A Mindfulness-Based Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum for School-Aged Children: The MindUP Program

  • Jacqueline E. MaloneyEmail author
  • Molly Stewart Lawlor
  • Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl
  • Jenna Whitehead
Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)


In this chapter, we describe the MindUP program: A universal, mindfulness-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program designed to be implemented in schools by regular classroom teachers. We discuss how mindfulness practices and SEL activities may be synergistic, potentially bolstering the efficacy of each, and describe the iterative process of developing, implementing, and evaluating a program that includes both elements. We suggest that the transitional years of pre- and early adolescence (i.e., 9–12 year olds) may be a particularly effective time to introduce mindfulness practices to young people. We emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary research in evaluating mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for students and teachers alike, research that utilizes mixed-method designs and that examines multiple outcomes from multiple observers (e.g., self-reports, teacher reports, peer reports). To illustrate our perspective on implementation science and mindfulness programs in education, we provide an overview of several studies conducted on MindUP. Furthermore, we report findings from research examining students’ and teachers’ descriptions of their experiences with MindUP as a way in which to further understand the program’s effectiveness from the perspectives of the consumers. Finally, we discuss potential directions for future research on mindfulness-based SEL programs.


Mindfulness Education Social–emotional learning Children Positive psychology Executive functions Elementary schools Neuroscience Mindfulness-based interventions Well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline E. Maloney
    • 1
    Email author
  • Molly Stewart Lawlor
    • 1
  • Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl
    • 1
  • Jenna Whitehead
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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