Citation
Elementary teachers' knowledge of mindfulness and perceived barriers to implementation

Material Information

Title:
Elementary teachers' knowledge of mindfulness and perceived barriers to implementation
Creator:
Gonzales, Alexis A.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Education and human development
Committee Chair:
Kim, Jung-In
Committee Members:
Bjork, Kristen
Donovan, Courtney

Notes

Abstract:
Mindfulness is a growing topic of discussion across the United States, particularly in education. There exists an array of studies on mindfulness as an intervention used in schools to promote academic achievement and social and emotional well-being. While the research has consistently supported the benefits of mindfulness, it has not addressed its implementation into the classroom (both formally and informally) as thoroughly. Specifically, it has not examined the perceptions of those teachers that are charged with implementing this intervention into their classroom. Nor does there exist research to identify possible barriers to teachers’ implementation of mindfulness into the classroom. In order to investigate these areas, this study employed a survey to collect data from 78 elementary school teachers from a school district in the Denver metropolitan area. The survey measured teachers’ knowledge (definition, familiarity, and use) of mindfulness, as well as their perceived barriers to its implementation. Results showed that two-thirds of teachers reported that they had somewhat of an understanding of mindfulness and were informally using it in their classroom, and that a need for training is the highest barrier to teachers’ implementation. Further research on informal mindfulness training is needed to guide future implementation efforts.

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright Alexis Gonzales. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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KNOWLEDGE OF MINDFULNESS AND PERCE IVED BARRIERS TO IMPLEMENTATION b y ALEXIS A. GONZALES B.A., University of North Carolina, 2012 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in par tial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Education and Human Development Program 2018

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ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Alexis A. Gonzales has been approved for the Education and Human Development Program by Jung In Kim , Chair Kristen Bjork Courtney Donovan Date: May 12, 2018

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iii Gonzales, Alexis A. (M.A., Education and Human Development Program ) Elementary Knowledge of Mindfulness and Perceived Barriers to Implementation Thesis directed by Professor Jung In Kim ABSTRACT Mindfulness is a growing topic of discussion across the United States, particularly in education. There exists an array of studies on mindfulness as an intervention used in schools to promote academic achievement and soci al and emotional well being. While the research has consistently supported the benefits of mindfu lness, it has not addressed its implementation into the classroom (both formally and informally) as thoroughly. Specifically, it has not examined the perceptio ns of those teachers that are charged with implementing this intervention into their classroom. Nor does there exist research to identify possible barrie mindfulness into the classroom. In order to investigate these areas , this study employed a survey to collect data from 7 8 elementary school teachers from a school district in the Denver metropolitan area. The , and use) of mindfulness, as well as their perceived barriers to its implementation. Results showed that two thirds of teachers reported that they had somewhat of an understanding of mindfulness and were informal ly using it in their classroom, and that a need for training is the highest barrier to implementation. Further research on informal mindfulness training is needed to guide future implementation efforts. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Jung In Kim

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i v I dedicate this thesis to my past, present, and future students and fellow educators. May we continue to grow and learn from each other to make tomorrow a better place.

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v ACK NOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. Kim, Dr. Bjork, and Dr. Donov an , for their mentorship throughout this process. I appreciate all of the feedback and insight you provided on the multiple drafts and questions I had along the way. I would also like to thank my family and my friends for their encouragement and support du ring the time I spent writing my thesis. And lastly, thank you to my students and colleagues , for motivating and inspiring me to never stop learning and growing.

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vi TA BLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION . . . Overview . . Purpose of the study . 2 3 Significance of the study Personal Identification 5 Introduction Mindfulness Theory and Be Mindfulness Implementation 9 Perceptions of Mindfulness Implementation. ... ...13 II I. METHODOLOGY . 1 4 Research Design . 1 4 Parti cipants . 1 4 Instrument . 1 5 Hypotheses . 1 6 IV. RESULTS .. 20 V. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH 31 Discussion . 31 Interpretation of results

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vii Limitations 33 Implic ations and Conclusion 36 REFERENCES 37 APPENDIX A. Programs Offering Mindfulness T 4 1 4 2 C. Recruiting Ema 4 6

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Overview Over the past decade, mindful ness has become a topic of great interest to the United States. It has been examined in contexts such as schools, hospitals, military settings, and even Congress men have taken notice (Crane et al., 2017 ; Ryan, 2013 ). Mindfulness is defined by Kabat he awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience mome nt by moment I n the field of education particularly, research has supported a plethora of benefits to mindfulness practices, encompassing academic , social, emotional , and behavioral domains . Numerous studies have shown a correlation between min dfulness and improved learning (Flook et al., 2010; Shapiro et al., 2015; Schonert et al., 2015) as well as mindfulness and improvement in student behavior (Vickery & Dorjee, 2016 ; Black & Fernando, 2014 ) . According to Mindfulschools.org (2017) , some of th e benefits associated with mindfulness include improved cognitive outcomes, social emotional skills, and well being. In turn, such benefits may lead to long term While the use of mindfulness in schools is growing (Weare, 201 3), the number of teachers who implement mindfulness into their classroom is still relatively small , compared to the number of teachers in the country . To attempt to illustrate this percentage, one specific mindfulness program, Mindful Schools (2017 ) , reported to have trained 10,000 people in their program . However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (2017 ) , there is an estimated 3. 7 million p rivate and p ublic school

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2 teachers . This means that this program has trained 0.003 % of the teaching p opulation in mindfulness. Although t his is data from one of many mindfulness programs that exist (see Appendix A), it contextualizes the very small percentage of classroom teachers in the United States that have been formally trained in mindfulness . Furth ermore, the number of teachers using mindfu lness in their classroom is fairly uncertain, as there does not seem to be exact data for the number of schools implementing mi ndfulness programs, nor does there appear to be data to account for those teachers who use mindfulness informally (i.e., without completing a formal mindfulness training). Semple en might be This is all leads to the question of what mindfulness implementation looks like in the classroom, and how many teachers are engaging in t his research supported practice? In order to c lose the research p ractice gap, we must seek to explain why teachers are not using mindfulness in their classroom. Are there specific barriers that are preventing the implementation of mindfulness into the classroom? Purpose of the Study The current resear ch expands on Edwa (2016) study of substance treatment As with any phenomenon, there are many facets that one must study in order to fully understand it. For the purposes of this study, the phenomenon of mindfulness will be thought of and referred to as a tool and/or intervention used in scho ols to promote academic performance , improved behavior, and social and emotional well being. As such, once an intervention has been thoroughly studied, and benefit s have been supported by r esearch, the next step is

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3 implement ing the intervention into a practical setting. Before this can happen, one must take into account those that are charged w ith implementation. In the case of this study , the practical setting is t he classroom, and those implementing the intervention are teachers. While the number of studies about mindfulness and its benefits is growing , there is still much to learn about its implementation , and what teachers perceive about this emerging phenomeno n. Cefai & Cavioni (2015) assert that school staff play a critical role in being. Teachers are a key stakeholder in bringing mindfulness to the classroom, and should therefore be taken into account when stu dying mindfulness, as they are the ones that will be implementing it. This study aims to perceptions of implementation of mindfulness in the classroom, both formally and informally. It also serves to i llustrate what knowledge teachers have about mindfulness , and what some possible barriers are to its implementation into the classroom. Guiding Research Questions The overarching q uestion to this study is: What do elementary teachers know about mindfulne ss, and how do they perceive barriers to implementing mindfulness practices into the classroom ? In order to fu lly answer this question, this thesis will focus on the following sub questions: 1. How do elementary teachers define mindfulness ? 2. Are elem entary teachers engaging in either formal or informal mindfulness practices in the classroom? 3. What are the highest perceived barriers that teachers have in regards to using mindfulness practices in the classroom?

