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A Classroom-Based Training Program for Attention and Emotion Regulation

Image by Andrea Carolina Sanchez Gonzalez via iStockPhoto


Social emotional learning skills are critical for success for youth. With limited budgets and resources, it is not feasible to have social emotional learning experts active in every classroom. This study examines the efficacy of a “train-the-trainer” model for 5th grade teachers to implement mindfulness-based practices in their classrooms and how such trainings affect kids’ well-being. 

Study Details

Supported by a three-year grant from the Department of Education, we are building upon our initial pilot work studying attention and emotion regulation at the elementary school level. Moving the work forward, we are developing a comprehensive, self-sustaining “train the trainers” model to better understand the impact of our mindfulness-based training as well as how frequently it should be used within the school context.

Over a period of three years, we’re creating a prototype of an integrated training curriculum for 5th grade teachers and students. The program development has three main components:

  1. To train teachers in a mindfulness-based program adapted specifically for school teachers
  2. To develop a parallel training program for students
  3. To support and prepare classroom teachers to implement the student training curriculum

We are conducting classroom observations and assessing the progress of children and teachers using a variety of research measures before and after the training period to explore the effects of training.

People Working on This Study

Richard J. Davidson
Founder, Center for Healthy Minds & Healthy Minds Innovations, William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry
Lisa Flook
Lisa Flook
Former Associate Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds
Lori Gustafson
Former Senior Outreach Specialist, Center for Healthy Minds
Matthew Hirshberg
Matt Hirshberg
Research Assistant Professor, Center for Healthy Minds
Cara Knoeppel
Former Associate Research Specialist, Center for Healthy Minds
Chad Mc Gehee Web
Chad McGehee
Former Learning and Program Development Manager, Healthy Minds Innovations
Evan Moss
Evan Moss
Former Research Assistant, Center for Healthy Minds
Jane Sachs
Jane Sachs
Former Research Program Manager, Center for Healthy Minds

Related Publications

Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brain and Education, 7, 182–195. doi:10.1111/mbe.12026 PMCID: PMC3855679
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