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Accumulating research in education shows that contemplative practices contribute to and foster well-being of individuals in sustainable ways. This bears special importance for teachers, as it affects not only them but also their students. Based on accumulating behavioral and neuroscientific findings, it has been suggested that a key process by which mindfulness meditation enhances self-regulation is the altering of self-awareness. Indeed, accumulated work shows that the underlying networks supporting various types of self-awareness are malleable following meditative practice. However, the field of education has developed independently from the study of the self and its relation to contemplative neuroscience thus far, and to date there is no systematic account linking this accumulating body of knowledge to the field of education or discussing how it might be relevant to teachers. Here we show how incorporating insights from contemplative neuroscience—which are built on the conceptualization and neuroscience of the self—into contemplative pedagogy can inform the field and might even serve as a core underlying mechanism tying together different empirical evidence. This review points to potential neural mechanisms by which mindfulness meditation helps teachers manage stress and promote supportive learning environments, resulting in improved educational outcomes, and thus it has significant implications for educational policy regarding teachers.
Accumulating research in education shows that contemplative practices contribute to and foster well-being of individuals in sustainable ways. This bears special importance for teachers, as it affects not only them but also their students. Based on accumulating behavioral and neuroscientific findings, it has been suggested that a key process by which mindfulness meditation enhances self-regulation is the altering of self-awareness. Indeed, accumulated work shows that the underlying networks supporting various types of self-awareness are malleable following meditative practice. However, the field of education has developed independently from the study of the self and its relation to contemplative neuroscience thus far, and to date there is no systematic account linking this accumulating body of knowledge to the field of education or discussing how it might be relevant to teachers. Here we show how incorporating insights from contemplative neuroscience-which are built on the conceptualization and neuroscience of the self-into contemplative pedagogy can inform the field and might even serve as a core underlying mechanism tying together different empirical evidence. This review points to potential neural mechanisms by which mindfulness meditation helps teachers manage stress and promote supportive learning environments, resulting in improved educational outcomes, and thus it has significant implications for educational policy regarding teachers.
This article draws on research in neuroscience, cognitive science, developmental psychology, and education, as well as scholarship from contemplative traditions concerning the cultivation of positive development, to highlight a set of mental skills and socioemotional dispositions that are central to the aims of education in the 21st century. These include self-regulatory skills associated with emotion and attention, self-representations, and prosocial dispositions such as empathy and compassion. It should be possible to strengthen these positive qualities and dispositions through systematic contemplative practices, which induce plastic changes in brain function and structure, supporting prosocial behavior and academic success in young people. These putative beneficial consequences call for focused programmatic research to better characterize which forms and frequencies of practice are most effective for which types of children and adolescents. Results from such research may help refine training programs to maximize their effectiveness at different ages and to document the changes in neural function and structure that might be induced. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Child Development Perspectives is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
This study examined the cost of implementing the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) for Teachers professional development program during a randomized controlled trial targeting a diverse sample of public elementary school teachers in New York City. Detailed budget information collected during the study was used to identify the cost of all necessary resources associated with program implementation. The largest expense category was opportunity costs associated with teacher participation, accounting for over 40% of the total cost. This was closely followed by the program-required costs related to coordination, facilitation, and supplies for the program (31.8%). Finally, ancillary costs related to facilitator travel, room rental, and food for the program implementations encompassed 11% of the total cost. Across all three program implementations, 118 teachers were trained; the average cost per teacher was US$1217 when accounting for all categories. In future cost projections for a training with 30 teachers, the price per teacher is only US$515 when considering program-required and indirect costs. The costs for implementing the CARE for Teachers program are similar to those reported for other mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). This paper provides a detailed analysis of the full cost of providing an evidence-based MBI to teachers in a public education setting. This research can help inform communities interested in funding future CARE for Teachers program implementations, provide an example for cost reporting for other MBIs, and provide a basis for future cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost analyses.
