Date of Award
Action Research Project
Master of Arts in Education
Montessori Early Childhood
The purpose of this research was to optimize the development of the will, a level of self-regulation, and cognitive function of primary-aged children through the habitual use of designated meditative activities. Past research and studies relating to meditation, neuroscience, the sensory needs of children and human development have determined that age-appropriate meditation exercises with preschool children would foster the development of self-regulation (Schwatz, 2011; Semple, Lee & Rosa, Miller, 2009; Thompson & Raisor, 2013; Zelazo & Lyons 2011). This four week study integrated tangible meditation tools and outlets: a yoga mat, bolster, a booklet with pictures of four restorative yoga poses, a wood hand-massaging ball, noise-cancelling headphones and a meditation space with a floor cushion. It involved 28 children between the ages of three and six-years-old in a private Montessori school in Minnesota. Data collection included a daily observation chart, behavioral scale, tally and end of study parent feedback/observations. Results showed the meditative activities did not increase the children’s self-regulated behavior. However, it did indicate any "work" done with intention could be considered a meditative activity that does not necessarily consist of yoga or massage. Suggestions for further research include an extended study period that could expand to providing meditative opportunities for infants and toddlers and interviewing adults who were exposed to meditative activities as a primary-aged child, infant or toddler. Following up with adults who were provided the opportunity to engage in meditative activities as a child may solidify whether exposure to meditative activities at an early age would help individuals achieve an optimal development of self-regulation and will through habitual use of meditative activities.
Padua-Evans, Vanessa I.. (2016). The Effects of Meditative Activities for Primary-Aged Children. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: http://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/158