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Just Be: A Mindfulness-Based Intervention Pilot Study for Preschool Teachers

Amy N Colgrove, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Teachers play a vital role in building classroom environments that promote sensitive interactions with their students, engagements between children, and contribute importantly to children’s learning and well-being (Flook, et al., 2013; Jennings & Greenberg, 2009). Yet, early childhood teachers encounter a variety of challenges that negatively impact their well-being and can lead to burnout (Whitebook et al., 2014, 2018). To address the growing concerns, the current study replicated and extended a study published by Flook et al. (2013) to examine the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) in providing strategies and skills for stress management and increasing general well-being among teachers. Within a sample of 28 Nebraska early childhood teachers (intervention group = 9, comparison = 19), three aims were investigated: group differences on teachers’ distress, burnout, mindfulness, well-being, and satisfaction with life; if initial levels of distress, burnout, well-being, and satisfaction with life were associated with changes in mindfulness scores; and if there was an association between the amount of time teachers in the intervention group engaged in mindfulness practices at home and changes in their mindfulness scores post-intervention. Four main findings emerged: (a) teachers in the intervention group had a significant increase in their dispositional mindfulness and well-being from pre-test to post-test relative to teachers in the comparison group; (b) teachers’ initial levels of distress, burnout, well-being, and satisfaction with life did not impact changes in teachers’ mindfulness scores at post-test and 8-week follow up; (c) there was a negative association between changes in intervention group teachers’ dispositional and intrapersonal teaching in mindfulness at post-test and their total minutes of mindfulness practice and total days of at-home practice over the 8-week intervention; and (d) intervention group teachers who participated in the focus groups perceived that the intervention helped them both personally and professionally.

Subject Area

Early childhood education|Social studies education|Teacher education|Educational administration|Educational leadership|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Colgrove, Amy N, "Just Be: A Mindfulness-Based Intervention Pilot Study for Preschool Teachers" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI28259361.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI28259361

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