New research from Australia shows classroom-based mindfulness lessons for young children can aid the development of executive function—a set of skills that are key to academic and social thriving—while also building stress resilience.
Of 91 kindergarten- to second-graders who participated in a classroom-based program, two-thirds were offered mindfulness instruction during the first part of the study. The remaining third, serving as a control group, received lessons when the study was done.
At set times each day, teachers (who had minimal prior experience in teaching mindfulness) had children listen to the sound of a gong. They could also add mindfulness-based activities like reading, making crafts, or taking mindful moments. Students also did breathing and body-scan exercises.
Classroom-based mindfulness for young children can aid the development of skills that nurture academic and social thriving.
At the end of the semester, students in the mindfulness classrooms were better able to pay attention, regulate their behavior, shift between tasks, plan, organize, and monitor their responses than the control group; teachers also reported the former showed greater attention and concentration skills and more prosocial behavior.