TITLE: Are mindfulness practices implemented in school settings effective in promoting
self-awareness in early adolescents and adolescents?
Social emotional learning competencies are skills that crosscut all subject areas and developmental phases. They are honed over a lifetime, making it essential that schools provide students with meaningful opportunities to develop these skills. Self-awareness is the foundation for the other social emotional learning competencies: self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. There are many different programs and curriculums that can be implemented to teach self-awareness and social emotional learning competencies. This review of literature focuses on how mindfulness practices implemented in school settings affect the self-awareness of adolescents. Research literature includes recent studies from both the fields of education and psychology. Since the research of mindfulness-based interventions in schools is relatively recent, studies about how mindfulness practices may affect the broader social emotional learning and well-being of adolescents were considered and then investigated for specific outcomes related to self-awareness. Research studies covered in this review include those in which teachers or outside mindfulness practitioners taught a variety of mindfulness practices to adolescents in private, alternative, charter, and public school settings. Collectively, the research suggests that mindfulness practices are an effective way to teach self-awareness in school classrooms, but special considerations should be given to the unique developmental phases of adolescence. Further research suggestions include investigating how school geography and demographics, the frequency, content, and instructors of mindfulness practices may affect the development of self-awareness and other social emotional learning competencies of students in different phases of adolescence.
THESIS DEFENDED AND APPROVED: Fall 2018