be looking at effects of the program on student behavior and academic outcomes.

What will my child do during Quiet Time?
During Quiet Time, students will either practice Transcendental Meditation or do sustained silent reading. If they do reading, it will be reading for enjoyment to encourage their love of reading, rather than course or homework reading.

What is Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental Meditation® (TM) is a simple, natural, effortless procedure that students practice for about 15 minutes, twice a day, while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It has been extensively researched and found to be effective at reducing stress and improving thinking and overall health and wellness. TM is not a religion, philosophy or lifestyle. It has been learned by over 2 million Americans over the last 40 years of all faiths and cultural backgrounds, including leaders such as Oprah Winfrey and Russell Simmons.

Will all students have the opportunity to learn TM?
Because this is a research study, half the students will have the opportunity to learn TM this year. The other students will do silent reading this year and have an opportunity to learn next year.

What if I don’t want my child to learn TM?
Parent and student permission is required before a student learns TM. No one is required to learn. If your child does not learn TM, he or she will do silent reading during Quiet Time.

Will parents have the opportunity to learn TM?
There will be limited opportunity for parents to learn TM. If you have an interest, please talk to someone on the Quiet Time team at your child’s school.

If my child is assigned to the reading group, will s/he be able to use the time for study?
Quiet Time is a period for students to allow the mind to rest from focused academics and studying. For this reason, students will not be able to use the time to study or do homework. The period is for enjoyable reading to encourage love of reading and relaxation.

If my child learns to meditate, will he or she meditate at home?
Optimal results from TM practice come from meditating twice a day, every day. For this reason, we do encourage students to meditate at home on weekends and during holidays.
2016 - 2017 Quiet Time Retreat