Early childhood is an especially sensitive period in life, and a time when the brain undergoes rapid development. As such, training during this period has the potential for significant and lifelong impact. Educators of young children play a pivotal role in shaping student outcomes and success. Therefore, we are harnessing mental training techniques that have been shown to promote mental and physical health in various contexts, and applying them in early education settings within public schools. We will present findings from research on mindfulness training with teachers and preschool students. Elementary school teachers who participated in an eight-week modified mindfulness-based stress reduction training showed reduced stress and burnout, increased self compassion, and improvements in classroom teaching practices. Among preschoolers who received training in a 12-week kindness curriculum, findings demonstrate increased self-regulation and prosocial behavior as compared to a waitlist control group. Implications of this research and future directions will be discussed.
Simon Goldberg, PhD
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Fellow, Grantee, Reviewer
Dr. Simon Goldberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Core Faculty at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He … MORE