This action research explores social and emotional learning (SEL) programming in the elementary classroom, with a focus on mindfulness practices. Factors affecting implementation of mindfulness programming were investigated by interviewing six administrators and six teachers at five elementary schools. Qualitative data was collected and analyzed in categories of program differentiation, participant responsiveness, training and expertise, collaboration and challenges. Program implementation occurred though a combination of direct and indirect approaches correlating with current research in mindfulness programming. The primary drivers of implementation were intensive collaborative supports, direct teaching of mindfulness skills with a primary focus on MindUP™ curriculum, and teacher and administrator adoption of the personal and professional practices of a mindful educator. The Zones of Regulation™ was discovered to be a foundational cornerstone providing a common language and self regulation framework. Mindfulness practices provided students with the tools to navigate through the zones of regulating mind and body, significantly increasing interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies, resulting in an increased sense of social and emotional wellbeing.
Action Research Project for Master of Education in Educational Leadership.
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