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An Exploration in Mindfulness: Classroom of Detectives

by Elizabeth Reid & Lisa J. Miller - 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 investigate 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.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 111 Number 12, 2009, p. 2775-2785
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15785, Date Accessed: 8/2/2021 2:45:33 AM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth Reid
    The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
    ELIZABETH REID is currently working at The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2009. Her interests include ways to improve classroom learning so that all young students will enter classrooms feeling the strength of their capabilities, and leave thirsting to learn more.
  • Lisa Miller
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    LISA MILLER is associate professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research involves school-based interventions for children and adolescents of low socioeconomic status, teacher training, mental health in parents and children, spiritual development across the life span, and spirituality and resilience in youths. Professor Miller has received numerous awards and research grants for her work, to include funding from the NIMH, the William T. Grant Foundation Faculty Scholars Award, the Klingenstein Fund, the Pritchard Foundation, and the van Ameringen Foundation. She has a B.A. from Yale College and a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania. She is past-president of the American Psychological Association, Division of Religion, Spirituality and Psychology, and Associate Editor of the APA journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.
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