Co-sponsored by San Francisco State University and the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies
Principal Investigator: Patricia Jennings, Ph.D.
The aim of this study is to determine whether a professional development program that combines mindfulness practices with information and techniques from emotion research (Cultivating Emotional Balance, CEB) may improve teachers’ abilities to deal with destructive emotions within themselves and in others and promote prosocial responses such as empathy and compassion, resulting in an improved classroom climate. The purpose of CEBC is to examine whether the CEB training results in improvements in the teachers’ behavior in the classroom, in teacher/pupil interactions and to determine the mediators of these effects. More specifically, we propose the following hypotheses:
CEB training versus a waiting list control or active control group will:
1. Decrease teachers’ self-reported depression, anxiety, and rumination, and will increase teachers’ mindfulness, reflection, empathy and sympathy.
2. Improve teachers’ responsiveness to individual pupils’ needs and feelings, their level of supportiveness vs. criticism, and their ability to manage pupil behavior and conflict.
3. Decrease negative emotional responses by teachers towards pupils such as disgust, contempt, and hostility and increase positive emotional responses, including compassion and empathy.
4. Result in increased pro-social pupil classroom behaviors (including reduced disruptive behavior and increased cooperation, problem solving, and caring).
5. Result in increased pupil classroom learning behaviors (including focus, interest, and enthusiasm).