21-01-2022 | ORIGINAL PAPER
Shifting to Embodiment: a Longitudinal Qualitative Investigation into the Experiences of High School Teachers Teaching Mindfulness
Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 2/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Little is known about the process by which teachers learn the skills necessary to teach a school-based mindfulness program (SBMP), including how they come to understand and embody mindfulness. The purpose of this qualitative investigation was to explore how teachers experienced implementing an SBMP over time, including their embodiment of mindfulness. Specifically, this study investigated whether teachers experienced any shifts in their thinking or pedagogy that coincided with developing embodiment of mindfulness.
Data included in-depth, semi-structured interviews spanning 12–20 months with three 11th grade health teachers to capture their perspectives at three to four time points during their professional development and implementation of the SBMP Learning to BREATHE (L2B). Thematic analysis identified themes that described teachers’ experiences over time, with particular attention to the mental or pedagogical shifts unique to implementing an SBMP.
Although L2B aligned well with teachers’ overall teaching beliefs and values, implementing L2B elicited tensions in how teachers’ practices fulfilled their beliefs. These tensions highlighted necessary shifts as teachers worked to implement the program effectively, including embodying mindfulness. The main themes describing these shifts were as follows: (1) teaching to facilitating, (2) approach to classroom management, (3) interactions with and perceptions of students, and (4) adoption of personal mindfulness practice. Navigating these shifts involved embodying attitudinal foundations—patience, non-striving, beginner’s mind, non-judgment, acceptance, letting go, and trust.
Teacher buy-in to SBMP goals, openness to modifying their own instructional approaches, and ongoing professional development may help enhance embodiment of mindfulness and result in more effective implementation over time.