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4 4. Is there a difference between te acher background/ teaching experience and their knowledge and perceptions of mindfulness? 5. Is there a difference in use) of mindfulness and their perceived barriers to implementation? Significance of the Study T he distinction between formal school wide implementation of mindfulness is important. Existing studies have only examined the perceptions of teachers w ho belong to the former group (Dariotis et al, 2017). While informal methods are mentioned in various studies ( Lantieri & Goleman, 2014; Shapiro, 2015 ) , there does not seem to exist any empirical research on its use and effectiveness in the classroom . Yet, this method of implementation appear s to be a more practical option for teachers and school districts who are concerned about financial and timely costs of implementing a formal mindfulness program. The current study seeks to elucidate the reasons why te achers would or would not implement mindfulness on their own accord. It does so through the exa mination of of what mindfulness is, and their perceptions of the barriers to implementing it into their classrooms. The implications of the r esearch findings can play a direct role on professional development at the district and the building level. S chool districts and building administrators can use the information gained from this study to ulness implementation, and cons ider methods in which they can address these barrier s .

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5 Personal Identification of the Topic My identification with this topic stems from my experiences as a classroom teacher, and as a student in the Education and Human Dev elopment Program at the University of Colorado at Denver. I first learned about mindfulness through one of my graduate courses, and became immediately interested in the way that it can promote learning in the classroom. After learning about the academic, s ocial, and emotional benefi ts of mindfulness, I was inspired to discover ways that I can bring mindfulness into my own classroom. Through all of my research, I had realized that the current literature mainly focused on mindfulness as a formal intervention , following a set curriculum over a period of time. This was not applicable to my personal teaching practice because I did not have the appropriate resources to formally implement mindfulness into my classroom. This led me to conduct my own personal resear ch on what resources existed as a practical way to bring mindfulness into my element ary classroom, and I found a variety of published books full of informal mindfulness practices. After experiencing personal success with bringing mindfulness into my own c lassroom, I began to think about what other teachers in my building were doing in regards to mindfulness. Thro ugh conversations with colleagues, I realized that although there is a plethora of research supported benefits to mindfulness, there is not a plet hora of teachers who are implementing it into their classroom. I wondered if, like myself, these teachers simply did not know about it, or if they had certain perceptions of mindfulness that were related to their lack of implementation. This is the inspira tion for conducting this research.

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6 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction As mentioned in Chapter 1 , there is a wide array of research supported academic and social/emotional benefits associated with using mindfulness in the classroom , such as impr oved attention and self regulation (Flook et al, 2010 ; Black & Fernando, 2014 ) . There are also theoretical arguments as to why mindfulness should be used in classrooms (Moreno, 2017) and there are distinct neuroscientific explanations for how and why mindf ulness leads to these benefits (Zelazo & Lyons, 2012 ) . What follows is a literature review that examines the theory and benefits of mindfulness in classrooms, the varying levels of implementation of classroom mindfulne ss practices that exist, and professio perc eptions of barriers to mindfulness that have so far been studied . Mindfulness Theory and Benefits Looking at theory behind mindfulness in the classroom, mainly at the elementary level, Moreno (2017) argues that mindfulness is beneficial for st udents because it exposes them to the complex metacognitive processes that brains must employ in the school setting children (Zelazo & Lyons, 2012; Shapiro et al., 2015) th at explains the role of mindfulness down and bottom up processing . Top down processes refer to regulatory behaviors that contribute to attention, inhibition, judgment, goal seeking, and more. Conversely, the brain also exp eriences bottom up influences which come from stimuli in the environment and are first detected through mechanisms such as the amygdala, sensory cortex, and somatosensory cortex. The neurodevelopmental model for

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7 mindfulness posits that mindfulness both eng ages top down processes and modulates bottom up influences. In ( Zelazo & Lyons, 2012 ). T hus , if a clear link between a certain region of the brain and successful learning has been established (Mares chal et al., 2103; Flook et al., 2015) , and mindfulness has been found to be a tool to strengthen t hose specific regions of the brain (Holzel et al., 2 011; Tang et al., 2010; Luders et al., 2009; Doll et al., 2016; Creswell, 2007) , it would be beneficial for educators, administrators, and policy makers to look at ways to incorporate mindfulness into schools and classrooms. Furthermore, several quantit ative studies found a direct link to mindfulness and regulation, attentional control, and executive functioning (Felver et al., 2014; Flook et al., 2010; Schonert Reichl et al., 2015; Shapiro et al. , 2015 ; Black & Fernando, 2014 ). Felver et al. (2014) found that there was a significant improvement in Attentional control, self lear ning (Ormrod, 2012). In addition, s elf awareness, social cognition, a nd emotion regulations are some non academic skills that also contribute to learning (Craig, 2009; Adolphs, 2009). t hrough mindfulness, their academic performance improved. One particular study conducted an extensive review of existing studies around mindfulness in schools in order to understand the various areas in which mindfulness is beneficial to s tudent success ( L eland , 2015) . The researcher found that mindfulness in

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8 schools was helpful in a variety of developmental domains. These included academic, phy s ical and emotional well being. Additionally, mindfulness benefits he found include d : minimizing the imp act of bullying, helping students with learning disabilities, and athletics. While it has been found that mindfulness can benefit all students, there are specific student demographics tha t have also been studied . Black and Ferna ndo (2014) found that low control, and ability to pay attention were all improved as a result of participating in a mindfulness program. Moreover, Roeser et al. (2012) state that mindfulness ca n be introduced as a tool to address the disproportionate behavior referrals by student race and ethnicity and foster educational equity. However, Olano et al (2015) found that there are socioeconomic ying almost 70,000 adults, the study found that participants with low education levels that we re of Hispanic or Black ethnicity were significantly less likely to engage in mindfulness practices. The implications of these studies are that teachers of student s in low income and ethnic minority students have a duty to expose students of all socioeconomic statuses , racial, and ethnic backgrounds to mindfulness practices in order to ensure an equitable educational experience for all. Not only does research suppo rt mindfulness benefits for students, but recent studies have examined the benefits of mindfulness for teachers as well. Preliminary studies have found that teachers who engaged in mindfulness practices reported an increased sense of well being and effecti veness in the classroom, as well as reduced sense of burnout (Flook et al., 2013). Roeser et al. (2012) point out that increasing rates of teacher stress and healthcare costs could be a possible motivator to bring mindfulness into schools and

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9 districts. M any authors (Hanh & Weare, 2017; Srinivasa, 2014; Willard, 2016) state that in order to succe ssfully practice mindfulness with students, the teacher must first cultivate their own personal mindfulness practice. This is an important consideration when looki ng at barriers to classroom mindfulness practice, because mindfulness could be related to their lack of implementation. Mindfulness Implementation Though a very strong base of research has supported the benefits of mindfu lness as an intervention for improving academic performance and social and emotional well being, less attention has been given to implementing this intervention into classrooms. Durlak & veloping effective interventions is only the first step toward improving health and well being of the imple mentation of mindfulness into classrooms entails. A s previously mentioned, there are both formal and informal methods of implementing mindfulness that are available to teachers. Formal methods are structured curriculums that explicitly teach children how t o become mindful. E xamples include Mindful Schools, Min d U P , Still Quiet Place, Kindness Curriculum, and Resilient Kids . These programs may require a coach or teacher training before implementation. They also involve a higher investment of time, and in so me cases, financial resources, than informal methods. Informal methods require no formal training , do not follow a set curriculum, and do not take up large amounts of time during the school day. Many informal methods take

