The Implementation of a Silence Area into the Environment and How it Impacts the Social-Emotional Behavior of the Students
Veilleux, Colleen M.
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Modern children are plagued with struggles that were unheard of decades ago. Due to busy lifestyles and limitless use of technology, the social-‐emotional and physical well-‐being of children is at stake. Children today have increased attention problems, anxiety, and a lack of self-‐regulation and self-‐awareness. Mindfulness is the practice of sitting still and silent, focusing attention inward. Mindful practices cultivate peace and calm within the child, better equipping him/her to handle the stressors of life. The implementation of a silence area into a Montessori environment facilitates these practices by providing children with a space devoted to being still and silent. This action research study surrounds the implementation of a silence area as a means to benefit the social-‐emotional behavior of students. The students’ use of the area was recorded each day. Behavior data was gathered to observe the impact the silence area had on the students. The findings showed a decrease in the amount of behavior that required redirection. Parent surveys were also conducted to gather data and observations of student behavior at home. Those survey results suggested an increase in self-‐awareness and self-‐regulation as observed by the parents. Overall, the results of this study have shown that regular use of the silence area not only provides students with moments of solitude, but also benefits their social-‐ emotional development through gains of self-‐regulation and self-‐awareness. Although more research on the topic of “mindfulness and children” is emerging, research concurs with these findings and their promising effects.