Early childhood teachers are instrumental in creating socially and emotionally supportive learning environments for young children. However, there is a paucity of research examining teachers’ psychosocial characteristics in relation to the dimensions of quality learning environments. Furthermore, little is known about the relationship between teachers’ psychosocial characteristics and their attitudes about children whose behavior they find challenging. The present study examined data from 35 preschool teachers’ self-reports of well-being, mindfulness, and self-compassion in relation to observations of classroom quality and ratings of semi-structured interviews about a child chosen by the teacher as most challenging. Mindfulness, self-compassion, personal efficacy, and positive affect were associated with emotional support while emotional exhaustion and depersonalization were negatively associated with emotional support. Depression was negatively associated with emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support. With regard to the interview ratings, mindfulness and efficacy were positively associated with perspective-taking and sensitivity to discipline, and depersonalization was negatively associated with sensitivity to discipline. While further research is needed to ascertain causality, these results suggest that teachers’ psychosocial characteristics may impact their ability to create and maintain optimal classroom environments and supportive relationships with challenging students. Furthermore, they point to the need for research to examine professional development designed to promote mindfulness, reduce distress, and support teachers’ social and emotional competence and well-being.
Abstract: Studies show teaching is a highly stressful profession and that chronic work stress is associated with adverse health outcomes. This study analysed physiological markers of stress and self‐reported emotion regulation strategies in a group of middle school teachers over 1 year. Chronic physiological stress was assessed with diurnal cortisol measures at three time points over 1 year (fall, spring, fall). The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate the changes in educators' physiological level of stress. Results indicate that compared to those in the fall, cortisol awakening responses were blunted in the spring. Further, this effect was ameliorated by the summer break. Additionally, self‐reported use of the emotion regulation strategy reappraisal buffered the observed blunting that occurred in the spring. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
Understanding teachers’ stress is of critical importance to address the challenges in today’s educational climate. Growing numbers of teachers are reporting high levels of occupational stress, and high levels of teacher turnover are having a negative impact on education quality. Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE for Teachers) is a mindfulness-based professional development program designed to promote teachers’ social and emotional competence and improve the quality of classroom interactions. The efficacy of the program was assessed using a cluster randomized trial design involving 36 urban elementary schools and 224 teachers. The CARE for Teachers program involved 30 hr of in-person training in addition to intersession phone coaching. At both pre- and postintervention, teachers completed self-report measures and assessments of their participating students. Teachers’ classrooms were observed and coded using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). Analyses showed that CARE for Teachers had statistically significant direct positive effects on adaptive emotion regulation, mindfulness, psychological distress, and time urgency. CARE for Teachers also had a statistically significant positive effect on the emotional support domain of the CLASS. The present findings indicate that CARE for Teachers is an effective professional development both for promoting teachers’ social and emotional competence and increasing the quality of their classroom interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE for Teachers) is a mindfulness-based professional development program designed to reduce stress and improveteachers’ performance and classroom learning environments. A randomized controlled trial examined program efficacy and acceptability among a sample of 50 teachers randomly assigned to CARE or waitlist control condition. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures at pre- and postintervention to assess the impact of the CARE program on general well-being, efficacy, burnout/time pressure, and mindfulness. Participants in the CARE group completed an evaluation of the program after completing the intervention. ANCOVAs were computed between the CARE group and control group for each outcome, and the pretest scores served as a covariate. Participation in the CARE program resulted in significant improvements in teacher wellbeing, efficacy, burnout/time-related stress, and mindfulness compared with controls. Evaluation data showed that teachers viewed CARE as a feasible, acceptable, and effective method for reducing stress and improving performance. Results suggest that the CARE program has promise to support teachers working in challenging settings and consequently improve classroom environments.
The heavy demands of teaching result in many teachers becoming alienated or burning out. Therefore, it is imperative to identify ways to support teachers’ internal capacities for managing stress and promoting well-being. Mindfulness is an approach with a growing foundation of empirical support in clinical as well as education settings. Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) is a mindfulness-based professional development program developed to improve teachers’ awareness and well-being and to enhance classroom learning environments. Using an explanatory design, we analyzed data from four focus groups each with three to eight teachers who participated in CARE to explore the mechanisms underlying the intervention effects. Specifically, we examined if/how the CARE intervention affected teachers’ awareness and analyzed why CARE affected particular aspects of teachers’ physical and emotional health and why some aspects were not affected. Results suggest that participants developed greater self-awareness, including somatic awareness and the need to practice self-care. Participants also improved their ability to become less emotionally reactive. However, participants were less likely to explicitly articulate an improvement in their teaching efficacy. Implications for professional development are discussed.
Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), an emotion skills and mindfulness intervention, improved wellbeing in a sample of teachers. Two studies examined whether such gain is associated with improvements in classrooms. Study 1 examined post-intervention differences in 20 dimensions of classroom climate (N = 21). CEB teachers were rated higher in productivity than controls. Study 2 was a randomized, controlled pilot trial of 35 teachers with longitudinal assessments of classroom climate, wellbeing, and attitudes towards challenging students. Although the CEB group reported more mindful observing compared to the control group at follow-up, the groups did not differ on classroom climate or attitudes. (Contains 6 tables and 1 figure.)
College students who mentor at-risk youth face a variety of challenges and unexpected dilemmas. Mindful awareness practices (MAPs) offer a promising strategy for stress reduction and enhanced relationship satisfaction for college students, counseling students, parents, and teachers; yet, the potential benefits for college student mentors remain largely unexamined. This quasi-experimental study analyzed survey data from college student mentors who received a MAP-based intervention (n = 59), and a comparison group comprised mentors who received the same mentor training and group mentoring curriculum, but without the added mindfulness component to examine the following research questions: (a) is the addition of a mindfulness component to college student mentor training associated with mentors’ mentoring satisfaction; (b) does this help them enhance their ability to be empathic in challenging situations; and (c) does this help them shift their inclination for autonomous decision-making and prescriptive mentoring toward a more collaborative, youth-centered approach. Relative to the comparison group, mentors who participated in mindfulness training reported significantly higher mentor satisfaction, greater increases in empathy, and greater decreases in autonomy. Results provide youth-focused programs with new knowledge regarding additional avenues for supporting college students working with youth.
"Mindful awareness practices to help teachers recognize and regulate emotional reactivity in their classrooms. Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions, but also one of the most demanding. This book offers simple, ready-to-use, and evidence-proven mindfulness techniques to help educators manage the stresses of the classroom, cultivate an exceptional learning environment, and revitalize both their teaching and their students' knowledge acquisition. Drawing on basic and applied research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and education, as well as the author's extensive experience as a mindfulness practitioner, teacher, and scientist, it includes exercises in mindfulness, emotional awareness, movement, listening, and more, all with real-time classroom applications."--Publisher's description.
Teachers are responsible for delivering academic instruction, facilitating student learning and engagement, and managing classroom behavior. Stress may interfere with performance in the classroom, however (Tsouloupas, Carson, Matthews, Grawitch, & Barber, 2010), and recent studies suggest that stress is quite common among today's educators. In light of these trends and their potential for negatively impacting students' learning, it is critical to identify factors that support educators' health, wellbeing, and effectiveness. The Prosocial Classroom Model (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009) suggests that mindfulness and other aspects of social-emotional competence may lead to more effective classroom management and protect educators from experiencing a "burnout cascade" of deteriorating classroom climate, student misbehavior, and emotional exhaustion. Mindfulness has been defined as "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally" (Kabat- Zinn, 1994, p. 4), and mindfulness training for adults has been linked with reductions in stress and improvements in wellbeing (Ospina et al., 2007). Emerging evidence from intervention studies suggests that mindfulness training is associated with improvements in teachers' classroom behavior (e.g., Flook, Goldberg, Pinger, Bonus, & Davidson, 2013; Jennings, Frank, Snowberg, Coccia, & Greenberg, 2013). In a central Pennsylvania middle school setting, the authors examined how educators' mindfulness at the beginning of the school year predicted change in educators' self-reported efficacy with respect to student engagement, classroom management, and instructional practices from fall to spring of the school year. Two tables are appended.
