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The present study investigated whether and how an 8-week mindfulness-based program for teachers influences teacher wellbeing and person-centered teaching practices that emphasize the quality of student-teacher relationships.
In the present mixed-methods design study, we analyzed three data sets from a larger study. Sixty teachers (25 from the experimental group and 35 from the control group) participated in classroom observations that examined teachers’ verbal behavior while interacting with their students. Of these, 48 teachers completed self-report measures. Of these 48 teachers, 10 teachers took part in individual interviews and shared their experience of learning mindfulness and self-compassion.
Findings of a mixed-model ANOVA showed improvements in person-centered teaching practices as demonstrated by reduced teacher talk, increased indirectivity in teaching, and increased student talk immediately and 6 weeks after participating in the mindfulness-based program. Mindfulness scores that changed from pre- to post-intervention, as reported by teachers, showed a moderate positive relationship with teacher indirect talk (i.e., encouraging student behavior, accepting students’ ideas) and a moderate negative relationship with teacher direct talk (i.e., lecturing) observed by researchers 6 weeks following the intervention. Findings of interviews illustrated how learning to be mindful and self-compassionate can function as self-help skills, elucidated interconnectivity between teachers and students, and promoted person-centered teaching practices that are indirect, warm, and empathic.
The findings provide some evidence as to how learning to be mindful and self-compassionate at school can contribute to changes in teacher wellbeing and person-centered teaching practices.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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