The impact of mindfulness on the integrated science classroom

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


This study was conducted over the winter and spring in a predominantly ninth grade Integrated Science Class. The goal was to find out if practicing mindfulness had any impact on the classroom environment and student learning. Students first took pre and post- summative tests in a non-treatment unit that focused on the study of waves. During the treatment unit, which focused on the study of astronomy, students participated in mindfulness three days a week, for two to five minutes, at the beginning of the class. Students took pre-and post- summative tests for this unit as well. They took a Likert survey, both before and after the treatment unit, to gauge their impressions of a variety of classroom factors. Additionally, students submitted short answer responses to questions related to the mindfulness treatment unit. Finally, during the treatment unit, the instructor kept a daily journal. There was no statistical difference in the students' summative test scores when the treatment and non-treatment units were compared. There were also no statistical differences pre-and post-treatment in student answers to any of the thirteen items on the Likert survey. Student responses to the free response questions, and the instructor journal showed a positive correlation between the treatment and the classroom environment. Based largely on the qualitative data, from the student responses and the instructor journal, mindfulness practice was shown to have a positive impact on the classroom. Students said that they were able to focus better, they were calmer, and had reduced levels of stress and anxiety. The instructor journal also showed that the students maintained better focus and were less restless on days where mindfulness was practiced.




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