An Evaluation of a Mindfulness Programme in a Primary School
The study sought to evaluate mindfulness in a primary school through investigating pupil and adult opinions of a whole class programme. Positioned as democratic evaluation, it was underpinned by a social justice framework using case study methods.
The programme was taught to a Year 3 class by the researcher. Pre- and post-programme interviews from three teaching assistants, as non-participant observers, supported the construction and amendment of personal concept maps. The researcher’s diary included personal responses and weekly conversations with observers. Pupil views were gathered through focus group discussions following each lesson. Audio recordings were transcribed and analysed thematically along with adult interviews, concept maps and diary extracts.
Themes arising indicated that lessons were both enjoyable and accessible, to a considerable extent, for all pupils and the programme received a high degree of confirmation. Deeper concepts were illuminated such as the fusion of mindfulness and social-emotional education to enhance learning. The impact of facilitator beliefs was also explored in relation to promoting social justice principles. Adaptations were identified for increasing effectiveness and principled application within and beyond the classroom. Future directions for research highlighted the development in qualitative investigations of mindfulness within primary school and greater opportunities for participant evaluations in new programme development.
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