Movie Night at NY Insight: Changing Minds at Concord High School
with Susan Weiser-Finley & Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
Friday, February 22nd, 2019 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Join us for a film night at New York Insight where we will take an in depth look at how mindfulness in schools is changing the lives of young people and creating a breath of fresh air in their lives. We will screen this short film and include a lively conversation with the film’s director Susan Weiser Finley and Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, PhD, professor in the Psychology Department of Hunter College.
This is a real story of remarkable change in a group of young people. Concord High, in Staten Island, NY, is called a ‘transfer school’ — a last hope, last chance to graduate high school for teens. Most of its students have histories of academic failure and trauma. The film Changing Minds at Concord High School follows these students over the course of one semester as they take part in a mindfulness-training program. The amazing twist here is that the students both helped to film the experience and conduct a scientific study of their classmates – comparing the effects of mindfulness training with that of a placebo group. The study also included a science curriculum on the neuroscience of mindfulness – how it can change our brains for the better.
Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, PhD, professor in the psychology Department of Hunter College was the lead scientist on this project, so the students were her “research assistants.” Inspired by the concept of ‘neuroplasticity,’ – that you can change the brain’s neural pathways and synapses through repeated new experiences – the young researchers posed the question: Would mindfulness practice for just three minutes a day help them and their peers?
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