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10 betw een 2 and 5 minutes to complet e (Lantieri & Goleman, 2014; Shapiro, 2015; Willard, 2016). Both formal and informal methods will now be discussed in further detail. On e formal mindfulness implementation practice is the Kindness Curriculum , studied by Flook et al. ( 2015). This is a 12 we ek mindfulness based training aimed at preschool age students , taught by experienced mindfulness instructors . The study consisted of two 20 30 minutes lessons each week , totaling approximately 10 hours of training . The lesson s focus ed on cultivating attent ion and emotion regulation through that focus on the concept of kindness . The study found that preschool students who participated in Kindness Curriculum training scored better on various measures s uch as the Te acher rated Socia l Competence scale, sharing/d elay of gratifi cation tasks, and school grades t han those students who did not participate . Another formal implementation practice is the MindUP program , studied by Schonert Reichl et al. (2015). The study co nsist ed of 12 lessons taught approximately once a week, with each lesson lasting 40 50 min . There were also core mindfulness practices done every day for 3 minutes, three times a day, which included activities such as mindful smelling and mindful tasting ( i.e., focusing all thoughts and attention on what a certain object smells like or observing the sensation of slowly eating and tasting food such as a piece of chocolate) . The program was taught to 4 th and 5 th grade student s by their own classroom teachers. This study taught mindfulness in conjunction with Social Emotional skills, and found that students who participated in the MindUP program showed improved cognitive skills and increased social emotional competence. One limitation of this program and study , however, is that the study could not distinguish which parts of the benefits

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11 observed were due to mindfulness, since it was tau ght in tandem with other skills. Yet it is important to note that the mindfulness training component of the curriculum played a role in the development of the cognitive and social emotional skills. As stated, informal methods are not as well examined in the research as formal methods. However, there are many published books that detail these practices (Hanh & Weare, 2017; Kagan, 2016; Greenland, 2016; Srinivasan , 2014; Willard, 2016). Common themes emerge from these books for various approaches to mindfulness practices with children. These include applying mindfulness to everyday experiences such as: breathing, eating, walki ng, t asting, listening, and moving. Additionally, guided visualization is a commonly discussed informal mindfulness practice. The books detail different ways to practice mindfulness with students, such as counting breaths, intently listening to a chime, listeni ng to a guided visualization about a trip to the beach, slowly eating a piece of chocolate, and watching the specks of glitter settle from a shaken up jar. These methods are easily accessible and require minimal resources to implement, yet, to date, there are minimal studies that have examined these informal mindfulness practices in the classroom. examined. Though there are several ways to implement mindfulness into the class room, as mentioned previously, it is important to consider implementation as a factor of program success. Dariotis and colleagues (2017) point out that there is a need to further research implementation of mindfulness programs in schools. There is also a n eed for further examination of teachers, as they are one of the key stakeholders in mindfulness

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12 implementation. Specifically, what do teachers know about mindfulness and what are their perceptions of barriers to its implementation? Perceptions of Mindfuln ess Implementation There are many experimental studies that have used a formal mindfulness program as an intervention method in schools in order to determine its effe ctiveness on students (Vickery & Do rjee, 2016; Flook et al., 2015). However, limited studi es seem to exist Dariotis et al., ( 2017) as an exception that have examined the perceptions that teachers have around mindfulness . Dariotis and colleagues (2017) used qualitative research methodology to examine mindfulness implementation through the pe rspectives of students who were participating in the programs, as well as their classroom teachers, who were observing participation (the program was taught to students by outside teachers). By studying teachers, Dariotis and colleagues (2017) were able t o find that program buy in (not only from teachers, but administrators as well) was a key factor in successful implementation. Furthermore, they found that teachers were willi ng to attend mindfulness training in order to learn how to implement mindfulness in their own classrooms, because they recognize the academic and behavioral benefits to using mindfulness. They suggested that future studies would benefit from further collecting qualitative data from key stakeholders, such as teachers, to further underst and how mindfulness can be effectively implemented. In the field of counseling, a mindfulness was conducted among substance treatment professionals in order to determine their perceived barriers to incorporating mindfulness into their treatment (Edwards et al., 2016). The study aimed to guide mindfulness implementation efforts in

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13 the substance treatment community in order to close the identified research practice gap of mindfulness in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. The authors developed a measure based on consultations with professionals in the field to itemize reasons why therapists were not using mindfulness in their practice , despite the research supported benefits . Edwards and colleagues (2016) (p. 1930), however , substance treatment professionals, regardless of their background (psychiatry, psychology, social work , psychiatric nursing or other) , cited training as the highest perceived barrier for implementation . This was one of the key implications of the study, prompting the researchers to suggest trainings be offered to professionals that are accessible (in terms of cost and time) and relevant. A bout 30% of participants reported using mindfulness in their treatment, but only 7% were using a research supporte d manual to do so. This again supported the need for more accessible resources and m ore training before ther apists could f eel comfortable using mindfulness in their treatment. The Current Study Could the findings of Edwards and colleagues (2016) also apply to teachers choosing to use mindfulness in their classroom practice? As Durlak & DuPre (2008) point out, when considering implementation of a program, it is important to consider the factors that could help or hinder success. Teacher perceptions can and should be considered one such factor. mindfulness, to include their knowledge of mindfulness (definition, familiarity, use) and their perceived barriers to its implementation.

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14 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Research Design This study is a nonexperiment al research design that used a survey to gather primarily quantitative data, and qualitative data for further understanding. The study focused on how the findings of Edwards et al. (2016) about why therapists are not of mindfulness in the classroom . Although research has shown mindfulness to be a beneficial practice in the classroom, lack of training choose to use mindfulness in their classroom. This study is designed to gather information in order to confirm that barriers to implementation are perceived by teachers in the same way that they were found to be perceived by therapists . It was also designed to further of mindfulness in general. Participants The current research surveyed elementary schoo l teachers from 22 different elementary schools in one school district in the Denver Metropolitan area . The school district approve d the study before it was disseminate d to schools. Teachers may or may not have already been using an informal mindfulness method in their classroom practice. The sample size consisted of 78 teachers. The years of teaching experience ranged from 1 to 39 ( M = 13.13, SD = 8.88). Teachers report ed to have worked with several differe nt populations of students ( Table 1) and reported varying levels of knowledge around mindfulness, which will later be discussed in further detail.

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15 Table 1 Participant student demographic information Instrument The instrum ent I use d to co llect data was a survey modified from Edwards et al. (2016) to be specific for teachers ( Appendix B ). The survey consisted of 33 questions 6 to gather demographic/exper f barriers and willingness to implement mindfulness, and 3 open background knowledge, and their thoughts and opinions on mindfulness. T eachers receive d a link to take the survey from their school principal or other school personnel, in which they had the opportunity to volunteer to take part in the study. Teachers took the survey online, using Qualtrics software. Th e 24 questions that measure d barriers are broken down in to 12 different subscales. These subscales are: already targeted by another practice, time, need for training, inconsistent with philosophy, student perceptions, student motivation, logistical practicality, organizational accep tance, waste of time, research, religion, and student involvement. Each category reflects a different kind of barrier to mindfulness Demographic N% N Socioeconomic Status Upper class Middle class Lower class (Title 1) 5% 40% 45% 4 31 35 English Language Learners 22% 31 Gifted and Talented 10% 14 Special Education 17% 23 *Because some respondents reported working with multiple student demographics , the sum of percentages may not equal 100%.

