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Center for Healthy Minds

University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Improving School Climate and Children’s Well-Being through Mindfulness-Based Curricula in Mexico

In collaboration with AtentaMente – a Mexico-based group of multidisciplinary professionals, with extensive experience working with groups of children, adolescents, teachers, parents, workers, professionals and the general public – the Center is exploring the impact of well-being curricula for educators and the students they serve.

Research shows that socioemotional learning (SEL) is vital for developing critical life skills and plays a key role in reducing stark disparities reinforced by poverty. These skills are best introduced at an early age, when children’s brains are most malleable.

The project draws from research on early childhood development and neuroscience to create programs in public and private schools that improve classroom climate and children’s well-being. The research, based on a pilot in more than 1,000 preschool principals in Mexico that began in July 2018, includes in-person training, self-report measures as well as experience sampling to better understand how the curriculum affects educators.

The team hypothesizes that an approach that fosters teachers’ and principals’ socio-emotional competencies and creates a SEL-conducive learning environment will not only result in greater well-being for teachers and principals, but will also nourish a positive school climate that will, in tandem, bolster children’s SEL. 

This initiative will not only serve students in Mexico, but will also expand the scope of early childhood SEL research in Latin America and across the globe. 

People Working on This Study

Daniela Labra Cardero
Daniela Labra Cardero
Founding Partner, AtentaMente
Leandro Chernicoff
Leandro Chernicoff
Graduate Student, Center for Healthy Minds
RichardDavidsonDirectory
Richard J. Davidson
Founder, Center for Healthy Minds & Healthy Minds Innovations, William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry
Sarah Short
Sarah J. Short
Assistant Professor, Dorothy King Chair in Educational Psychology, Center for Healthy Minds
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