I was recently struck by the news that Goldie Hawn is in talks to set up a Buddhist school in the United Kingdom.
The actress’ Hawn Foundation already teaches children Buddhist techniques in schools across America, and now she wants to take the initiative across the Atlantic, and use the teachings to help British children build social and emotional stability – and curb violent outbursts in the classroom and playground. Hawn says, “We need to rethink our whole approach to classroom education, integrating neuroscience with the latest social and emotional learning techniques, “a peaceful, happy child is the first step towards a peaceful world.”
Hawn’s plans have won the support of Britain’s Conservative Party, whose education secretary, Michael Gove, confirms, “We are meeting to discuss how she might be able to help education here. “We need more new schools outside local authority control to challenge the bureaucratic monopoly.”
On a related note …
The fastest growing religion in British jails? According to figures released in the Daily Telegraph it is Buddhism. In 1997 there were only 226 Buddhists in prisons in England and Wales, but by the end of June 2008 that figure had risen by 669 per cent to reach 1,737. Some jails and secure hospitals including Broadmoor have opened shrines known as Buddha Groves in their grounds, and there is a nationwide network of chaplains to cater for the growing population.