Mindfulness for early childhood :|bteachers, families, and children

ABSTRACT MINDFULNESS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD: TEACHERS, FAMILIES, AND CHILDREN By Vartuhe Rose Drmandjian Master of Arts in Education, Educational Psychology This thesis project explores mindfulness, the act of "paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally," (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, p. 4) as it applies to early childhood settings. Historically, mindfulness has been associated with a number of religions, but more recently, secularized programs have been used in a variety of settings to help people cope with pain, reduce stress, and heighten positive affect (Arch & Craske, 2006; Taylor et al., 2015). Existing research on mindfulness interventions for teachers examines how practicing mindfulness effects stress levels and job satisfaction (Taylor et al., 2015). Current research also explores how it impacts the social and emotional development of children (Flook et al., 2015). Given the findings of such studies, it may be useful to merge the two areas of study to coalesce both practicing and teaching mindfulness with young children. In this project, 25 graduate students in Early Childhood Education were offered a 2-hour workshop on mindfulness, including definitions, activities, group discussions, and applications. The results of pre and post-workshop questionnaires indicated that a majority of participants were very interested in learning about mindfulness, and found the workshop to be extremely useful and informative.