Presentation Title

Mindful Reflection as a Tool for Social Emotional Learning

Presenter Information

Meredith C. OlivariFollow

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Psychology

Faculty Mentor

Robert Bruce Thompson

Keywords

Social Emotional Learning, Mindful Reflection, Yoga Inspired curriculum, School, Developmental Psychology, Gender Differences

Abstract

Mindful Reflection as a Tool for Social Emotional Learning:

Results from an SEL Pilot Curriculum

Social Emotional Learning programs have been shown to increase student social and behavioral outcomes, in addition to overall well being and increased school performance (Durlak et al., 2011). Preliminary data suggest that the Kind Mind* SEL curriculum, which is derived from yoga inspired facets of metacognition and mindfulness, showed significant improvements in social and behavioral assets domains, though decreasing negative SEL areas showed less dramatic results. The evaluation process involved direct reports from teachers in regional schools, from kindergarten to 5th grade. The Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was administered by teachers at several schools in order to evaluate each student’s pre-curriculum to post curriculum changes in domains that included positive SEL indicators (prosocial activity, social assets, peer strengths, positive conduct) and negative SEL indicators (peer difficulties, conduct problems, poor self-regulation and emotional difficulties). Potential gender differences were also explored in order to better understand where efficacy of the program might differentially affect boys and girls. Overall, both boys and girls had modest improvements in the reduction in problem behaviors and SEL related self-regulation. The more robust effects were observed in children’s changes in positive SEL indicators (positive peer relations, greater self-regulation and positive conduct). However, based on teacher reports using the SDQ, girls had more substantial and consistent changes in self-regulation in particular, a domain that entails more cognitive/attentional qualities compared to other, more emotion-based areas of evaluation. In summary, an overall trend of increasing positive SEL indicators was observed, especially in the areas of self-regulation, though a much less robust and consistent trend of decreasing negative SEL indicators was observed, especially among boys.

Results suggest that future schools-based SEL interventions may need to be tailored to have content that responds to gender specific areas of strengths and difficulties, but that SEL curricula focused on mindful reflection have beneficial effects overall on social and behavioral domains in a school setting.

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Mindful Reflection as a Tool for Social Emotional Learning

Mindful Reflection as a Tool for Social Emotional Learning:

Results from an SEL Pilot Curriculum

Social Emotional Learning programs have been shown to increase student social and behavioral outcomes, in addition to overall well being and increased school performance (Durlak et al., 2011). Preliminary data suggest that the Kind Mind* SEL curriculum, which is derived from yoga inspired facets of metacognition and mindfulness, showed significant improvements in social and behavioral assets domains, though decreasing negative SEL areas showed less dramatic results. The evaluation process involved direct reports from teachers in regional schools, from kindergarten to 5th grade. The Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was administered by teachers at several schools in order to evaluate each student’s pre-curriculum to post curriculum changes in domains that included positive SEL indicators (prosocial activity, social assets, peer strengths, positive conduct) and negative SEL indicators (peer difficulties, conduct problems, poor self-regulation and emotional difficulties). Potential gender differences were also explored in order to better understand where efficacy of the program might differentially affect boys and girls. Overall, both boys and girls had modest improvements in the reduction in problem behaviors and SEL related self-regulation. The more robust effects were observed in children’s changes in positive SEL indicators (positive peer relations, greater self-regulation and positive conduct). However, based on teacher reports using the SDQ, girls had more substantial and consistent changes in self-regulation in particular, a domain that entails more cognitive/attentional qualities compared to other, more emotion-based areas of evaluation. In summary, an overall trend of increasing positive SEL indicators was observed, especially in the areas of self-regulation, though a much less robust and consistent trend of decreasing negative SEL indicators was observed, especially among boys.

Results suggest that future schools-based SEL interventions may need to be tailored to have content that responds to gender specific areas of strengths and difficulties, but that SEL curricula focused on mindful reflection have beneficial effects overall on social and behavioral domains in a school setting.

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