Mindfulness in Elementary Schools

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Conference on Research in Education, Teaching and Learning

Year: 2020

DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.33422/3rd.icetl.2020.02.30

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Mindfulness in Elementary Schools

Ritter Anne and AlvarezIsabel

 

ABSTRACT: 

This study explores the use of Mindfulness school-based intervention program in an Elementary School. Mindfulness training is an accepted and effective didactic approach to improve the executive functions (EFs) of elementary school students. However, previous mindfulness studies conducted on elementary school students have been primarily led by external instructors, outside of the natural classroom and school-day routine. More teacher-led, curriculum-embedded mindfulness research is needed. The Mind Yeti program is a mindfulness intervention that fits these requirements. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of the Mind Yeti program on the EFs of elementary school students. A diverse sample of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade elementary school students (n = 177; aged 8 to 11 years old) participated in a Mind Yeti intervention in their general education classroom, with six sessions per week for 6 weeks. Students self-reported their EFs on pretest and posttest questionnaires. Paired-sample t-tests indicated that students significantly improved on scores of inhibition, emotional control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Additionally, students in 5th grade responded better to Mind Yeti than students in 3rd grade. Unexpectedly, changes in sustained attention and organization were not significant. Results were partially consistent with the hypothesis, suggesting that Mind Yeti is an appropriate and effective intervention for improving the EFs of students, and thus may be a positive addition to elementary schools’ curriculum. Future research is required to replicate these findings.

Keywords: mindfulness; school; elementary; executive functions; Mind Yeti.