In the 2011-12 school year, Mindful Schools partnered with the University of California, Davis to conduct the largest randomized-controlled study to date on mindfulness and children, involving 915 children and 47 teachers in 3 Oakland public schools.
The Mindful Schools curriculum (which has been taught to over 30,000 children) produced statistically significant improvements in behavior versus the control group with just four hours of mindfulness instruction for the students–a very small, low-cost treatment.
In addition to the study’s size, it is notable for the population served and the environment around the schools. There are very high levels of crime around the three schools that were studied — surroundings that add tremendous turmoil to children’s lives. In 2010, Oakland was ranked 5th in the United States in violent crime.
In addition, 85% of the students in the study were on Free Lunch and 6% were on Reduced Lunch. 68% of the students were English Language Learners. 49% of the parents did not have high school diplomas.
A new film, Room to Breathe showe Mindful Schools at a San Francisco middle school with the highest district suspensions.