Change Your Mind, Change the World

Center for Healthy Minds

University of Wisconsin–Madison
625 W. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703-2637
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Kindness Curriculum Study with Pre-Kindergarten Students

Center researchers are evaluating a mindfulness-based curriculum for 4-year-old pre-kindergarten students.

Our goal is to assess the feasibility and effects of implementing this "Kindness Curriculum," which includes lessons in focused attention, breathing practices, movement exercises to develop awareness, books related to themes of kindness and caring, and activities that provide children with the opportunity to demonstrate acts of kindness toward one another.

Classroom teachers in active training groups have the option of being trained in a modified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, while their students receive the Kindness Curriculum over a 12-week period (with 2-3 lessons per week, each lasting approximately 20 minutes). The children are assessed before and after training through computerized tasks of attention that measure their performance based on accuracy and response times. In addition, measures of working memory, peer relationships, teacher-perceived social competence and sharing are administered in individual testing sessions.

Initial findings indicate that children who took part in the Kindness Curriculum showed improved response times on computer measures of attention and larger gains in social competence compared to the children who did not receive the curriculum.

Sign up to access a free copy of the Kindness Curriculum.

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
Associate Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds
Laura Pinger
Laura Pinger
Senior Outreach Specialist, UW Health Center for Mindfulness
Lisa Thomas Prince
Outreach Specialist, Center for Healthy Minds
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