Mindfulness in the professional lives of K-12 educators





mindfulness, teacher, educator, professional learning, school change


This interpretive case study explored how K-12 educators conceptualized and applied mindfulness in their professional lives while taking the Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques (SMART) in Education professional development program. Participants believed mindfulness practice strengthened awareness and improved relational quality. Participants with regular mindfulness practice reported greater benefits and deeper insights about being present, compassion for self and others, and awareness of patterns of thought and behavior. This unique type of professional learning supported greater self-awareness. The study suggests mindfulness for educators presents opportunities for individual and school transformation, although the amount of school change participants reported was influenced by systemic support and privilege. Strengthening relational quality in schools, empowering teachers, and shifting school culture from places of cultural reproduction to those of transformation may more effectively address the social and civic issues that face society.

Author Biography

Emily McRobbie, Northern Arizona University

Dr. Emily McRobbie serves as Department Chair and Assistant Professor for the Adult and Higher Education program at the University of Southern Maine. She teaches online graduate courses, including Facilitating Adult Learning, Leadership in Adult and Higher Education, Mindfulness in Adult Learning, and a support seminar for students completing internships and directed studies. Her scholarship interests include mindfulness and contemplative pedagogy in education, professional growth, and online learning. Prior college teaching experience includes a wide variety of topics, including diversity in education, curriculum and instruction, science education, and the community college.

She has also worked as a K-12 and community college teacher, Faculty Development Coordinator, and managed a statewide online professional development program for K-12 educators. Emily earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and Natural Sciences from State University of New York at Geneseo, a M.A. in Science Education from University of Texas at Austin, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Higher Education from Northern Arizona University.




How to Cite

McRobbie, E. (2021). Mindfulness in the professional lives of K-12 educators. Current Issues in Education, 22(3). https://doi.org/10.14507/cie.vol22iss3.1988