An Investigation into Effective Mindfulness-Based Practices in K-12 Schools
MetadataShow full item record
Mindfulness can be understood as the foundation and the basic pre-condition for education (Zenner, Herrnleben-Kurz, & Walach, 2014). Students need to learn to stop their mind from wandering and regulate attention and emotions, to deal with feelings of frustration, and to self-motivate (Zenner et al., 2014). Mindfulness practice enhances the very qualities and goals of education in our modern era. These qualities include not only attentional and emotional self-regulation, but also prosocial dispositions such as empathy, compassion, self-representations, ethical sensitivity, creativity, and problem-solving skills (Zenner et al., 2014). Thus, enabling students to deal with future challenges of the rapidly changing world, ideally becoming smart, caring, and committed citizens (Zenner et al., 2014). Mindfulness education aligns with the twenty-first century notion of schooling which views learning as a holistic process that seeks to educate students academically, emotionally, socially, ethically, and spiritually (Waters, Barsky, Ridd, & Allen, 2014). Given this background, the purpose of most school-based mindfulness programs is to increase awareness of the influence of thoughts and emotions, and thereby enhance the likelihood of making more skillful or appropriate choices (Semple, Droutman, & Reid, 2017). Many schools adopt mindfulness approaches because the techniques are easy to learn and may help students become more responsive, calm, and focused while experiencing less stress and fewer distractions (Semple et al., 2017). Mindfulness education and practices are being introduced with increasing frequency among elementary, middle, and high school students (Luiselli, Worthen, Carbonell, & Queen, 2017). Research shows that mindfulness and mindfulness-based education programs have been implemented successfully and benefit students through enhanced self-awareness, heightened optimism, improved attention, academic gains, and positive social-emotional functioning (Worthen & Luiselli, 2019).