Among all school-based factors, teachers have the largest impact on student achievement. The teacher-student relationship accounts for much of this influence. Although many teacher education programs provide knowledge about effective teaching behaviors, few target for development the skills teachers’ employ to enact what is known. Bridging the gap between knowing about and being able to do is more difficult under stressful conditions. Teaching is among the most stressful of all occupations, with high rates of attrition and burnout. Developing the capacities that promote resilience and effective classroom behaviors is paramount. This study is among the first to target for development skills like attention, emotion regulation, and mindfulness in preservice teachers. Over the course of 2.5 years, 98 pre-service teachers have been recruited and randomly assigned to teacher education as usual or teacher education plus a novel mindfulness-based intervention designed for preservice teachers. Before, immediately after, and 6-8 months following the end of treatment we are assessing participants on a range capacities thought to be crucial for well-being and efficacy in the classroom. Once all data has been collected, this study will offer important insights into the feasibility and effectiveness of embedding contemplative training within preservice teacher education.

Matthew Hirshberg, PhD

Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fellow, Grantee

Matthew Hirshberg, PhD, focuses on mediation-based interventions (MBIs) that promote social-emotional competencies, mental health, and well-being in educational contexts. Matt’s interests lie in the interactions between teacher and student outcomes, … MORE