We all know that yoga works. Here’s your chance to prove it! It’s helpful to have research from other yoga programs. It’s even more beneficial if you have your own research from your teaching. Program evaluation is vital to convincing schools, parents, teachers, and administrators that yoga is worth it!
You may be thinking, “I’m not a researcher, how can I gather data?” Here are some tips:
Define Goal of Research & Yoga Class: First decide what you want your students to gather from your yoga class. For example, the overarching goals for my classes and research were to “provide students with supportive tools to help focus, relax and bring about awareness in order to manage emotions.” Once you have your goal in mind, you can develop specific components of your survey. For example, I wanted my classes to provide tools to students so they know what to do when they are feeling anxious, angry and sad, improve body awareness, learning ways to help focus & concentrate, and provide relaxation. When you have defined why you are teaching your classes and what your research could help support, it will be easier to develop your own survey.
Pre-Test & Post-Test: In order to support your claim that yoga supports self-regulation and body awareness, it is important to have a baseline. Distribute exactly the same survey the first day of yoga class and the final day of class if possible. This is helpful for you to create a comparison.
Age Appropriate: Make sure to make your research age appropriate. For Pre-K-2nd grade, I prefer to have a space for drawing in addition to the writing portion. This provides an additional way for the child to express their feelings in addition to the writing prompt.
Research Sample: Here is an example survey that I used based on a 3 Option Likert scale (always, sometimes, never) for children in 3rd-5th Grade.
- I can calm myself down when I feel angry
- I am aware of feelings of anxiousness or worry
- I can listen to how my body is feeling
- I can focus most of the time on my schoolwork
- I notice when my body needs to relax
- I have a skill to calm down in the classroom
- I know more about my body and breath
- I can calm myself down when I feel upset
- I can recognize stress, tightness or stiffness in my body
Additional Assessment Ideas
Research is great for school districts and parents. It is even more important for YOU! It helps you determine if you are teaching what you think you are teaching and if your students understand. Good luck in your research and please share once your data has been gathered!