Research on Meditation in Schools

University of Melbourne, Australia researchers have found that meditation as an intervention in schools is very effective in promoting well being, social competence and academic achievement of students. Meditation was found to improve emotional regulation and cognitive functioning of students.

Educ Psychol Rev (2015) 27:103–134
DOI 10.1007/s10648-014-9258-2

Contemplative Education: A Systematic,
Evidence-Based Review of the effect of Meditation
Interventions in Schools
Lea Waters & Adam Barsky & Amanda Ridd & Kelly Allen
Published online: 4 March 2014

# The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at

Abstract Schools need reliable evidence about the outcomes of meditation programs before
they consider if and how such programmes can influence learning agendas, curriculum and
timetables. This paper reviewed evidence from 15 peer-reviewed studies of school meditation
programmes with respect to three student outcomes: well-being, social competence and
academic achievement. In total, there were 76 results where effect sizes could be calculated.
The overall number of participants in the effect size analyses was 1,797. Of the 76 effect sizes
calculated, 61 % were statistically significant. Sixty-seven per cent of the results had small
effects on student outcomes, 24 % of the results had medium effect strength and 9 % showed a
large effect of meditation upon student outcomes. Transcendental meditation programmes had
a higher percentage of significant effects than mindfulness-based and other types of meditation
programmes, but this may be to do with the settings and programme delivery rather than the
technique itself. Programme elements such as duration, frequency of practice and type of
instructor influenced student outcomes. A conceptual model is put forward based on two
propositions: proposition 1—meditation positively influences student success by increasing
cognitive functioning; proposition 2—meditation positively influences student success by
increasing emotional regulation. Suggestions are made to stimulate future research and to
assist in the development of more efficacious applications for meditation in schools.