Date Approved

8-1-2017

Embargo Period

8-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, Sydney J.

Second Advisor

Accardo, Amy

Subject(s)

Mindfulness (Psychology); Yoga; Attention in children

Disciplines

School Psychology | Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

This paper explores the effectiveness of implementing mindfulness and yoga techniques in two sections of fourth grade inclusion language arts classes. More specifically, this paper examines the effectiveness of yoga and mindfulness techniques on the frequency of off-task behaviors and academic achievement. It was hypothesized that off-task behaviors would occur less frequently and that academic performance in writing would improve after a yoga and mindfulness intervention was implemented.

Using a pre-post no-control design, thirty-six students, eighteen per class, from a public elementary school in Southern New Jersey participated in this investigation. Baseline and post implementation data were collected using On-Demand writing prompts, as well as teacher-made data collection sheets for off-task behavior. Using resources from Educate 2B!, Little Flower Yoga, and the Newark Yoga Movement, yoga and mindfulness exercises were taught to students during the first five minutes of class, over an intervention period of four weeks.

This study found that, based on pre-post data, all of the off-task behaviors lessened in frequency in both classes. Additionally, more than half of the students in each class improved their academic performance after the intervention. It was also determined that students could independently use and apply the exercises to other situation. These findings suggest that yoga and mindfulness are potentially promising techniques for improving focus, attention, and academic achievement in the inclusive classroom.

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