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16 Hypotheses Each research question involves a unique hypothesis and an alysis plan, depending on the nature of the question. What follows is a detailed explanation of analysis in regards to each research question. Research Question 1. How do elementary teachers define mindfulness? Hypothesis 1. It was hypothesized that teac hers have varying definitions of mindfulness that may or may not be accurate. Rationale 1. This hypothesis addressed the highly limited data in the existing mindfulness that currently exist (Williams & Kabat Zinn, 2011) . Following this rationale, the definitions that teachers provide should be as varying as the wide array of definitions existing both in literature and in social media (Edwards et al., 2016) Method of Ana lysis . Re sponses to this question were collected and stored in a Micros oft Excel document. They were examined through coding, looking for similarities in They were given a numeric code based on the content of their answer (0 = limited understanding, 1 = somewhat of an understanding, 2 = full understanding). Research Question 2. Are elementary teachers engaging in either formal or informal mindfulness practices in the class room? Hypothesis 2. It was hypothesized that teachers have a varying use of mindfulness in the classroom. Rationale. Again, due to the limited data in current literature around the number of teachers using mindfulness in the classroom , this question serv es to contribute to the

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17 existi ng knowledge of mindfulness in the classroom. Durlak & DuPre (2008) found that adaptations of intervention programs can sometimes lead to improved program outcomes. Thus, while teachers in the school district that was surveye d may not have had access to formal mindfulness program, it is possible that they were using practices that were adaptations of a mindfulness program. Method of Analysis. T he data was analyzed through descriptive statistics of the mindfuln ess practices. This was addressed in the survey through three sub categories, which were : use of mindfulness in the classroom and N and N% were reported in o rder to understand the varying levels of familiarity, use, and experience that exist in the elementary classroom. Research Question 3. What are the highest perceived barriers that teachers have in regards to using mindfulness practices in the classroom? Hypothesis 3. It was hypothesized that training and logistical practicality were the highest perceived barriers to mindfulness implementation. Rationale. This hypothesis is based on the findings of Edwards et al. (2016). This question is addressed throu gh the 24 question instrument used by Edwards et al. (2016). Using this same scale, they found that, regardless of discipline, all professionals perceived a practice. Logi stical practicality was the second highest perceived barrier. Data Analysis. Mean differences of each sub scale were examined in o rder to determine those that were perceived as the highest barrier to implementation. The instrument presented each questi interpreted as

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18 higher perceived barriers. The questions related to the categories of: logistical practicality targeted and compared to the means of other questions, to confirm if th ey were the most commonly/highest perceived barriers to mindfulness implementation. Research Question 4. Is there a difference between years of teaching experience/student demographic backgrounds ( definition, familiarity, and use ) of mindfulness ? Hypothesis 4. It was hypothesized that there is a negative correlation between years of teaching experience and overall knowledge (i.e. definition of mindfulness, familiarity, and use) of mindfulness. It was also hypothesized that there is difference mindfulness. Rationale. Due to the fact that mindfulness research has only started to emerge in the past 10 15 years (Williams & Kabat Zinn, 2011) , teachers with gr eat er years of teaching experience may not be as likely to be exposed to current research as teachers who have completed an educational degree program in the last 10 15 years. Therefore, those teachers may have differing levels of knowledge around mindfuln ess, which can pose as a barrier to mindfulness within itself. T here is limited data in the literature about teachers and the connection between the demographic population of students that a teacher works with, and their knowledge and perceptions of min dfulness implementation. As discussed in the literature review, there is an even greater need for mindfulness implementation among students of low socioeconomic status and varying ethnic backgrounds (Olano et al., 2015; Roeser et al.,

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1 9 2012) . Is it that tea chers who work with a population with higher reported discipline issues have a different perception of mindfulness and its implementation? Data Analysis. This was analyzed through two different methods. First, correlations between years of teaching experie nce and definition, familiarity, use of mindfulness were performed. Second, t tests and a nalysis of v student demographic background and their perceptions of mindfulness was conducted . All assumptions of correlati on, t tests, and ANOVA were tested and met prior to analysis. Research Question 5 . I s there a difference between teacher definition, familiarity, use) of mindfulness and their perceived barriers to its implementation ? Hypothesis 5. It wa s hypothesized that there is knowledge of mindfulness and the severity in which they perceive barriers to mindfulness implementa tion. That is, teachers who accurately define d mindfulness , reported higher levels of familiarity with mindfulness, and were using mindfulness in their classroom, would view the barriers to its implementation as less severe. Rationale. Knowledge could be a barrier to mindfulness implementation because teachers may not have an accurate definition of m i ndfulness and therefore are perceiving barriers as more severe due to their lack of knowledge (Williams & Kabat Zinn, 2011) . Data analysis. This was also analyzed knowledge of mindfulness and their perceptions of the severity of barriers.

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20 CHAPTER IV RESULTS S everal methods of analysis were completed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS Statistical Packaging (IBM Corp). Analysis began by examining open ended responses to definitions of mindfulness (Hypothesis 1) , follo wed by descriptive (Hypotheses 2 and 3) and in ferential statistics (Hypotheses 4 and 5). Though the survey included 3 open ended questions for further understanding, the responses were ultimately coded numerically a nd analyzed to determine differences in p erceived barriers . Descriptive statistical analysis to include mean, standard deviation, and n were done for each question perceptions of the severity of barriers to mindfulness implementation. Lastly, d emographic differences were exam ined using T tests and ANOVAs. Research Question 1: Teacher definitions of mindfulness. your definition of mindfulness ? from the survey was coded into 3 categories, based on whether teac hers had limited under standing of mindfulnes s, somewhat understanding, or full understanding ( Table 2 ) . In order to determine this, the researcher matched key words f mindfulness in the survey . If no keywords were found in a participan the definition was coded as focused attention or non judgement), the definit As illustrated in Table

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21 2, 80% of teachers ( N = 74) had either somewhat of an understanding o r a full understanding of what mindfulness is. Research Question 2: Teacher use of mindfulness. To address this hypothesis, descriptive statist ics were used to analyze three separate sub categories: familiarity, use of mindfulness, a nd years using mindfulness ( Table 2). Familiarity had a rating scale with 1= not familiar at all and 5 = extremely familiar. Use of mindfulness had a rating scale wit h 0 = no use of mindfulness, 1 = informal use and 2 = formal use. Looking at familiarity and use of mindfulness, it is noteworthy that 68% of teachers reported to be moderately to extremely familiar with mindfulness ( M = 2.94, SD = 1.01) and 68% reported t hat they are using mindfulness in their classroom ( M = 0.72, SD = 0.53). 83% of teachers reported to have been using mindfulness in their classroom for less than 5 years. Table 2 Knowledge of mindfulness in the classroom Knowledge N% N Definition Lim ited understanding 20% 15 Somewhat understanding 54% 40 Full understanding 26% 19 Familiarity Extremely familiar 8% 6 Very familiar 19% 15 Moderately familiar 41% 32 Slightly familiar 23% 18 Not familiar at all 9% 7 Use of mindfulness None 3 2% 25 Yes, informally 64% 50 Yes, using a formal curriculum 4% 3 Years using mindfulness <1 13% 7 1 4 70% 37 5 10 11% 6 11 20 4% 2 21 30 0% 0 >31 2% 1

