Student Perceptions of Participating in a Mindfulness-Based Program in School: A Photovoice-Informed Case Study

  • Author / Creator
    Armstrong, Lisa E.
  • Wellbeing in school-aged children is a systemic and growing public health concern throughout Canada and abroad. School-based health promotion initiatives which utilize a Comprehensive School Health (CSH) approach are one way to address this problem. Research using a CSH approach continues to grow, including research demonstrating the utility of mindfulness-based initiatives in schools for promoting student wellbeing. What is lacking from this body of research are student voices. Therefore, this study explored students’ perceptions of their experiences and impacts of participating in a mindfulness-based initiative, the HeartMath Pilot Program, in the classroom. A qualitative case study utilizing a photovoice-informed method was conducted to gain an understanding of students’ perceptions. Participants included 46 grade five students at a public elementary school in a mid-sized city in Canada. Our findings indicated that students perceived the impact to mainly be the experience of calm, primarily elicited by mindful breathing, and facilitated by practicing in a quiet space, with friends, and/or with a designated teddy bear. The students perceived practicing mindfulness-based skills aided them in reducing stress, facilitating pro-social skills, and in falling asleep. By providing an avenue for grade five students to share their experiences and perceptions in their own words, our findings can inform contextual implementation considerations for future research and practice of mindfulness-based initiatives with students in school-based settings.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.