Mindfulness for Teacher Candidates: A Pilot Study to Examine Teacher Self-Efficacy, Stress, and Awareness
Preservice teachers are tasked with academic classes, action research projects, lesson planning, field observations, and multiple internship experiences. Research indicates (Tarrasch, 2015) that though critical to prepare teachers, these intense experiences contribute to high-levels of stress. Studies (Csaszar, Curry, & Lastrapes, 2018; Flook, Goldberg, Pinger, Bonus, & Davidson, 2013) have also demonstrated that stress and a lack of self-efficacy are variables leading to educator burnout and exiting the profession. Managing the stress of preservice teachers in any higher education facility is a constant challenge. This study reports results from a pilot of 44 preservice teachers who participated in a modified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. The course was specifically adapted for preservice teachers and focused on practicing mindful qualities to manage stress, and the benefits of meditation. Results indicated the intervention to be promising. Participants demonstrated statistically significant decreases in perceived stress during the most difficult weeks of their teacher training program and statistically significant increase in self-efficacy as a teacher in the classroom. These findings are an important contribution to efforts in higher education and PK-12 to recruit, train, and retain highly qualified educators.
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