Graduation Date

5-2022

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Education

Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Matthew E. Davis, PhD

Second Reader

Kathleen Ferrando, Med

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to understand how mindfulness practices and physical activity in the classroom can contribute to the overall well-being and health of students and teachers. Research has shown that these practices increase self-awareness, compassion, introspection, and a reduction in stress and anxiety (Waterford, 2019). This study included interviews with one educator and their fifth grade classroom, who all participated in a multi-week series of lessons using mindfulness and somatic awareness activities with post-practice writing reflection. The findings of this research indicate that somatically based mindfulness practices positively impact language patterns between students. Physical body-based activities were also shown to create greater calmness that in turn manifests as greater inclusion in the classroom. These findings make a case for integrating daily body-based mindfulness activities in classroom settings. Schools could also provide resources that can be taken home for students to engage in the practices with their families and as a progressive form of homework. These findings also provide support for minimum mandated instructional minutes for these kinds of activities during the school day, as well as professional development training for teachers to learn how to embody these practices for themselves.

IRB Number

110371

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