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Efficacy and Implementation of HeartMath Instruction in College Readiness Program: Improving Students' Mathematics Performance and Learning

Michael Vislocky, Ph.D. and Ronald P. Leslie, Ph.D.

University of Cincinnati Clermont College, 2005.

For a PDF version of the complete paper, click here.

Abstract

In 2002, the University of Cincinnati Clermont College (UCCC) and the Greater Cincinnati Tech Prep Consortium (GCTPC) formed a partnership to address the pedagogical needs of high school students in the area of mathematics in order to prepare them for entry into higher education. Over the past four years (2002-2005), HeartMath emotional management training has been offered to Tech Prep students. It is well established that both math courses and math tests can lead to anxiety, and anxiety, in turn, interferes with students' performance in mathematics. On the first day of instruction, students completed the COMPASS Math Placement Test and the post-test was completed on the last day. The math portion was in the form of guided program learning directed at their skill level as determined by their score on the COMPASS pre-test. Instructors were available to answer student questions. In the years 2002-2004, instruction on HeartMath tools and math skills were presented in separate classrooms. In 2005, the two forms of instruction were combined in the 3-hour class. Looking at the average improvement in test points from the COMPASS pre-test and post-test, the following results were obtained: 2002 – 19% average percent increase; 2003 – 15% average percent increase; 2004 – 24% average percent increase; 2005 – 73% average percent increase.