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Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Program on Teachers Working at a Low-Performing School


Teachers in educational systems throughout the United States face many challenges meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of their students. These challenges faced by teachers often lead to stress and burnout, among other negative effects. This dissertation evaluated the effects of a mindfulness-based program on levels of mindfulness, stress, burnout, self-efficacy and self-compassion of teachers working at a low-performing school. The study utilized a mixed-methods research design to answer five research questions. The quantitative data were gathered through surveys and the qualitative data from semi-structured interviews and journal entries. The surveys administered at pre- and post-intervention were the Mindful Awareness Attention Scale (MAAS), Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10), Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI), Maslach’s Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES), Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES), and the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS).

There were no statistically significant quantitative findings for the general scores of the survey measures in this research study. However, statistically significant findings were found for the Depersonalization subscale of the Maslach’s Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey (MBI-ES) and the Non-Reactivity subscale of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Additionally, mean scores for most survey measures demonstrated small changes in pre- and post-test scores in the hypothesized direction. Moreover, there were a total of 20 qualitative findings obtained from the semi-structured interviews and journal entries. Three of the most prevalent qualitative findings shared by most participants were 1) increases in levels of attention, 2) feeling more at ease or relaxed, and 3) decrease in levels of reactivity in relationships with others. Other major qualitative findings included: feeling less burned out at work, more positive attitude toward work, increase in positive self-talk, and more positive relationship with pain.

The qualitative findings from this research study provide rich anecdotal evidence about participants’ experience in the mindfulness-based program, and the effects experienced from completing the program. A majority of participants in the treatment group expressed having multiple beneficial effects as well as changes in behavior as a result of participating in the mindfulness-based program. Despite the lack of statistically significant quantitative findings, the qualitative findings of this research study provide sufficient evidence to support the claim that the mindfulness-based program implemented was effective for the majority of participants.

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