Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Robyne Elder

Second Advisor

Roger "Mitch" Nasser Jr.

Third Advisor

Kevin Winslow


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which unfolded from 2019 to 2021, disrupted education systems worldwide, leading to significant learning loss and inequities. The shift to digital learning, necessitated by the pandemic, presented challenges such as learning loss and social-emotional impacts. This study investigates the incorporation of Social Emotional Learning(SEL), with mindfulness, into the school curriculum to address these challenges.

The focus of the study is on the implementation of Mindful Doodling as a component of SEL within an interactive notebook in a middle school science curriculum to enhance student achievement. The study aimed to analyze how different amounts of Mindful Doodling in various settings impact achievement in a small, private middle school in the Midwest. The investigator assessed student achievement levels using pre- and post-assessment unit tests and evaluated the effectiveness of Mindful Doodling in different settings, including virtual, hybrid, and in-person learning.

The rationale for this study stemmed from the disruptive effects of the pandemic on traditional classroom structures and the resulting impact on student achievement and mental health. The shift to virtual learning created isolation and stress, prompting educators to seek ways to mitigate these effects. Mindful activities, including Mindful Doodling, were introduced into the curriculum to reduce stress.

The conceptual framework was grounded in the practice of mindfulness, emphasizing being present in the moment. Mindfulness has been associated with improved physical and mental health, reduced stress, and greater life appreciation. The study focused on the impact of Mindful Doodling on student achievement, exploring whether the frequency of Mindful Doodling and the learning environment (virtual, hybrid, or in-person) played a role in this impact.

The study set forth four hypotheses to answer the research questions, exploring the relationship between Mindful Doodling and student achievement in different settings. The independent variables included Mindful Doodling practices, frequency of doodling, and the learning environment, while the dependent variable is student achievement.

The study's delimitations included a specific time frame and location, focusing on seventh-grade science students in a suburban private middle school during the 2020-2021 school year. The limitations involved the sample demographics and the use of instructor-created assessments.

In summary, this research sought to fill the gap in the understanding of how Mindful Doodling can positively impact student achievement, especially in a post-pandemic learning environment characterized by stress and isolation. The results of this study may provide valuable insights for educators and policymakers looking to enhance SEL practices and improve student outcomes, which includes the incorporation of Mindful Doodling across the curriculum, and expansion of further research, by expanding the study population, as well as expanding the Mindful Doodling practice.