Maximizing Mindful Learning: Mindful Awareness Intervention Improves Elementary School Students’ Quarterly Grades
- 2.1k Downloads
This paper discusses results from the first empirical study testing the feasibility and effectiveness of an audio-guided mindful awareness training program on quarterly grade performance in traditional US public elementary schools. Structured as a quasi-experiment, the study demonstrates that a 10-min-per-day, fully automated program significantly enhances students’ quarterly grades in reading and science, compared to a control group, without disrupting teaching operations (N = 191). The intervention utilized a series of guided mindful-based awareness and attention focusing practices as the method for students to engage with social and emotional learning (SEL) concepts, and can thus be called a “mindful-based social emotional learning” (MBSEL) program. The program is innovative because it requires neither expert trainers skilled in mindful awareness nor changes to existing curriculum; thus, it can be considered both teacher-independent and curriculum supportive. The goal of this exploratory study was to facilitate a consistent daily mindful awareness practice that generates improvements in student outcomes for resource- and time-constrained K–12 classrooms in the USA and elsewhere. The authors discuss limitations of this study and suggestions for further research on how to use mindful awareness programs to enhance academic performance both effectively and pragmatically.
KeywordsMindful-based social and emotional learning (MBSEL) Academic achievement K–12 education Mindful awareness in education Readiness to learn MBSR
- Beauchemin, J., Hutchins, T. L., & Patterson, F. (2008). Mindfulness meditation may lessen anxiety, promote social skills, and improve academic performance among adolescents with learning disabilities. Complementary Health Practice Review, 13(34), 34–45.Google Scholar
- Benson, H., Wilcher, M., Greenberg, B., Huggins, E., Ennis, M., Zuttermeister, P. C., & Friedman, R. (2000). Academic performance among middle-school students after exposure to a relaxation response curriculum. Journal Of Research And Development in Education, 33(3), 156–165.Google Scholar
- Biegel, G., Brown, K., Shapiro, S., & Schubert, C. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for the treatment of adolescent psychiatric outpatients: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(5), 855–866.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. (2005). Safe and sound: an educational leader’s guide to evidence-based social and emotional learning programs-Illinois edition. Chicago: Author.Google Scholar
- Diamond, A., & Lee, K. (2011). Interventions shown to aid executive function development in children 4–12 years old. Science, 333, 959–964.Google Scholar
- Duncan, A. (2013). Duncan pushes back on attack of Common Core standards. http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/duncan-pushes-back-attacks-common-core-standards. Accessed 9 Jul 2013.
- Fiester, L. (2010). Early warning! Why reading by the end of third grade matters. A Kids Count special report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. http://www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Initiatives/KIDS%20COUNT/123/2010KCSpecReport/AEC_report_color_highres.pdf. Accessed 1 May 2012.
- Fleischman, H. L., Hopstock, P. J., Pelczar, M. P., & Shelley, B. E. (2010). Highlights from PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, and science literacy in an international context (NCES 2011-004). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
- Ie, A, Ignoumen, C. T., Langer, E. J. (2014). The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness, John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go there you are: mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hearst Publications.Google Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156.Google Scholar
- Kaiser-Greenland, S. (2010). Mindful child: How to help your kid manage stress and become happier, kinder, and more compassionate. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (2010). http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/tables/dt10_097.asp?referrer=list. Accessed 5 Sept 2012.
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2013). Education at a glance 2013: OECD indicators. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1787/eag-2013-en. Accessed 12 Jul 2013.
- Payton, J., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth grade students. Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning. http://casel.org/wp-content/uploads/PackardTR.pdf. Accessed 3 Mar 2013.
- Posner, M. I. (2003). American Psychological Association annual conference lecture. www.apa.org/monitor/oct03/young.apx. Accessed 17 Jul 2012.
- Raes, F., Griffith, J. W., Van der Gucht, K. J., & Williams, G. (2013). School-based prevention and reduction of depression in adolescents: a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness group program. Mindfulness (Preprints), 1–10.Google Scholar
- Saltzman, A., & Goldin, P. (2010). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for school age children. In A. Saltzman & P. Goldin (Eds.), Acceptance and mindfulness treatment for children and adolescents (pp. 139–156). Oakland: New Harbinger.Google Scholar
- Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain in human development reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
- van de Weijer-Bergsma, E., Langenberg, G., Brandsma, R., Oort, F., & Bögels, S. (2013). The effectiveness of a school-based mindfulness training as a program to prevent stress in elementary school children. Mindfulness (Preprints), 1–11.Google Scholar
- Zinns, J., Weissberg, R., Wang, M., & Walberg, H. J. (2004). Building academic success on social and emotional learning, what does the research say? New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Zoogman, S., Goldberg, S. B., Hoyt, W. T., & Miller, L. (2014). Mindfulness Interventions with Youth: A Meta-Analysis, Mindfulness (forthcoming).Google Scholar