Mindful Schools Research Update, Vol. 2

The current field of mindfulness in education rests on a foundation of research. Research informs and inspires us to frame our curriculum and our embodied pedagogy. Whether we’re in a classroom working with primary grade children, a middle-school school psychologist, or a high-school specialist weaving mindful moments into our students’ busy days, the work of researchers can inform our pedagogy and refine the goals we have for mindful practices.

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As the field comes into its third decade in the spotlight of research, studies continue to grow in depth and in scope: a crucial rein for the sometimes oversimplification of many popular claims.

This research update offers you – the classroom teacher, the district curriculum coordinator, the school psychologist, the graduate student in education – an overview of the benefits of mindfulness for youth and current highlights in research studies through April 2020. It continues the thread of our Mindful Schools Research on Mindfulness Page and our first Research Summary covering highlights from 2018.

Our deepest gratitude goes to Dr. David Black of the American Mindfulness Research Association. His remarkable contributions to the field of mindfulness research include an archived Monthly Bulletin which tracks the fields of mindfulness research in medicine, psychology, and education. Our contribution has been to sift through the current research and highlight education studies relevant to members of the greater Mindful Schools community.

We would like extend a special thanks to Betsy Hanger for leading efforts to create this research update for Mindful Schools. Betsy has over 30 years experience as a classroom teacher and has taught mindfulness to dozens of classroom groups in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Betsy has a Master’s in Education with a focus on curriculum development and she is a Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor; she completed the Mindful Teacher Certification Program in 2015. A tabulation of all current education research (October 2018 – April 2020, and updated monthly thereafter) is available by emailing betsy@mindfulschools.org

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