This presentation will report on a small scale action research project with four maintained nursery schools about how a co-produced mindfulness approach can support young children to develop self regulation skills. Research suggests that mindfulness is an effective strategy for adults, but little research has been conducted on its impact for young children. Evidence points to the importance of relational strategies in teaching children to self-regulate: those under 6 years cannot be expected to practice mindfulness alone, they need a guiding adult to co-regulate with them (Conkbayir, 2017). This project aims to help address this gap in research. The project was qualitative and co-produced with four maintained nursery schools, using a ‘train the trainer’ model. A lead mindfulness expert (from one of the nursery schools) trained an educator in each of the four nursery schools to deliver a 10 week mindfulness intervention with a group of children. Mindfulness leads were interviewed at the beginning and end of the project. During the intervention they were asked to keep a journal of their experiences. Each mindfulness lead was observed once delivering a group time (including mindfulness activities) to a group of children. This presentation reports on initial findings from the project.
Dr Sandra Lyndon is a reader in Childhood and Social Policy at the University of Chichester. She is the research champion for Childhood and programme coordinator for the BA Hons Early Childhood level 6 top up. Sandra has worked with children and young people for over 20 years as a qualified teacher and later as an educational psychologist. Sandra completed her doctoral studies at the University of Sussex and her research interests include poverty, mindfulness practices, homelessness, intergenerational practice, and narrative methodologies.
Debra Laxton is Senior Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood Lead at the University of Chichester. She has spent her whole career focused on the care and education of young children. Debra currently teaches across Initial Teacher Training and Education provision, focusing on early years education in pre-school settings and primary schools. Debra’s research interests explore how translational research, the movement of research-informed knowledge into professional use, can impact on educator practice to enhance the lives and experiences of young children both in global crisis settings and in the United Kingdom.