2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

High School Students' Changing Perceptions of Silence Through the Use of Breathing Exercises in the English Classroom

Mia P. Pohlman♦
Dr. Rebecca Dierking, Dr. Barbara Price, and Dr. Priscilla Riggle, Faculty Mentors

In “Mindfulness and Intelligence: A Comparison,” Ellen Langer and Justin Brown define mindfulness as “a state in which one is a) open to see information as new, b) sensitive to context, c) creating new categories, or d) aware of more than one perspective” (307). In classrooms across the country, mindfulness has been incorporated in contemplative teaching pedagogies in recent years to teach students listening, focusing, and critical thinking skills that transverse the walls of the classroom to affect students' real lives. This case study engaged rural high school juniors in the contemplative pedagogical practice of keeping journals noting their feelings in circumstances of silence to discover high school students' perceptions of silence. These students then engaged in breathing exercises and written reflections over a three-month period to answer the question: How does incorporating periods of group silence into instruction affect students' thinking in the English classroom?

Keywords: Education, Mindfulness, Contemplative Education, High School English Pedagogy, Silence

Topic(s):English, Secondary MAE Research

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 201-5
Location: MG 1000
Time: 10:30

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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