Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


James Miller

Committee Member

Agustin Castellanos


classroom, learning, mental-health, mindfulness, self-compassion, teaching


In recent years mindfulness practices in the classroom have become increasingly relevant to bring awareness to the present moment, the here-and-now. The literature indicates that mindfulness reduces stress/anxiety in the classroom, and promotes self-regulation, cognitive flexibility, self-compassion, and empathy that contributes to positive classroom behavior, communication, and effective instructional practices. The purpose of this qualitative research is to analyze teachers’ experiences with mindfulness practices in promoting positive relationships and student engagement in the classroom. A group of teachers from an at-risk school district in the southwestern region of the United States were interviewed. The teachers answered 10 open-ended questions about their awareness and experiences with informal and formal mindfulness practices. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) method was used to analyze the respondent’s experiences with mindfulness. The data collected was used to analyze and discuss the impact of mindfulness practices based on teachers’ experiences. Qualitative data in the form of interviews from 10 teachers indicated that though there was consensus in the positive benefits of informal and formal mindfulness practices in education, access to formal mindfulness-based school programs (MBSP) might be limited and difficult to incorporate in the curriculum. The prevailing themes from the IPA analysis revealed that (1) the end goal and definition of mindfulness is subjective and changes depending on the teachers’ socio-economic, socio-cultural, and personal factors, (2) increased self- awareness promotes positive relationships in the classroom, and (3) future mindfulness- based school trainings must be administered and conducted by qualified and trained personnel, mindfulness-based school programs (MBSP) should include resources and lessons that align with the curriculum. The results from this qualitative research study show that mindfulness as an informal and formal practice holds promise as a mental health intervention that can alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout in the classroom while simultaneously promoting self-care and self-compassion leading to a healthier and effective learning environment.