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Study Finds Mindfulness Exercises Improve Academic Performance

A new trial published in Developmental Psychology suggests the effects of mindfulness can help improve student performance.

"Researchers wanted to test the effects of a program that promotes social and emotional learning--peppered with mindfulness and kindness exercises--called MindUP," reported TIME magazine.

The study included roughly 100 4th and 5th grade students broken in to two groups. One group received four months of the MindUP program, and the other received a standard "social responsibility" program. During the four months the study was conducted, researchers analyzed different aspects of the students well being, including social interaction and academic scores. The results they found were surprising.

"I really did not anticipate that we would have so many positive findings across all the multiple levels we looked at," said study co-author, Kimberly Schonert-Reichl. Children in the study showed to have had 15% better math scores, 24% more social behaviors, were 24% less aggressive, and saw themselves as 20% more prosocial. As reported by TIME, "they outperformed their peers in cognitive control, stress levels, emotional control, optimism, empathy, mindfulness, and aggression."

While more studies need to be conducted, these initial results are promising.

Read the full story. If you've used mindfulness techniques in the classroom, we'd like to hear from you. Comment below and/or write editor[at]educationworld.com to share your story.

By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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