Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Beatrice S. Fennimore

Second Advisor

Laurie Nicholson

Third Advisor

Joann M. Migyanka

Abstract

The purpose of this case study was to explore the impact mindfulness instruction and practice had on an early childhood teacher’s perception of classroom climate, student interaction and self-efficacy when working in communities where poverty is prevalent. An analysis of the data was conducted to gain a deep understanding of teachers’ experiences with mindfulness and the impacts it may have had on their teaching practices.

A qualitative case study was used to understand a real-life phenomenon deeply, in direct relation to mindfulness practice and teacher perception. Given the small size of the study, the researcher sought to gain a deep understanding of the participant experience. The focus was on understanding the classroom dynamics and teacher perceptions within a very particular setting, one in which all students qualified for state-funded prekindergarten due to family income level in an inner-city school district.

The results of this study suggested that mindfulness practices can have a positive impact on teacher perception of classroom climate, student interactions and self-efficacy when proper supports are in place and teachers embrace the practices personally. Teachers appeared to be more aware of the things that were going right in their classrooms and more accepting of developmentally appropriate behaviors in their students. The practice of self-reflection seemed to increase over the course of the study and teachers reported thinking more about their own behaviors and attitudes.

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