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Description: What does ‘being mindful’ mean? Mindfulness medication essentially involves clearing one’s mind of distractions and focusing closely and only of the here and now. How might doing that be of academic assistance to middle school students? Think about how you would answer that question from a psychological research perspective. If it helps what might it be about mindfulness that helps academic performance? Once you have a theory or a hypothesis or two in mind read through the article linked below that discusses 2 studies that look at these questions.

Source: Mindfulness for Middle School Students, Science News, ScienceDaily.

Date: August 26, 2019

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So, what do you think? Is it mainly about focusing more closely on the teacher and on the lesson being taught that accounts for the benefits of mindfulness? Or might there be other factors at play. For example, anxiety is not a simple emotion. It also involves rumination or going over and over and around and around the negative consequences potentially associated with the event or situation driving the feelings of anxiety. In addition, what does the observation that mindfulness changed student’s brainwave activity suggest (is it surprising or is it more of an ‘of course’ sort of finding)?

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What impact does mindfulness have on academic performance?
  2. Why does mindfulness have a positive impact on academic performance?
  3. What research should be done next to expand our understanding of the possible relationships between mindfulness and academic performance?

References (Read Further):

Clemens C. C. Bauer, Camila Caballero, Ethan Scherer, Martin R. West, Michael D. Mrazek, Dawa T. Phillips, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, John D. E. Gabrieli. Mindfulness training reduces stress and amygdala reactivity to fearful faces in middle-school children. Behavioral Neuroscience, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/bne0000337

Caballero, C., Scherer, E., West, M. R., Mrazek, M. D., Gabrieli, C. F., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2019). Greater Mindfulness is Associated With Better Academic Achievement in Middle School. Mind, Brain, and Education.

Beauchemin, J., Hutchins, T. L., & Patterson, F. (2008). Mindfulness meditation may lessen anxiety, promote social skills, and improve academic performance among adolescents with learning disabilities. Complementary Health Practice Review, 13(1), 34-45.

Franco, C., Mañas, I., Cangas, A. J., & Gallego, J. (2010, September). The applications of mindfulness with students of secondary school: Results on the academic performance, self-concept and anxiety. In World Summit on Knowledge Society (pp. 83-97). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Franco, C., Mañas, I., Cangas, A. J., & Gallego, J. (2011). Exploring the effects of a mindfulness program for students of secondary school. International Journal of Knowledge Society Research (IJKSR), 2(1), 14-28.