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22 Research Question 3: Highest perceived barriers. barriers were m easured using a 24 question survey that had a rating scale with 1 = Strongly Agree and 5 = Strongly Disagree. The 24 questions were broken down into 12 sub categories, with two questions measuring each item. Each question was analyzed separately, rather th an combining the two questions that measured the same item (Table 3) . With a mean score across the items of 2.16 ( SD = 0.49), teachers reported small to moderately sized barriers to using mindfulness in the classroom (Figure 1) . The Likert Scale measured a item had a score of 3.76. Looking across items, teachers viewed philosophy ( M = 1.51; M = 1.71) as only a minor barrier to implementation. Additionally, items pertaining to religi on ( M = 1.69; M = 1.73) and student motivation ( M = 1.90; M = 1.99) were also viewed as minor barriers. Teachers also disagreed that mindfulness does not offer any benefits above already existing intervention programs to address social emotional skills ( M = 1.74). Conversely, the highest perceived barriers were both survey items pertaining to need for training ( M = 3.76; M = 3.09). Other major barriers included logistical practicality ( M = 2.82), negative student perceptions ( M = 2.56), and lack of time ( M = 2.40).

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23 Table 3 Item Mean Std. Dev N Already targeted by other practices 1. Mindfulness does not offer any benefits above those of already existing programs that target impro ved self regulation, attentional control, and executive function 1.74 0.75 78 2. Mindfulness would be useful to incorporate into the classroom even though other, more established programs already target attention, and social/emotional needs (R) 2.01 1.10 78 Time 3. Mindfulness exercises take time away from teaching that could be used for more proven techniques 2.05 0.89 77 4. I do not have time to do mindfulness exercises in the classroom without sacrificing other activities that are more important 2 .40 1.18 78 Need for training 5. I want more training before implementing mindfulness 3.76 1.14 78 3.09 1.34 77 Inconsistent with philosophy 7. Mindfulness is inconsist ent with my teaching philosophy 1.51 0.89 78 8. I see mindfulness as valueless or artificial -more of a fad than an actual strategy for addressing attentional control, self regulation, and social/emotional needs 1.71 1.13 78 Student perceptions 9. St udents will view mindfulness as a waste of time 2.09 1.03 78 10. Many students will see mindfulness as cheesy or artificial 2.56 1.16 78 Student motivation 11. Mindfulness is good for teacher student relationships (R) 1.90 1.02 77 12. Mindfulness wi ll help motivate students in the classroom (R) 1.99 0.90 78 Logistical practicality 13. Currently, no one in my school has the experience to support mindfulness exercises in the classroom 2.82 1.30 77 14. Logistically, I can't manage the extra work and effort involved in incorporating mindfulness 2.26 1.03 77 Organizational acceptance 15. Mindfulness would be difficult to implement because it's not consistent with the approach in my building to addressing attentional control, self regulation, a nd social/emotional needs 2.14 1.19 77 16. My administration does not support mindfulness (e.g. do not provide training/resources or discourage the use of mindfulness) 2.33 1.29 78 Waste of time 17. Mindfulness would take too much of my time and ener gy to incorporate into the classroom 2.00 0.94 78 18. I do not have enough time or energy to incorporate mindfulness into teaching 1.97 0.92 77 Research 19. I am not convinced by the research about effectiveness of mindfulness with students 1.96 0.96 78 20. My teaching experience with students is more important than the research favoring mindfulness 2.04 0.92 78

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24 Religion 21. Mindfulness is a primarily Buddhist practice, and I don't want to bring spirituality into the classroom 1.69 0.97 78 22. Mindfulness stems from Eastern philosophy, and I don't want to bring spirituality into my classroom 1.73 0.99 78 Student involvement 23. Student's won't understand how mindfulness can help them in school and in the "real world" 2.05 1.02 78 24. Stude nts will just "space out" during mindfulness 2.14 0.98 78 (R) = Reverse scored Figure 1. 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 Already Targeted 1 Already Targeted 2 Time 1 Time 2 Need for Training 1 Need for Training 2 Inconsistent 1 Inconsistent 2 Student Perceptions 1 Student Perceptions 2 Student Motivation 1 Student Motivation 2 Logisitical Practicality 1 Logisitical Practicality 2 Organizational Acceptance 1 Organizational Acceptance 2 Waste of Time 1 Waste of Time 2 Research 1 Research 2 Religion 1 Religion 2 Student Involvement 1 Student Involvement 2 Perceived Severity of Barrier

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25 Re s earch Question 4: Differences in teacher experience /student demographic backgrounds and knowledge and perceptions of mindfulness . In order to determine a relationship between teaching experience and knowledge of mindfulness, correlations were conducted . A moderate negative relationship was found between years of teaching and familiarity with mindfulness (r (76) = 0.22 ). No relationship was found for definition of mindfulness (r= 0.04) and use of mindfulness (r= 0.14). To determine if there were item response differences based on demographic backgrounds, t tests and ANOVAs were performed. N o difference s were found in responses based on if teacher s taught GT students or Special Education students on any item . Additionally, no differences we re found in response to any item based on her). In regards to student socioeconomic status, a d ifference was found on the variable Waste of Time 1 : Mindfulness would take too much of my time and energy to incorporate into the classroom , F(2,67) = 4.46, p = .02. Teachers of upper class student s scored significantly higher than teachers of low income and middle class students , but those two groups were not different from each other (Table 4 ). Table 4 based on student SES Student Socioeconomic Status N Mean Std. Dev. Low income (Title I) 35 1.86 0 .8 8 Middle class 31 1.94 0 .89 Upper class 4 3.25 0 .9 6 Total 70 1.97 0 .93

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26 Differences were found for both survey items about student motivation based on if teachers worked with ELL students : Mindfulness is good for teacher student relationships classroom Both of these items were reverse scored, meaning that the more a teacher agreed with th e statement, the lower of a barrier they perceived this item to be. In both items, teachers who worked with ELL students perceived mindfulness as a positive intervention for student motivation (T able 5 ). Table 5 Item ELL N Mean Std. Dev. Mindfulness would be good for teacher student relationships No 47 2.09 1.04 Yes 28 1.50 0 .8 4 Mindfulness will help motivate students in the classroom No 47 2.21 0 .93 Yes 29 1. 62 0 .7 8 Research Question 5: Differences in knowledge ( definition, familiarity , and use) of mindfulness and perceived barriers . To examine if differences between item As sumptions were tested and met. The three va Difference s were seen for two survey questions p ertaining to religion (Table 6 Mindfulness is a primarily Buddhist practice, and I don't want to bring spirituality into the classroom F(2,71) = 3.30, p = .04, and Mindfulness stems from Eastern philosophy, and I don't want to bring spirituality into my classroom , F(2,71) = 3.54, p = .04. For b oth items, te achers with limited understanding and teachers with full understanding were significantly different

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27 fr om each other but not from those with somewhat of an understanding . Teachers who had a limited understanding of mindfulness viewed religion as a higher ba rrier than the other teachers. Table 6 their perceived barriers to mindfulness implementation Item Understanding N Mean Std. Dev. 21. Mindfulness is a primarily B uddhist practice, and I don't want to bring spirituality into the classroom Limited 15 2.07 1.03 Somewhat 40 1.73 1.01 Full 19 1.26 0.56 Total 74 1.68 0 .95 22. Mindfulness stems from Eastern philosophy, and I don't want to bring spirituality into my classroom Limited 15 2.20 1.08 Somewhat 40 1.75 1.03 Full 19 1.32 0 .67 Total 74 1.73 0 .9 8 To examine the relationships between and their perceived barriers s were conducted. All variable s met normality assumptions. The significance level was set at 0.05. Moderate negative relationships were found between several barriers (Table 7 ). Notably, both items (r(75) = 0.26*; r(75) = 0.27*) (r(76) = 0.32**; r(75) = 0.26*) showed a moderate negative relationship. A strong found (r (75) = 0.63 **).

