Mindfulness in Elementary Schools

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

Year: 2020


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Mindfulness in Elementary Schools



Anne Ritter, Isabel Alvarez



Mindfulness training is an accepted and effective didactic approach to improve the executive functions (EFs) of upper elementary school students. However, previous mindfulness studies conducted on upper elementary school students have been primarily led by external instructors, outside of the natural classroom and school-day routine. The methodologies of the previously conducted studies leave a deficit in the literature for teacher-led, curriculumembedded mindfulness research upper elementary classrooms. This study seeks to address these shortfalls by evaluating the effects of a mindfulness intervention program, Mind Yeti, on the EFs of upper elementary school students when the intervention is implemented in the school curriculum and led by their classroom teacher. A diverse sample of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade upper elementary school students (n = 177; aged 8 to 11 years old) participated in the Mind Yeti intervention in their general education classroom. The frequency of the intervention was six sessions per week for six weeks. Students’ self-reported their levels of EFs by completing pretest and posttest questionnaires, Executive Function Student Questionnaire (EFSQ), which were collected and analysed. Paired-sample t-tests indicated that students significantly improved their levels of inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Additionally, students in the 5th grade responded better to Mind Yeti than students in the 3rd grade. Results were consistent with the hypothesis, suggesting that curriculum based, teacher led, mindfulness training is an appropriate and effective intervention for improving the EFs of upper elementary school students, and thus may be a positive addition to curriculum at the upper elementary school level.

Keywords: Mindfulness, Elementary School, Mind Yeti, Executive Functions, School Curriculum.

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Anne Ritter

Autonomous University of Barcelona (SPAIN)

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Isabel Alvarez

Autonomous University of Barcelona (SPAIN)

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