This Bass Connections project brings together Duke and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill faculty and students, Y.O.G.A. for Youth NC and community educational partners to analyze the effects of a regular yoga and meditation practice on students’ mindfulness, emotional regulation, self-esteem, stress response, resilience, academic performance, social behavior and body image.
The team will pilot original scales and instruments developed by the 2016-2017 team to support the empirical study of yoga and mindfulness in schools. Team members will analyze the effectiveness of this two-tiered approach through pre-, mid- and post-surveys of the yoga classroom students and a non-yoga control classroom; pre- and post-individual class mood scales of the yoga classroom students and a non-yoga control classroom; individual interviews with the yoga classroom teachers; teacher observations of yoga teachers and of classroom teachers by team members; focus groups with yoga classroom students; yoga classroom students and a non-yoga control classroom academic and discipline records pre-, mid- and post-intervention.
“We’re really excited about the next phase of work for our Mindfulness in Human Development team. For the last few years, teams have been working with after school programs and this upcoming year represents a really unique opportunity to incorporate mindfulness into the school day and to rigorously evaluate its effects. The team still has openings so please contact team leaders Keval Khalsa and Michele Berger if you are interested in being involved in really novel research,” said Amy Finnegan, EHD Theme Administrator, Bass Connections.
Students will develop research skills through assisting with onsite data collection; recording, coding and analyzing data; conducting teacher observations and recording, coding and analyzing the data; assisting with setting up and conducting individual interviews and focus groups and recording, coding and analyzing the data. They will be responsible for a variety of written assignments (e.g., preparing field notes based on participant observation of classes), including a paper that reflects on what they learned.
Through this project, students will gain practical experience with designing and implementing a research project; analyzing qualitative and quantitative research; working in a public school setting; working in a nonprofit organization; yoga and meditation practices; and collaborative writing of scholarly articles.
Be part of Bass Connections and participate in 2017-2018. Students with a background or interest in statistics, qualitative methods, experience with coding, interest in working with children and interest in western and alternative medicine are especially encouraged to apply.