• Benefits of Mindfulness in Schools

    There are a plethora of research studies which provide evidence of the countless benefits of Mindfulness in the classroom. Some of the most compelling benefits as noted by Deborah Schoeberlein include:

    • Strengthens attention and concentration.

    • Reduces anxiety before testing.

    • Improves classroom participation.

    • Enhances social and emotional learning.

    • Improves transitions between classrooms and activities.

    • Improves decision making skills

    A study performed by Bruce Wexler found:

    “Training these executive functions leads to improvement in achievement schools,” Wexler concluded. And the effects seemed to last through the summer. Another test showed kindergartners who received the training showed better executive functioning skills when they started first grade than their peers.

    When Wexler compared the effects he was seeing to other interventions — like one-on-one tutoring, summer and after-school programming — improving executive functioning skills had a much bigger effect. “Training a whole classroom in focus, self-control, and memory has a bigger effect on math achievement than providing one-on-one tutoring,” Wexler said. Tutoring had the next strongest effect.

    For a more in depth look into Wexler’s study please see:

    https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/12/13/why-executive-function-is-a-vital-stepping-stone-for-kids-ability-to-learn/

    Mindfulschools.org further explains that consistent practice of Mindful exercises can actually strengthen and change three co-functioning areas of the brain:  

    Amygdala: Aroused when detecting and reacting to emotions, especially difficult or strong emotions such as fear. This part of the brain is less activated10 and has less gray matter density 11 following mindfulness training.

    Hippocampus: Critical to learning and memory, and helps regulate the amygdala. This part of the brain is more active and has more gray matter density following mindfulness training.


    Prefrontal Cortex: The part of the brain most associated with maturity, including regulating emotions and behaviors and making wise decisions. This part of the brain is more activated following mindfulness training.


    Thus Mindful Schools states, with consistent practice, we can strengthen the parts of the brain that help students improve attention, regulate their emotions including a better ability to engage in tasks even when emotions are activated, demonstrate greater compassion both for self and for others, reduce feelings of stress and improve anxiety and distress when placed in a stressful social situation.


    For more evidence of the benefits of Mindfulness in education please follow these links:

    http://www.mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/research/#research

    http://www.mindfulteachers.org/p/benefits-of-mindfulness.html

    https://childmind.org/article/mindfulness-in-the-classroom/

    And for a more in depth read please see:

    https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/09/12/why-teaching-mindfulness-benefits-students-learning/