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28 Table 7 Relationships between familiarity with min dfulness and perceived barriers Item Correlation between item and familiarity N Already targeted by other practices 1. Mindfulness does not offer any benefits above those of already existing programs that target improved self regulation, attentional control, and executive function r= 0 .25* 78 Need for Training 5. I want more training before implementing mindfulness r= 0.31 ** 78 mindfulness practices r= 0 .6 3 ** 77 Logistical practicality 1 3. Currently, no one in my school has the experience to support mindfulness exercises in the classroom r= 0 .2 6 * 77 14. Logistically, I can t manage the extra work and effort involved in incorporating mindfulness r= 0.27 * 77 Waste of Time 17. Mindfulne ss would take too much of my time and energy to incorporate into the classroom r= 0 .3 2 ** 78 18. I do not have enough time or energy to incorporate mindfulness into teaching r= 0 .2 9 * 77 Research 19. I am not convinced by the research about effectivenes s of mindfulness with students r= 0 .26* 78 Student involvement 23. Student's won't understand how mindfulness can help them in school and in the "real world" r= 0.28 * 78 *Correlation is significan t at the 0.05 level (2 tailed). **Correlation is signif icant at the 0.01 level (2 tailed). To examine if differences between item scores were mindfulness in the classroom , ANOVA was conducted. Ass umptions were tested and met. Differences were found for three survey items two pertaining to training and one p ertaining to research (Table 8 ). Significant differences (p >.001) were found between teachers who are not using mindfulness and teachers who are using mindfulness informally on the bo th items

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29 pertaining to training: I want more training before implementing mindfulness 11.63 , p = .001, and practices , p = .0 1. Those who were not using mindfulness reported a need for training as a much higher barrier than those who are. No differences were found between those using mindfulness informally and those using it formally. Another significant difference (p = .02) was found between those not using mindfulness and those using it informal ly on one item addressing research. I am not convinced by the research about effectiveness of mindfulness with students 75)=4.53, p = .01 . The teachers who reported that they were not using mindfulness more strongly agreed that they were not convinc ed by mindfulness research than those who reported they were using it formally and informally. No differences were found between those using mindfulness informally and those using it formally. Table 8 heir perceived barriers Item Use N Mean Std. Dev. 5. I want more training before implementing mindfulness None 25 4.56 0 .7 7 Informal 50 3.38 1.12 Formal 3 3.33 0 .5 8 Total 78 3.76 1.14 6. trained to teach mindfulne ss practices None 24 4.13 0 .9 5 Informal 50 2.62 1.26 Formal 3 2.67 0 .5 8 Total 77 3.09 1.3 4 19. I am not convinced by the research about effectiveness of mindfulness with students None 25 2.40 0 .8 7 Informal 50 1.78 0 .95 Formal 3 1.33 0 .5 8 Tota l 78 1.96 0 .9 6

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30 Lastly, a final open ended question in the survey provided teachers the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions on mindfulness. This allowed the researcher to wards mindfulness and their th oughts on the topic in general. Through numerical coding and an alysis, several findings were observed. 12% of teachers reported that they were interested in learning more about mindfulness. 47% of teachers reported a positive attitude towards mindfulness, whether they were currently using it in their classroom, or they knew of the benefits that it had to offer to students in an academic, social, and emotional sense. Lastly, 22% of teachers reported some kind of concern in regards to mindfulness in the class room. These concerns included not having enough knowledge about mindfulness to properly respond to the survey, concerns about the reality of implementation in regards to logistics and consistency, and concerns about a lack of support in implementation from various people such as parents, colleagues , administration, and district.

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31 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH Discussion The current study used primarily quantitative and some qualitative research methods in order to determine perceptions of mindfulness in the classroom . The severity in which they perceived barriers to its implementation into the classroom. The highest perceived barrier to i supported through data analysis, and is similar to the findings of Edwards et al., (2016). perceptions of barrie perceptions of barriers. Interpretation of results As was hypothesized, there were a variety of definitions of mindfulness. This is in alignment with existing literature that discusses varying levels of the meaning of mindfulness (Williams & Kabat Zinn, 2011). However it is important to note that 54% of teachers surveyed had somewhat of an understanding of mindfulness (answers most but did not include elements such as focused attention and non judgment) and 26% of teachers had a full understanding. use of mindfulness. As hypothesized, there were varying levels of use of mind fulness in the classroom. However, the n umber of teachers who reported using mindfulness was higher than anticipated. Over two thirds of teachers

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32 surveyed (68%) reported that they were using mindfulness in their classroom. Additionally, 68% reported that t hey were at least moderately fa miliar with mindfulness. T his does not support any previous research findings, because this is one of the first studies previous studies ha ve only examined mindfulness implementation through a school wide implementation setting (Dariotis et al., 2017). This data supports the need for further Research Question 3: Teach Similar to what was hypothesized, the highest perceived barrier was a need for training . Both sub scales that perly trained to admin ister mindfulness interventions had the highest mean scores. Also as hypothesized, logistical practicality was the second highest perceived barrier. This shows tha t regardless of profession ( substance abuse treatment or teachi ng), barriers to mindfulness implementation are similar (Edwards, et al., 2016). Research Question 4: Differences in teaching experience /student demographic backgrounds and knowledge /perceived barriers . Years of teaching experience had no correlation to knowledge (definition, familiarity, and use) of mindfulness, contrary to what was hypothesized. T hough Williams & Kabat Zinn (2011) highlight the recent growth of mindfulness publications from 2001 onward (17 years ago), there was no association with the number of years of teaching experience and higher perceived barriers. However, t eachers of certain demographic backgrounds had significantly different perceptions of barriers. For example, teachers of upper class students viewed mindfulness

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33 as a waste of time, and teachers of English Language Learners had a higher agreement that mindfulness was good for student motivation. This is related to Roeser et al., assertion that mindfulness can help promote equity among students, because teachers of stude nts of minority ethnicities perceive mindfulness as a positive intervention for students. The stronger that teachers agree with this sentiment, the less of a barrier it is perceived to be. Factors such as teacher role, teachers of SPED and GT students had no differences in perceptions of barriers. Research Question 5. Differences in knowledge of mindfulness and perceived barriers. As hypothesized, there were significant difference s level of knowledge about mindfulness, and the sev erity in which they perceived certain barriers. For example, teachers with limited understanding of mindfulness had a statistically significant difference in their view of religion as a high barrier to implementation , when compared to teachers who had some what or a full understanding . Additionally, the less familiarity with mindfulness that teachers reported, the higher they perceived barriers such as need for training, logistical practicality, and waste of time. The fact that teachers reported waste of tim e as a barrier is in alignment with the findings of Dariotis et al. (2017) about the need for promoting teacher buy in to mindfulness implementation. If teachers have no buy in, they are more likely to perceive mindfulness as a waste of time. L astly, the t eachers that were not using mindfulness in the classroom reported the need for training as a higher barrier than those that were using it, similar to what was hypothesized. Limitations and Strengths There were several limitations to this study. First, a s mall sample size could have contributed to a lack of statistical significance and correlations in certain areas. Though it

