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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
Former Associate Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds
Simon Goldberg
Core Faculty at the Center for Healthy Minds, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology
Laura Pinger
Laura Pinger
Former Senior Outreach Specialist, UW Health Center for Mindfulness
Lisa Thomas Prince
Former Outreach Specialist, Center for Healthy Minds

Media Related to this Project

Fox Valley's young children are learning mindfulness through the Kindness Curriculum. But what is it?
Mar 30, 2023
Center for Healthy Minds's Kindness Curriculum is a science-based series of lessons and activities for young children that seeks to build skills like empathy, compassion, kindness and forgiveness through mindfulness practices.
St. George’s Episcopal School stresses social and emotional learning
Jan 21, 2020
Teachers at St. George’s Episcopal School in New Orleans share their experience with the Center's Kindness Curriculum
Center for Healthy Minds offers 'Kindness Curriculum' to parents and teachers
Oct 14, 2019
Center Founder and Director Richard Davidson talks about the Kindness Curriculum, developed by researchers at the center, and how it can help children learn how pay closer attention to their emotions and behave more altruistically.
The Kindness Curriculum
Oct 10, 2019
Center Founder and Director Richard Davidson shares insights about the Kindness Curriculum, which is a free resource available to teachers and parents of young children.
Researchers Develop Mindfulness-Based Kindness Curriculum for Preschoolers
Sep 04, 2019
Center Founder and Director Richard Davidson talks about the Kindness Curriculum and how it can help preschoolers pay closer attention to their emotions
UW-Madison Professor Develops Kindness Curriculum
Sep 03, 2019
Center Founder Richard Davidson discusses the Kindness Curriculum and how it can help preschool-aged children develop kindness as a skill.
First Residential School In Asia-Pacific Region For Special Children
Dec 10, 2018
Center founder Richard Davidson shares insights on how secular version of meditation practices can be beneficial for children to learn to pay attention and to regulate their emotions which lead to better performance in schools
How Do You Teach Kindness To Your Children?
Jan 26, 2018
The Kindness Curriculum from the Center for Healthy Minds provides a framework for teaching compassion and kindness skills in children.
Nurturing Kindness in Young Children
Jan 25, 2018
Center Founder Richard Davidson talks with Edutopia about fostering altruism, kindness, and compassion in children.
Pre-schoolers Learn Kindness, Mindfulness
Jan 17, 2018
Pre-kindergarten students at Jackson Heights, Queens are being taught kindness. They are one of the first public schools in New York City to introduce the Center Healthy Minds' Kindness Curriculum, a mindfulness-based curriculum for pre-K students.
Here's What a 'Kindness Curriculum' Looks Like
Sep 20, 2017
Researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Healthy Minds have created a "kindness curriculum" which they have tested in six schools in that city. The curriculum is available online for free.
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