Mindfulness in physical education : an innovative pedagogical approach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Crystal T. Reimer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Ben Dyson

Abstract: Many adolescents in the United States experience stress from daily attendance at and outside school with family and peer interactions beyond their current abilities to cope. One accessible coping strategy, mindfulness, is increasingly known as a source of well-being and stress reduction; however, little is known about its uses in high school physical education (PE). An integrated approach values the physical education curriculum while exploring mindfulness strategies that claim to reduce negative emotions and support students’ ability to cope with daily stressors. This study aimed to explore mindfulness strategies’ role in adolescent well-being in secondary physical education. Data were collected from six students, 14-18 years old, from one urban high school after learning mindfulness during their PE class. An abbreviated Mindful Schools curriculum was delivered in one 30-minute lesson each week for a total of six weeks. Qualitative data collection was based on open-ended interviews, journals, observations, daily check-ins, and a final semi-structured interview. The data analysis process identified three themes: (1) emotional and self-awareness, (2) breath awareness, and (3) learned strategies for future use. Students learned strategies that equipped them with ways to manage conflicts and emotions that resulted in stress reduction. Mindfulness practices for daily living helped students lessen the burden of stressors while increasing their well-being. These practices provided ways for students to take charge of their emotions when conflicts arose and be more present for positive experiences. Additional studies exploring mindfulness-based curricula should be investigated in-depth in different contexts.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Breath awareness, Coping strategies, Physical education, School programming, Social emotional learning, Wellbeing
Physical education and training $x Study and teaching (Secondary)
Mindfulness (Psychology)
Adjustment (Psychology)
Affective education

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