Just Breathe: Mindfulness Practices in Teacher Training


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Just Breathe: Mindfulness Practices in Teacher Training

  1. 1. Neag School of Education Just Breathe: Mindfulness Practices in Teacher Training GNA Garcia [email_address] Department of Educational Psychology Cognition & Instruction Program
  2. 4. James Alexander, a student at Piedmont Avenue Elementary in Oakland, CA, practiced being mindful, using a technique he learned in class. Brown, P. L. (June 16, 2007). In the classroom, a new focus on quieting the mind. The New York Times. Why Do I Care?
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  4. 6. What is Teacher Stress?
  5. 7. What is Mindfulness?
  6. 8. Research Program <ul><li>Participants: </li></ul><ul><li>44 adult students (average age ≈ 27; 75% female) in their first semester of an accelerated Teacher Certification Program (Master’s degree with certification in one year) </li></ul><ul><li>Setting: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Theories course (six hours, one day a week, for six weeks) </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention: </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly mindfulness exercises lead by instructor (researcher), 5-7 minutes in duration, prior to lunch break </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology: </li></ul><ul><li>Action research with an intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Instruments: </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived Stress Scale (quantitative); Contemplative Education Survey (qualitative) </li></ul>
  7. 9. Research Questions <ul><li>Does 5 to 7 minutes of in-class weekly mindfulness practice decrease teachers in training perceived stress? </li></ul><ul><li>2. How do participants perceive the role of mindfulness practice in the curriculum? </li></ul><ul><li>3. How, if at all, do participants project the incorporation of mindfulness practices as a strategy to address teacher stress? </li></ul><ul><li>4. How, if at all, do participants project the incorporation of mindfulness practices as a method of contemplative pedagogy? </li></ul>
  8. 10. Reported Stress Management Techniques 27.27% 52.27% 34.09% 13.64%
  9. 11. Weekly Mindfulness Practice & Stress Perceived Stress Over Time ( n = 44)
  10. 12. Mindfulness in Our Curriculum ( n = 15) Student Outcome f S. Agree Agree Experience pedagogical care 13 21.4% 71.4% Relax 13 40% 46.7% Stay motivated 10 6.7% 60% Focus 9 13.3% 46.7% Increase energy 9 13.3% 46.7% Learn 8 13.3% 40% Manage my stress 7 13.3% 33.3% They did not help me 3 6.7% 13.3%
  11. 13. Mindfulness & Teacher Stress
  12. 14. Contemplative Pedagogy
  13. 15. Implications for Teacher Education <ul><li>Capitalize upon the experiences dealing with stress your candidates currently possess </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and talk about stress with students </li></ul><ul><li>Model healthy ways of dealing with teacher stress </li></ul><ul><li>Remain in the moment i.e., present with your students </li></ul><ul><li>Manifest joy in your own teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Invite students to bring their whole selves into the learning environment </li></ul>INTERROGATE TEACHER STRESS MINDFULNESS ENLIVENS TEACHING & LEARNING
  14. 16. Limitations <ul><li>“ This [mindfulness practice] may be better used before a test than before lunch, as lunch is a time most students relax anyway” said a Monday Group student. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Talking about music is like dancing about architecture. Thelonius Monk
  16. 18. Neag School of Education MUCHAS GRACIAS. GNA Garcia [email_address] Full paper available @ WWW.GNAGARCIA.COM Cognition & Instruction Program Department of Educational Psychology