Daniela Labra Cardero, Director at AtentaMente, specialized in curriculum development, teacher training, and instruction of contemplative-based socio-emotional education, linking scientific research and pedagogical practice. In Mexico, one in two children lives in poverty, and 60% of students are considered behind in school by the time they’re in 6th grade. The gap in educational outcomes across SES widens significantly between the ages of 5-18 years, fueling cycles of inequality and violence. Educating for Well-being (EW) seeks to break these cycles by fostering an empowering learning environment within schools that acts as a protective barrier and helps close this gap early. EW trains and empowers educators to understand, reflect on, and practice socio-emotional skills (e.g. attention training, emotion regulation, empathy and kindness) in their lives and classrooms. It uses a blended learning approach, weaving live training with a self-paced online course and mobile app. Over time, educators build their SEC, which improves their own well-being. They are able to embody and model SEC for their students, effectively implement the SEL curriculum and promote a safe learning environment, leading to improvements in the students’ overall socioemotional well-being. This whole-school approach, along with empowering local education authorities to adapt SEL to their context, ensures an implementation of SEL that enacts long-term systemic change. EW has proven effective in improving various outcomes for both educators and students. After participating in pilot studies, teachers showed improvements in SECs and reduction in stress and burnout, as well as improved socioemotional outcomes among their students.
For the past 15 years I have specialized in curriculum development, teacher training, and instruction of contemplative-based socio-emotional education, linking scientific research and pedagogical practice. I am a biologist by training, with a passion for meditation. For more than 10 years I worked as coordinator, professor, and researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México and have co-authored several books and programs on socio-emotional education. Currently I direct AtentaMente, a non-profit organization I co-founded in 2013. I am also a consultant for Healthy Minds Innovations, a Salzburg Global Fellow, and am currently enrolled in the Non-profit Leadership Executive Education program at Harvard Kennedy School. As part of my work with AtentaMente, I develop and impart programs, training, conferences and workshops for public officials, private companies, educators, and the general public.