This article focuses on how mindfulness training (MT) programs for teachers, by cultivating mindfulness and its application to stress management and the social‐emotional demands of teaching, represent emerging forms of teacher professional development (PD) aimed at improving teaching in public schools. MT is hypothesized to promote teachers' “habits of mind,” and thereby their occupational health, well‐being, and capacities to create and sustain both supportive relationships with students and classroom climates conducive to student engagement and learning. After defining mindfulness and its potential applications in teacher education and PD, this article discusses emerging MT programs for teachers, a logic model outlining potential MT program effects in educational settings, and directions for future research.
This article focuses on how mindfulness training (MT) programs for teachers, by cultivating mindfulness and its application to stress management and the social-emotional demands of teaching, represent emerging forms of teacher professional development (PD) aimed at improving teaching in public schools. MT is hypothesized to promote teachers' “habits of mind,” and thereby their occupational health, well-being, and capacities to create and sustain both supportive relationships with students and classroom climates conducive to student engagement and learning. After defining mindfulness and its potential applications in teacher education and PD, this article discusses emerging MT programs for teachers, a logic model outlining potential MT program effects in educational settings, and directions for future research.
"Demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness for both educators and students in PreK-12, this book presents flexible models for implementing and sustaining schoolwide initiatives. Compelling case studies show how mindfulness practices can enhance students' academic and social-emotional functioning as well as teacher effectiveness. Chapters review the evidence base for available programs, reflect on lessons learned in real schools, and provide guidance for planning and decision making. The roles of school leaders, teachers, counselors, and parents in creating a more supportive and compassionate school climate are discussed. Also described are innovative approaches to professional development and preservice teacher training."--
We evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of the Community Approach to Learning Mindfully (CALM) program for educators. CALM is a brief daily school-based intervention to promote educator social-emotional competencies, stress management, and wellbeing. Two middle schools were randomly assigned to waitlist control condition or the CALM program. Participants included 64 educators. Intervention sessions included gentle yoga and mindfulness practices and were offered 4 days per week for 16 weeks. Pre- and posttest measurements included self-report surveys of social-emotional functioning and wellbeing, blood pressure readings, and diurnal assays of cortisol. Compared to the control condition, CALM had significant benefits for educators’ mindfulness, positive affect, classroom management, distress tolerance, physical symptoms, blood pressure, and cortisol awakening response. There were trend-level effects for two measures related to stress and burnout. No impacts were observed for relational trust, perceived stress, or sleep. Effect sizes for significant impacts ranged from 0.52 to 0.80. Educators found the intervention feasible and beneficial as a method for managing stress and promoting wellbeing. Initial evidence suggests that CALM has potential as a strategy to improve educators’ social-emotional competence and wellbeing, prevent stress-related problems, and support classroom functioning.
The authors propose a model of the prosocial classroom that highlights the importance of teachers' social and emotional competence (SEC) and well-being in the development and maintenance of supportive teacher-student relationships, effective classroom management, and successful social and emotional learning program implementation. This model proposes that these factors contribute to creating a classroom climate that is more conducive to learning and that promotes positive developmental outcomes among students. Furthermore, this article reviews current research suggesting a relationship between SEC and teacher burnout and reviews intervention efforts to support teachers' SEC through stress reduction and mindfulness programs. Finally, the authors propose a research agenda to address the potential efficacy of intervention strategies designed to promote teacher SEC and improved learning outcomes for students. (Contains 1 figure.)
School personnel encounter numerous occupational stressors unique to their profession, and these stressors place educators at risk of job-related stress and burnout. Given the prevalence of stress and burnout among school personnel, concrete interventions designed to address the unique demands and enhance coping resources of school personnel are necessary. One promising mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) for school personnel, Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE), is introduced and explored. Using semi-structured interviews, the current study investigated how participants applied mindfulness strategies learned through the mindfulness-based intervention CARE. Participants reported shifting their emotional reactivity and approach to students by applying mindfulness through (1) present-centered awareness of emotions, (2) emotional reappraisal of situations, and (3) use of metaphors introduced through the CARE program. Results suggest that the CARE program is a promising approach to support school personnel experiencing stress and burnout.