Title

The Impact of Mindfulness on Attention and Behavior in a Kindergarten Classroom

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type

Project Abstract (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kristen Carlson

Keywords

Mindfulness, Behavior, Attention, Kindergarten, Social Emotional Learning

Abstract

The stress of home and school are evident in today's classroom. Countless schools have looked at teaching mindfulness as a way to address social emotional learning. The practice of mindfulness has been used more in classrooms across the nation. Mindfulness is the idea of being present in the moment without thinking about the past or wondering about the future. Practicing mindfulness can consist of: breathing, stretching, and listening. Included in this research proposal is a literature review and research on the effects mindfulness has on a students’ ability to focus, self-regulate, and release stress in an elementary classroom. Routhier-Martin et al. (2017) explored mindfulness and meditation within the classroom; they found improved student behavior and academics, as well as benefits for students with varying abilities including: learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Routhier-Martin et al. (2017) also added that students who participated in meditation were better able to relax, focus, reduce anxiety, make decisions, and restore their working memory. How does practicing mindfulness impact behavior and attention in a kindergarten classroom? The participants within this study included 21 kindergarten students in a rural midwest setting. The researcher collected quantitative data over five weeks using an AB design. Following a daily mindfulness exercise, direct observations were documented through tally sheets during lessons to track the frequency of reminders students needed to fix behaviors and remain attentive during learning. The researcher analyzed whether mindfulness exercises have an impact on student learning.

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