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Related research and findings in support of SEE Learning models

Research shows that a child’s capacity for self-regulation and other qualities of emotional intelligence are more important predictors of important young adult outcomes than grade point average and standardized test scores (Moffitt et al., 2011).

There are sensitive periods of neuroplasticity over the course of development when the maturing brain is more sensitive to influences to re-organize and transform.  These periods include the time around birth, at the onset of schooling (ages 4-7 years) and during adolescence (ages 13-17 years). Moreover, because small changes early in life can have multiplicative impact as children develop, we reasoned that interventions for younger children can be particularly powerful and result in enduring impact.  It is for this reason that we developed the Mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum (KC) for children in the 4-7 year period.

We conducted a randomized controlled trial of the KC in a public school district in Madison, WI, USA (Flook, Goldberg, Pinger, & Davidson, 2015). The findings from this study show that children randomly assigned to classrooms in which the KC was taught showed greater improvements in social competence and earned higher report card grades in domains of learning, health, and social-emotional development, whereas the control group exhibited more selfish behavior over time. These findings support the efficacy of the KC and show its value in cultivating prosocial behavior in young children.

We believe that teachers will show significant improvement on core dimensions of well-being after going through the mindfulness-based training program.  We further expect that the students receiving the KC from these teachers will show gains on measures of empathy, prosocial behavior (sharing, cooperation) and also improvements on executive functions such as the self-regulation of attention and resistance to distraction.


A. On mindfulness-based curriculums and their impacts

Killingsworth, M. A., & Gilbert, D. T. (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science, 330(6006), 932.

Moffitt, T. E., Arseneault, L., Belsky, D., Dickson, N., Hancox, R. J., Harrington, H., … Caspi, A. (2011). A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(7), 2693–2698.

Xu, G., Strathearn, L., Liu, B., Yang, B., & Bao, W. (2018). Twenty-Year Trends in Diagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among US Children and Adolescents, 1997-2016. JAMA Network Open, 1(4), e181471.

B. On mindfulness for children and positive parenting

Knowles, L.M., Goodman, M.S., Semple, R.J. (2015) Mindfulness with Elementary-School-Age Children. Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens. Willard, C.& Saltzman,A (ed). › excerpts › willard

Parenting: Five keys to positive child development

Plummer, D (2012). Focusing and Calming Games for Children. Jessica Kingsley Publishers U.K.