An Exploration in Mindfulness: Classroom of Detectives

Dec. 01, 2009

Source: Teachers College Record, Volume 111 Number 12, 2009.

Background/Context: This exploratory feasibility study assesses a mindfulness program in a fifth-grade classroom.
The research discussed herein was built on a previous study targeted at a specific population of children within the classroom and assessed the benefits of teaching mindfulness meditation to 7- and 8-year-old children who met criteria for generalized anxiety disorder.

Purpose/Focus of Study: The primary aim of this exploratory study was to examine the feasibility of a mindfulness training workbook written for young children.
The mindfulness workbook uses a fictional character in a storybook format.
The goal was to help children understand and access their own mindfulness within the classroom setting without instruction by teachers and without using meditation techniques.

Setting: The study was conducted in a school-based setting.

Participants: Participants were 24 children of low socioeconomic status (SES) from urban areas in Fairfield County, Connecticut, who attended a summer program.
The subjects described were of a nonclinical population, and all were rising fifth graders.

Research Design: The predominantly qualitative study was rooted in an action research design method, which allowed for program adjustments to be made as needed.

Findings: The mindfulness program was feasible, and overall improvements in attention were evident.

Conclusions: The children who needed the most help at the onset of the program showed the greatest improvement by the end.

Updated: Oct. 19, 2009