Bethany Butzer and Iona Smith
Sunday, March 1, 2015 | 11:05 am-12:30 pm
Preliminary research suggests that school-based yoga and mindfulness interventions may have beneficial effects on factors such as psychosocial well-being, attention, and self-regulation. Despite these promising findings, very little has been published regarding best practices for implementing and studying yoga and mindfulness interventions in educational settings. Conducting school-based research often involves the need to balance scientific rigor with the logistical practicalities of evaluating an intervention in a real-world setting. Indeed, school-based mind-body interventions will only be widely adopted to the extent that they are both feasible to implement and effective at improving student outcomes. Thus it is imperative that researchers, education professionals, and school-based yoga and mindfulness program developers work together to share implementation and research best practices. The purpose of this breakout session is to present a summary of best practices based on facilitators and barriers that arose in a large, NIH-funded randomized controlled trial of a yoga and mindfulness intervention for substance use prevention in a middle school setting. The overarching goal of this session is to promote a much-needed dialogue among three key stakeholders: researchers, education professionals, and curriculum developers, all of whom have valuable information to share, yet rarely have an opportunity to interact with one another. This session will include facilitated discussion and experiential activities related to best practices for implementing and researching school-based yoga and mindfulness programs.
- Share perspectives from the project manager who led the research components of a randomized control trial of a school-based yoga and mindfulness intervention, as well as the curriculum developer who facilitated the yoga and mindfulness intervention.
- Provide a collection of best practices gleaned from a shared discussion of implementing and researching school-based yoga and mindfulness programs.
- Encourage a much-needed dialogue regarding implementing and researching school-based yoga and meditation programs among three key stakeholders: researchers, education professionals, and curriculum developers.
- Promote important next steps in this field, particularly with regard to encouraging future research that incorporates strong methodology and feasible program implementation.