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Enhancing Cognitive and Social-Emotional Development through a Simple-to-Administer Mindfulness-Based School Program for Elementary School Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

According to the author of this experimental research, educators are in the right direction and are highly looked up to regarding raising the standard of performance of their students while ministering to their emotional needs. This, according to the study done by the author, is a major and critical challenge the education system is facing in educating the current students of this time, which again forms the basis or the interest of the study (Mackey, Park, Robinson, & Gabrieli, 2017). In the experiment, the hypothesis was actualized by providing evidence on curricula that analyzed education or learning processes in connection with the social adaptation of the student. Also, the solution to the above hypothesis involved coming up with SEL programs that involve mindfulness for others, which is created to target elementary school students, which, when appropriately conducted, would promote cognitive control, lower stress, enhance harmonious social growth, and finally record good school outcome (Mackey et al., 2017). This would ensure that children under this program are in good health and are all around in their development, which is essentially the very essence of education: the harmonious development of the physical and mental powers of an individual.

The researcher experimented while investigating a total number of students of 99 comprised of four 4th and 5th grade classes. The researcher then subdivided these groups into two major subgroups; in which the first group had the privilege of receiving SEL and all mindful programs while in contrary, while the second group of students was taken under the regular social responsibility program, and the results from the two classes were compared. In the experiment, four teachers were selected, the tests were administered, and all the assessments were conducted after one academic year had ended. The study was conducted to cover the very specific designated parameters, which comprised stress physiology, EFs through salivary cortisol, peer reports, math grades, and self-reports.

At the end of the experiment, the author (researcher) concluded a remarkable improvement in cognitive control and stress physiology. Also, regular empathy levels were recorded. There was a significant decrease in the symptoms of self-reported depression and peer-rated aggression. There was also an improvement in sociometric popularity for the children who received SEL with mindful programs (Mackey et al., 2017).

I would recommend that the experiment be used as the actual data of what is taking place on the actual ground together with the suggested solutions. However, there are some shortcomings of the experiment that I feel would have greatly contributed to the results being inaccurate. These various concerns I feel will make a keen user of the same data to question the validity or authenticity of the findings. A good example is where the author picks the 4th and 5th grade age difference as the targeted “specimen” individual and at the same time mentions this age range as the optimum for puberty (Parker, 2018). This raises a lot of questions as to the success of the students under the different programs, as it can be argued that the success of these students, to some extent, was influenced by their biological developments rather than purely the positive effects of programs (Parker, 2018). This means that if a different age range, for instance, from 2nd to 5th, were to be used, then perhaps different results could be attained!

Another challenge or limitation of the findings in this experiment is that different teachers were used to deliver a given portion of the program content per week. It is true that different teachers have different teaching modes (teaching styles), and thus, this could have greatly affected the experiment’s outcome (Mackey et al., 2017).

If the chance was provided and I was given an opportunity to conduct the same experiment I would ensure that the above-mentioned limitations and challenges are considered. I would conclude, therefore, that the experiment was well conducted and the findings convincing; however, the reliability of the results is questioned, and if there need be, the author should address the prevailing questions before the results are believed to be an accurate account of what transpires on the ground (Parker, 2018).


Mackey, A. P., Park, A. T., Robinson, S. T., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2017). A Pilot Study of Classroom-Based Cognitive Skill Instruction: Effects on Cognition and Academic Performance. Mind, Brain, and Education, 11(2), 85–95.

Parker, L. (2018). Mindfulness in Early Childhood Education: Supporting Cognitive and Social-Emotional Well-being in Primary Classrooms.



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