Date of Degree

2-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Urban Education

Advisor

Kenneth Tobin

Committee Members

Konstantinos Alexakos

Philip M. Anderson

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education

Keywords

Mindfulness, Heuristics, Emotions, Wellness, Nature of Science

Abstract

In this manuscript style research study, using multiple approaches and multimethodology, I explore mindfulness and wellness in my college conceptual physics classroom designed primarily for pre-service elementary teachers. This high-stake science course is a pre-requisite class to enter the elementary education program. The subject of physics let alone science, creates high level of anxiety and intense emotions. Over the past three decades, mindfulness has gained an exponential popularity in many fields including education. Mindfulness involves one’s ability to pay attention to the present moment. As a tool, mindfulness raises an awareness of intense emotions that often accompany teaching and learning. We can introduce mindfulness using a heuristic as a low-grade intervention. Founded in hermeneutic tradition, a heuristic is designed to reveal the meaning associated with particular social construct. A heuristic enables one to changes in practice by mediating reflexivity.

The first part of the research study will explore the results of the Mindfulness in Education Heuristic (MEH) developed by Malgorzata Powietrzynska and Kenneth Tobin (2014) administered to my pre-service elementary education students in my physics classroom. This landscape study is designed to raise awareness of one’s emotions during class. I will describe and analyze the results of thirty-one characteristics in the MEH administered to seventy-one students. I will study the nuances presented in the student responses in order to explain the level of awareness for each characteristic.

The second study is a co-authored research conducted together with Malgorzata to re-administer the MEU after two-and-a-half years to three selected students from the original study to measure the level of mindfulness. This study looks at the responses of the students, while at the same time reflecting on my classroom practice of modeling mindfulness.

The final study of my research, I am introduced to and explore the ancient art of Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) and mindfulness. JSJ is an ancient knowledge system grounded in traditional medicine practiced in several Asian countries. It is a non-invasive practice of healing and regulating emotions to promote wellness. This is a co-authored research study with Kenneth Tobin, Konstantinos Alexakos, Ana Malyukova, and me (2017). In this study, Ana and myself are the object of research. We both explore this ancient art of body movements and interactions to mediate emotions.

This holistic research study is a teacher educator’s narrative journey into mindfulness.

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