Academic Achievement And Transcendental Meditation: A Study With At-Risk Urban Middle School Students
Authors: Nidich, Sanford; Mjasiri, Shujaa; Nidich, Randi; Rainforth, Maxwell; Grant, James; Valosek, Laurent; Chang, Walter; Zigler, Ronald L.
Published: Education, Spring 2011, Vol. 131 Issue 3, p556-564, 9p
Methods: The middle school level is of particular concern to educators because of poor standardized test performance. This study evaluated change in academic achievement in public middle school students practicing the Transcendental Meditation program compared to controls. A total of 189 students who were below proficiency level at baseline in English and math, were evaluated for change in academic achievement, using the California Standards Tests (CST). All students were from the same school and continued with the school’s standard curriculum and instruction. Ninety-seven percent were racial and ethnic minority students. The Transcendental Meditation program was practiced at school twice a day as part of the school’s Quiet Time program for three months prior to posttesting.
Results: Results indicated improvement for meditating students compared to controls on English scale scores (p = .002) and math scale scores (p < .001). A greater percentage of meditating students improved at least one performance level in math and English compared to controls (p values < .01). A matched-control subgroup yielded similar results. Results of this project indicate that it is feasible to have at-risk students regularly practice meditation at school and that meditation may help at-risk students improve academically, thereby helping to close the achievement gap.
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