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34 was reported that over two thirds of teachers were using some form of mindfulness in their classroom, a small sample limits the resu population of elementary school teachers that are using mindfulness, both within and outside of the school district. Additionally, this study was only targeted toward elementary teachers. Further research is needed to understand what mindfulness practices both early childhood and secondary teachers are using. It is possible that the results may have changed if the sample had included a broader scope of teachers. There were several strengths to this study. T he u nique design allowed for the opportunity to identify what mindfulness practices are actually happening in elementary classro . It also allowed for examination of differences among different po pulations of teachers. The fact that teachers of upper class students viewed mindfulness as a waste of time more than teachers of middle and lower class students has implications for future trainings within the district. Additionally, the examination of perceptions of mindfulness led to a stronger case for the need for training. N ot only did teachers who reported that they were not using mindfulness / had minim al familiarity with mindfulness score higher in need for training, but also the entire sample viewed training as the number one barrier to their implementation. This is important to consider because even though two thirds of the teachers surveyed were using mindfulness in their own clas srooms, they st ill fe lt that more training was valuable.

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35 Future Research This study leads to three areas that could benefit from further research : student . First, while it is important to understand t Dariotis et al. (2016 ) and McCabe et al., (2017) both found an overall p ositive attitude towards the program in general, as well as a recognition knowledge of mindfulness through their definition, familiarity, and use of mindfulness, t he same could be done for students. A deeper understanding of how students perceive mindfulness can lead to more informed decisions on what kinds of trainings to offer. Another area that can benefit from further research is better understanding of the lev relationship between s in the classroom? Is there a difference between teachers who have their own mindfulness practice and their perceived severity of barriers to implementation? Preliminary research has found that teachers who have their own mindfulness practice experience a n increased sense of well being (Flook et al., 2013 ). M ore research in this area could contribute to the their knowledge and perceptions of it. Finally, p ractical ways to train teachers on informal mi ndfulness use in the classroom is an area that merits further research. Two findings from this study support this

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36 claim. The first is that the need for training was the highest reported barrier to implementation. Informal mi ndfulness is a more accessible form of mindfulness, due to the fact that it takes less resources to implement (time and money). The second is that of the 68 teachers who reported using mindfulness in their classroom, 64 were doing so with informal practice s. Yet, little is known about the effects of informal mindfulness on emotional well being. Moreover, there is no common understanding among literature about what informal mindfulness practices entail. And i s there a difference in the benefits of formal and informal mindfulness? It would be beneficial to further research this area, as it is a more cost and time effective approach to implementation. Implications and Conclusion This study has several implications fo r teachers, administrators, and school districts and the implementation of mindfulness into the classroom. The fact that teachers , as key stakeholders in mindfulness implementation, perceived barriers to implementation as small to moderately sized, means t here is a willingness to implement this practice into their classrooms. This study also showed that there are teachers who have already begun implementing mindfulness in to their classroom, but t here is strong evidence for a need to offer mindfulness train ings to teachers before and after th ey implement it into their classroom. Additionally, the fact that the majority of teachers who are implementing mindfulness are doing so informally leads to a need for further developments in informal mindfulness tra ining , in order to better guide implementation efforts . School and district leaders can and should take these findings into account when making decisions on improving student academic achievement and social and emotional well being.

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37 REFERENCES Adolphs, R . (2009). The social brain: Neural basis of social knowledge. Annual Review of Psychology , 60(1), 693 716. Black, D. S., & Fernando, R. (2014). Mindfulness training and classroom behavior among lower income and ethnic minority elementary school children. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(7) Cefai, C., & Cavioni, V. (2015). Beyond PISA: Schools as contexts for the promotion of being. Contemporary Sc hool Psychology, 19(4), 233 242. Craig, A.D. (2009). How do you feel now? The anterior insula and human awareness. Nature. Reviews Neuroscience , 10(1), 59 70. Crane, R., Brewer, J., Feldman, C., Kabat Zinn, J., Santorelli, S., Williams, J., & Kuyken, W. (2016 ). What defin es mindfulness based programs? T he warp and the wef t. Psychological Medicine, 47(6), 990 999. Creswell, J. D., Way, B. M., Eisenberger, N. I., & Lieberman, M. D. (2007). Neural correlates of dispositional mindfulness during affect labeling. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69 (6), 560 565. Dariotis, J., Cluxton K eller, F., Mirabal Beltran, R., Gould, L., Greenberg, M., & Mendelson, T. (2016). "The program affects me 'cause it gives away stress": Urban students' qualitative perspectives on stress and a school based mindful yoga intervention. Explore the Journal of Science and Healing, 12(6), 443 450. M. T., & Mendelson, T. (2017). A qualitative exploration of implementation factors in a Lessons learned from students and teachers. Psycholog y in the Schools, 54(1), 53 69. Doll, A., Hölzel, B. K., Mulej Bratec, S., Boucard, C. C., Xie, X., Wohlschläger, A. M., & Sorg, C. (2016). Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala prefrontal cortex connectivity. Neuroimage, 134 , 305 313. Durlak, J. A., & DuPre, E. P. (2008). Implementation matters: A review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. America n Journal of Community Psychology, 41(3), 327 350. Edwards, E., Cohen, M., & Wupperman, P. (2016). Substance treatment professionals' perceived barriers to incorporating mindfulness into treatment. Substance use & Misuse, 51(14), 1930 1935.

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38 Felver, J. C., Tipsord, J. M., Morris, M. J., Racer, K. H., & Dishion, T. J. (2014). The effects of mindfulness based intervention on children's attention regulation. Journal of Attention Disorders. 1 10. Flook, L., Smalley, S. L., Kitil, M. J., Galla, B. M., Kaiser Gr eenland, S., Locke, J.. . Kasari, C. (2010). Effects of mindful awareness practices on executive functions in elementary school children. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26 (1), 70 95. Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout, and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7(3), 182 195. Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., & Davidson, R. J. (2015). Promoting prosocial behavior and self regulatory skills in preschool children through a mindfulness based kindness curriculum. Developmental Psychology, 51 (1), 44 51. Greenland, S.K. (2016). Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Families. Boulder, C O: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Hanh, T.N. & Wear e, K. (2017). Happy Teachers Change the World . Berkeley: Parallax Press. Hölzel, B. K., Lazar, S. W., Gard, T., Schuman Olivier, Z., Vago, D. R., & Ott, U. (2011a). How does mindfulness meditation work? P roposing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science , 6(6), 537 559. Kabat Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology Science and Pra ctice, 10(2), 144 156. Kagan, S. (2016). Brain friendly teaching: tools, tips, and structures. San Clemente, CA: Kagan Publishing. Leland, M. (2015). Mindfulness and student success. Journal of Adult Education, 44(1), 19. Luders, E., Toga, A. W., Lepore , N., & Gaser, C. (2009). The underlying anatomical correlates of long term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter. Neuroimage, 45 (3), 672 678. Mareschal, D., Butterworth, B. & Tolmie, A. (2013). Educational Neuroscience. Oxford , UK: Wiley Blackwell. acceptability for a school based mindfulness intervention. Social Sciences, 6(4), 155. Mindful Schools. (2017 ) Research on Mindfulness. Ret rieved from Mindfulschools.org http://www.mindfulschools.org/about mindfulness/research/#reference 19

