Collaborative initiatives for mindful education through the arts in inclusive classroom environments


Sheila J. Scott
School of Music at Brandon University, Professor; Author

Sheila J. Scott authored Music education for children on the autism spectrum: A resource for teachers (Oxford University Press, 2017) based on her work with exceptional learners. She is a Professor in the School of Music at Brandon University (Brandon, Manitoba) where she teaches courses in music education and supervises emerging teachers in their practicum placements. She is currently studying arts-based approaches for mindfulness in inclusive education setting grades 1 through 6.

Shannon Vogel (M.Ed. Spec. Ed. Co) has taught in diverse classrooms, including Life Skills, multi-age, and R.T.I support. She is a Vice-Principal at an inner-city school where advocacy, mindfulness, and inclusive education is most important to her. She authored Little P.E.E.P.S: Programming enrichment and engagement for pre- school success.

Bobbi Schaminee (B.Mus/ B.Ed A.D.) has enjoyed teaching music for students in K-8, Life-Skills, privately in Canada and The Netherlands, and participating as a clinician for the Manitoba Orff Chapter. She is a trained TEACCH facilitator and coach. Bobbi currently infuses mindfulness into her inclusive grade one classroom.

Many children with exceptionalities are challenged to grow academically, emotionally, and socially in typical school environments. Rather than require students to conform to traditional notions of school, it behooves leaders in education to transform learning environments to the needs of these learners. Our presenters share how approaches grounded in artistic experiences in music, movement, and visual art may create mindful environments for learning. The session opens with an explanation of how this collaboration emerged. Sheila Scott describes facets of an emerging mindfulness program for children in elementary schools, including an overview of weekly 30 minute classroom experiences. Shannon Vogel and Bobbi Schaminee describe how they integrate these activities in mindfulness into the daily routines in their classrooms, highlighting how the activities and resulting classroom environments benefit exceptional learners in these inclusive educational settings.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials: