Peace of Mind recognizes mindfulness as the essential foundation for students’ acquisition and mastery of social and emotional skills and conflict resolution tools. Following are the findings and the related studies, links in red, which support the Peace of Mind philosophy and theory of change.
Benefits of combining Mindfulness and SEL
Two new studies from MIT suggest that mindfulness — the practice of focusing one’s awareness on the present moment — can enhance academic performance and mental health in middle schoolers.
Mindfulness enhances acquisition of social and emotional learning skills such as those taught in the Peace of Mind Curriculum.
Mindfulness Practice can enhance children’s social-emotional development.
Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, Eva Oberle, Molly Stewart Lawlor, David Abbott, Kimberly Thomson, Tim F. Oberlander, and Adele Diamond. Enhancing Cognitive and Social–Emotional Development Through a Simple-to-Administer Mindfulness-Based School Program for Elementary School Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Developmental Psychology, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4323355/
Semple, R.J., Lee, J., Rosa, D.,& Miller, L.F. (2010) A randomized trial of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children: promoting mindful attention to enhance social-emotional development in children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(2) 218-229
“Mindfulness can be understood as the foundation and basic pre-condition for education. Children need to learn to stop their mind wandering and regulate attention and emotions, deal with feelings of frustration, and to self-motivate. Mindfulness practice enhances the very quality and goals of education in the 21st century.”
Creating deliberate moments of quiet and focus in a school day as part of a mindfulness based SEL program is likely to decrease anger, violence,anxiety
Mindfulness training can help to enhance children’s attention and focus.
Mindfulness training can help to improve self-control and emotion regulation.
Metz, S. M., Frank, J. L., Reibel, D., Cantrell, T., Sanders, R., & Broderick, P. C. (2013). The Effectiveness of the Learning to BREATHE Program on Adolescent Emotion Regulation. Research in Human Development,10(3), 252-272. doi:10.1080/15427609.2013.818488
Mindfulness practice can help with perspective taking, and emotional control and lead to less peer-related aggression.
Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lawlor, M. S. (2010). The Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Education Program on Pre- and Early Adolescents’ Well-Being and Social and Emotional Competence. Mindfulness,1(3), 137-151. doi:10.1007/s12671-010-0011-8
Research shows that Loving Kindness Meditation benefits ranging from benefiting well-being, to giving relief from illness and improving emotional intelligence:
For additional mindfulness-related resources, see: https://www.mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/research/
Good articles on the topic
Christophe Andre (2019, January) Proper Breathing Brings Better Health:Stress reduction, insomnia prevention, emotion control, improved attention—certain breathing techniques can make life better. But where do you start? Scientific American
Benefits of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
The benefits of Social and Emotional Learning are long-lasting.
Teaching SEL can lead to academic gains.
A randomized control study found that social-emotional skills gained in preschool ‘made unique contributions to kindergarten outcomes in reading achievement and learning engagement.
Nix, Bierman, Domitrovich and Gill (2013): Promoting Children’s Social-Emotional Skills in Preschool Can Enhance Academic and Behavioral Functioning in Kindergarten: Findings from Head Start REDI: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10409289.2013.825565?journalCode=heed20&
Creating a positive school climate and dedicating class time to social and emotional learning are two important and evidence approaches to bullying prevention.
Student Walkouts Show Compassion is a tool for Change – CNN opinion piece by Patricia Jennings March 14, 2018
Brain Science and mindfulness for children
Peace of Mind teaches children about the roles of the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in regulating emotions, calming down, focusing attention and making good choices. We draw on the work of Dr. Dan Siegel.
While the following 3 studies are not child-specific, they do inform our work:
Gold, A. L., Morey, R. A., & Mccarthy, G. (2015). Amygdala–Prefrontal Cortex Functional Connectivity During Threat-Induced Anxiety and Goal Distraction. Biological Psychiatry,77(4), 394-403. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.03.030
Euston, D., Gruber, A., & Mcnaughton, B. (2012). The Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Memory and Decision Making. Neuron,76(6), 1057-1070. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.12.002
Holzel, Britta K., James Carmody, Mark Vangel, Christina Congleton, Sita M. Yerramsetti, Tim Gard, and Sara W. Lazar. (2011) Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density. Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 191.1 (2011) 36-43.
Helpful article on the topic
The power of Mindfulness to address implicit bias
Mindfulness and Transforming Bias by Oren Jay Sofer, Mindful Schools
The Negativity Bias