Photo of Professor MorenoAn Erikson-led study on mindfulness in Chicago classrooms is showing promises of students who are calmer, more focused, and ready to learn, says Assistant Professor Amanda Moreno, Ph.D. Dr. Moreno’s comments appeared in a story published by neaToday about the effects of trauma on children’s brains. neaToday is the publication of the National Education Association.

According to the article, “Although her study is not yet complete, teachers and principals have told her that the time they are spending on mindfulness actually is leading to more time for instruction. Students refocus more quickly after transitions, and calm down after upsets. This makes classrooms more efficient, but it also helps with an even bigger goal: Helping children grow up to be healthy adults.”

The $3 million study, primarily funded by a U.S. Department of Education i3 grant, is the largest of its kind to date and the only study in the nation that is looking at whether mindfulness exercises can improve academic achievement in young children who are primarily from minority, low-income households. The study is reaching 2,000 Chicago Public School students over four years.

nea Today: How Trauma is Changing Children’s Brains