New research shows Transcendental Meditation improves standardized academic achievement

Mar 21, 2011
This graph shows the increased math achievement in meditating students. Credit: Maharishi University of Management

The Transcendental Meditation technique may be an effective approach to improve math and English academic achievement in low-performing students, according to a new study published in the journal Education.

The study was conducted at a California public middle school with 189 students who were below proficiency level in English and math. Change in was evaluated using the California Standards Tests (CST).

"The results of the study provide support to a recent trend in education focusing on student mind/body development for academic achievement," said Dr. Ronald Zigler, study co-author and associate professor at Penn State, Abington. "We need more programs of this kind implemented into our nation's public schools, with further evaluation efforts."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Students who practiced the Transcendental Meditation program showed significant increases in math and English scale scores and performance level scores over a one-year period. Forty-one percent of the meditating students showed a gain of at least one performance level in math compared to 15.0% of the non-meditating controls.

This graph shows the increased English achievement in meditating students. Credit: Maharishi University of Management

Among the students with the lowest levels of academic performance, "below basic" and "far below basic," the meditating students showed a significant improvement in overall academic achievement compared to controls, which showed a slight gain.

"This initial research, showing the benefits of the Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation program on academic achievement, holds promise for public education" said Sanford Nidich, EdD, lead author and professor of education at Maharishi University of Management. "The findings suggest that there is an easy-to-implement, value-added educational program which can help low-performing begin to close the ," said Dr. Nidich.

The middle school level is of particular concern to educators because of low nationally. Sixty-six percent of eighth-grade students are below proficiency level in math and 68% are below proficiency level in reading, based on 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress data.

Faculty surveyed as part of the project reported the Quiet Time/ program to be a valuable addition to the school. They reported the students to be calmer, happier, and less hyperactive, with an increased ability to focus on schoolwork. In terms of the school environment, faculty reported less student fights, less abusive language, and an overall more relaxed and calm atmosphere since implementation of the program.

Explore further: Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physically fit kids do better in school

Jan 28, 2009

A new study in the Journal of School Health found that physically fit kids scored better on standardized math and English tests than their less fit peers.

Closing the Achievement Gap in Math and Science

May 02, 2008

The latest results from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program show not only improved proficiency among all elementary and middle school students, but also a closing ...

Recommended for you

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

2 hours ago

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

apex01
not rated yet Mar 21, 2011
Is this the same as neural programming?
JRDarby
not rated yet Mar 21, 2011
TM is a type of neural programming but not the only type. Any technique(s) used to rewire neural circuitry is neural programming because the programming is in the circuitry. On a somewhat-related note, Robert Anton Wilson often professed the belief that yoga was a system of cognitive development honed by centuries of trial and error.
JRDarby
not rated yet Mar 21, 2011
I think it would be funny to see the reaction from various religious types if these studies' practical implications (vis a vis teaching TM in schools) were ever realized. I can just imagine my own Southern Baptist thinking this means the introduction of demon possession (induced by TM) into the curriculum.
Brasil
not rated yet Mar 21, 2011
More than 600 scientific studies verifying the
wide-ranging benefits of the Transcendental
Meditation technique have been conducted at 250
independent universities and medical schools in 33
countries during the past 40 years. Journals include Scientific American, American Journal of Cardiology, Lancet, Science, and Hypertension (American Heart Association).
RobertKarlStonjek
3 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2011
Does this mean that the time honoured method of getting extremely drunk three times a week will no longer be used?

Surely this madness will not effect the philosophy department...

More news stories

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.