Mindfulness for Developing Communities of Practice for Educators in Schools

Journal article


Hwang, Yoon-Suk, Noh, Jae-Eun and Singh, Nirbhay N.. (2021). Mindfulness for Developing Communities of Practice for Educators in Schools. Mindfulness. 12(12), pp. 2966-2982. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01758-7
AuthorsHwang, Yoon-Suk, Noh, Jae-Eun and Singh, Nirbhay N.
Abstract

Objectives
The rising interest in mindfulness-based programs in education reflects a growing need for schools to respond to the wellbeing of educators. Benefits of mindfulness-based programs have been largely measured at an individual educator level with less attention paid to group processes and their effects. The objectives of the present study were to explore the experiences and perceived effects of cultivating mindfulness on the personal and professional lives of educators.

Methods
Seventeen educators from five schools who learned and practiced mindfulness communally with their school colleagues for 8 weeks participated in an interview 4 weeks after the Reconnected mindfulness-based training. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. We used the analyses to develop a three-stage process of communal mindfulness practice and a model of the development of a community of practice.

Results
The exploration of cultivating mindfulness within a school community illustrated the experiences of individual educators in this context and highlighted the influence of the school environment on their need for and experiences of mindfulness practice, and formed a three-stage learning process of making connections in the two experientially intertwined domains of self and colleagues. The findings provided some evidence showing how mindfulness meditation that is highly individual in its nature can reduce a sense of isolation and promote a sense of connectedness among heterogenous school members and how processes of communal mindfulness practice can contribute to evolving a community of practice at schools.

Conclusions
As much as a school community needs mindfulness, as a domain of knowledge, to engage community members in learning through co-participation, practicing mindfulness requires a community that connects members and supports them to practice together.

Keywordsmindfulness; Sangha; communities of practice; educators; group processes; stress; school community
Year2021
JournalMindfulness
Journal citation12 (12), pp. 2966-2982
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1868-8527
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01758-7
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85115624374
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range2966-2982
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online24 Sep 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted09 Sep 2021
Deposited02 Jun 2022
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Miller, Yanick R., Medvedev, Oleg N., Hwang, Yoon-Suk and Singh, Nirbhay N.. (2021). Applying generalizability theory to the Perceived Stress Scale to evaluate stable and dynamic aspects of educators’ stress. International Journal of Stress Management. 28(2), pp. 147-153. https://doi.org/10.1037/str0000207