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39 Moreno, A.J. (2017). A Theoretically and Ethically Grounded Approach to Mindfulness Practices in the Primary Grades. Childhood Education , 93:2, 100 108. National Center for Education St atistics (2017 ) Fast Facts. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372 . Olano, H. A., Kachan, D., Tannenbaum, S. L., Mehta, A., Annane, D., & Lee, D. J. (2015). Engagement in mindfulness practices by U. S. adults: Sociodemographic barriers. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21(2), 1 102. Ormrod, J. E. (2012). Human learning (Sixth ed.). Boston: Pearson. Ramberg, M. R. (2014). What makes reform work? -school based conditions as pred ictors of teachers' changing practice after a national curriculum reform. International Education Studies, 7(6), 46. Roeser, R. W., Skinner, E., Beers, J., & Jennings, P. A. (2012). Mindfulness training and teachers' professional development: An emerging area of research and practice. Child Development Perspectives, 6(2), 167 173. Ryan, T. (2013). A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit. Hay House: USA. Schonert Reichl, K., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social emotional development through a simple to administer mindfulness based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51 (1), 52 66. Semple, R. J., Droutman, V., & Reid, B. A. (2017). Mindfulness goes to school: things learned 29 52. Shapiro, S. L., Lyons, K. E., Miller, R. C., Butler, B., Vieten, C., & Zelazo, P. D. (2015). Contemplation in the classroom: A new direction for improving childhood education. Educational Psychology Review, 27 (1), 1 30. Srinivasa, M. (2014). Teach, Breathe, Learn : Mindfulness in and out of the classroom. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press. Tang, Y. Y., Lu, Q., Geng, X., Stein, E. A., Yang, Y., & Posner, M. I. (2010). Short term meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 107, 15649 15652.

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40 Tang, Y., Yang, L., Leve, L. D ., & Harold, G. T. (2012). Improving executive function and its neurobiological mechanisms through a Mindfulness Based intervention: Advances within the field of developmental neuroscience. Child Development Perspectives, 6 (4), 361 366. Vickery, C. E., & Dorjee, D. (2016). Mindfulness training in primary schools decreases negative affect and increases meta cognition in children. Frontiers in Psychology, 6 Weare, K. (2013). Developing mindfulness with children and young people: A review of the evidence. J 153. Willard, C. (2016). Growing up mindful: essential practices to help children, teens, and families find balance, calm, and resilience. Boulder, CO: Sounds True. Williams, J., & Kabat Zinn, J. (2011). Mindfulness: Diverse perspectives on its meaning, origins, and multiple applications at the intersection of science and dharma INTRODUCTION. Contemporary Buddhism, 12(1), 1 18. 10. Zelazo, P. D., & Lyons, K. E. (2012). The potential benefits of mindfulness training i n early childhood: A developmental social cognitive neuroscience perspective. Child Development Perspectives , 6 (2), 154 160.

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41 APPENDIX A: Programs offering Mindfulness Training Calm https://www.calm.com/schoo ls Calm Classroom http://www.calmclassroom.com/ Empowering Education https://empoweringeducation.org/mindfulness in schools/ Mind Up https://mindup.org/ Mindful Education https://mindfuleducation.com/ Mindfulness in Education http://www.mindf ulnessineducation.com/ Mindful Schools http://www.mindfulschools.org/ Modern Mindfulness https://www.modmind.org/

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42 A PPENDIX B : Survey Demographic Information: 1. Teacher Role a. Classroom teacher, Special Education Teacher, Specials (Art, Music, PE, Technology), Small group (interventionist), Other 2. Primary d emographic of students you work with (select all that apply) a. Title 1, English Language Learners, Gifted and Tal ented, Middle class neighborhood , Special Education 3. Years of teaching experience a. <1, 1 4, 5 10, 11 20, 21 30, >31 Experience : 4. Familiarity with mindfulness in the classroom a. None, minimal, some, moderate, high 5. Use of mindfulness in the classroom a. None, Ye s us ing a formal curriculum , Yes informally b. (Open ended response) 6. Years using mindfulness in the classroom a. <1, 1 4, 5 10, 11 20, 21 30, >31 Background K nowledge: 7. What is your de finition of mindfulness? (Open ended response) Here is a definition of mindfulness:

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43 Mindfulness is a process that facilitates the ability to purposefully become aware of, attend to, and accept present experiences. (Edwards et al., 2016) Mindfulness can be incorporated into a classroom through: breathing exercises, guided imagery, sensory experiences, and movement. Perceived Barriers: (scored on Likert scale of 1 5) (Already targeted by other practices) 8. Mindfulness does not offer any benefits above those of already existing programs that target improved self regulation, attentional control, and executive function 9. Mindfulness would be useful to incorporate into the classroom even though other, more established programs already target attention, and social/em otional needs (Time) 10. Mindfulness exercises take time away from teaching that could be used for more proven techniques 11. I do not have time to do mindfulness exercises in the classroom without sacrificing other activities that are more important (Need for t raining) 12. I want more training before implementing mindfulness 13. (Inconsistent with philosophy) 14. Mindfulness is inconsistent with my teaching philosophy 15. I see mindfulness as valueless or artificial more of a fad than an actual intervention (Student perceptions) 16. Students will view mindfulness as a waste of time

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44 17. Many students will see mindfulness as cheesy and artificial (Student motivation) 18. Mindfulness is good for teacher student relati onships 19. Mindfulness will help motivate students in the classroom (Logistical practicality) 20. Currently, no one in my school has the experience to supervise mindfulness based work 21. ng mindfulness (Organizational acceptance) 22. instructional approach in my building 23. My administration does not support mindfulness (e.g. do not provide training/resources or dis courage the use of mindfulness) (Waste of time) 24. Mindfulness would take too much of my time and energy to incorporate into teaching 25. I do not have enough time or energy to incorporate mindfulness into teaching (Research) 26. I am not convinced by research about effectiveness of mindfulness with students 27. My teaching experience with students is more important than the research favoring mindfulness (Religion) 28. my classroom

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45 29. Mind my classroom (Student Involvement) 30. 31. Other 32. Is there anything you would like to share about your thoughts on mindfulness in the classroom?

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46 APPENDIX C: Recruiting email Hello, my name is Alexis Gonzales, and I am a graduate student in the School of Education and Human Development at the Univers ity of Colorado at Denver. I am also a 3 rd Grade Teacher at Federal Heights Elementary School. I am conducting surveying teachers on their perceptions of mindfulness. This survey will take about 10 15 minutes to complete. Your status will in no way be affected by your participation or lack of participation in my study. Additional information will be detailed on the first page of the survey. Please follow the link below to take the short survey. I greatly appreciate your time and participation! Sincerely, Alexis Gonzales Graduate Student, University of Colorado Denver 3 rd Grade Teacher , Federal Heights Elementary