Skip Navigation

Can Mindfulness Practice Help Children Learn?

A group working with mindfulness meditation in local public elementary schools has created a developmentally appropriate mindfulness curriculum and completed the first phase of their research. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” This group’s study centered on two questions: Can children learn mindfulness practice in an eight-week, small group format, and if so, is there evidence of enhanced attention and concentration?

The three-year, College/school-counselor collaborative research project is based at Keene State College and supported by New Hampshire School Counselor Association. The collaborative includes professional school counselors and graduate students, a clinical psychologist, and a school counselor educator.

The group has started to share initial findings with other counselors and educators. In September several members presented at the 2008 North Atlantic Regional Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NARACES) Conference in Portland, Maine. The group presented to KSC faculty on December 1, and at the fall New Hampshire School Counselor Association Southwest Regional Meeting in November. Presenters include Lynn Merlone, Jaffrey Grade School, Jaffrey, N.H.; Susan Theberge, Keene State College; Robin Gregg, Contoocook Valley School District, Peterborough, N.H.; Linda Galanes, Wheelock School, Keene, N.H.; Becky Kohler, Nelson/Harrisville/Marlow N.H. schools; Emily Bullock, Newfane Elementary School, Newfane, Vt.; and Martha Mae Emerson. An article about their work, “ The Practical Effects of Teaching Mindfulness to Children in Schools,” will appear in Professional School Counseling. For more information about the project please contact Susan Theberge,

Contact Marketing & Communications

Sarah Kossayda
Director of Marketing
☎ 603-358-2119