Teachers' Experiences with Mindfulness: A Narrative Inquiry

  • Author / Creator
    Johnston,Michelle N
  • In the midst of the rapidly changing landscapes of schools, philosophical and ideological debates around education reform and the importance of social and emotional learning have become commonplace. To recognize the mental health needs of youth, teachers are asked to create safe and nurturing learning environments where students are able to negotiate the multiplicities and complexities of their lives (Johnson, 2008). But teachers have mental health needs of their own, and teaching has become more socially and emotionally demanding than it has been in the past (Jennings, 2011). The practice of mindfulness meditation has emerged as one of the ways of addressing the social and emotional needs of both students and teachers in school settings. This study is an inquiry into how the practice of mindfulness meditation shapes the lives of teachers, in and out of school landscapes. Drawing upon narrative inquiry as a methodology that recognizes teachers as knowledge carriers (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) and on the works of psychologist Carl Rogers, who is known as the founder of the humanistic psychology movement, for this study I designed a narrative inquiry where I engaged in research conversations with two classroom teachers and one school administrator over the course of two years. This narrative inquiry illuminates teacher practices and norms that are inherited as part of the dominant narrative, and how resulting tensions and areas of friction shape and continue to shape teacher identities. My time with the teacher participants has revealed problems and opportunities in the collective story of teachers who are moving towards authenticity while being committed to practicing and sharing mindfulness in schools.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.