Developing Field Independence in Chinese Language Secondary School Students through the Transcendental Meditation Program

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Sin Ting Ng
Randi Nidich
Sanford Nidich


Field independence is the ability to focus sharply (analyse) while maintaining broad awareness (synthesize). Its importance for student development is widely recognized by educators. Published studies show significant growth of field independence in students through the regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. One such study evaluated benefits to Chinese language students. To explore this area further, this current study was conducted to evaluate changes in field independence for secondary school students (grade level 7; average age=13 years) practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique in a private Mandarin language secondary school in Malaysia. All students, faculty, and administrators practice the Transcendental Meditation technique twice-daily as part of the regular school day. The purpose of this study was to evaluate change in students’ field independence, using the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT), Thirty-one students participated in this longitudinal study, with pretesting prior to learning the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and post testing five months later. Students practiced the TM program at school twice a day for about 15 minutes. Results indicated significant improvement in field independence over five months due to students’ practice of meditation. Administrators and teachers are encouraged to incorporate practice of TM into the curriculum to enhance students’ cognitive development.


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Ng, S. T., Nidich, R. ., & Nidich, S. . (2021). Developing Field Independence in Chinese Language Secondary School Students through the Transcendental Meditation Program. Asia Pacific Journal of Religions and Cultures, 5(2), 179–189. Retrieved from


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