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Rediscovering Education by Way of Mindfulness: A Critique of Current Practices and a Possible Solution

Description

In this thesis, I intend to articulate four main arguments: (1) that the current state of public K-12
education in America is dire and in critical need of reform, (2) this dire state is evidenced by
statistics reporting

In this thesis, I intend to articulate four main arguments: (1) that the current state of public K-12
education in America is dire and in critical need of reform, (2) this dire state is evidenced by
statistics reporting that both student test scores and mental health are declining, (3) these issues
are perpetuated by recent efforts to implement extreme amounts of digital technology into
classrooms, rigid standardization and assessment-based learning, and the lack of attention paid to
philosophy and religion in public K-12 curricula, and (4) that many of these issues could be
resolved through the implementation of a curriculum teaching “mindfulness”. “Mindfulness” has
many different interpretations, but for this thesis will refer to an umbrella of skills that can be
taught and honed through critically reading and discussing philosophical and religious texts, as
well as engaging in different types of meditative practices. Skills such as logical and deductive
reasoning, ethics, emotional regulation, debate, public speaking, goal-setting, organization, and
planning. Practices and exercises found in philosophy, but many students may not necessarily be
accustomed to (meditation, yoga, silent prayer, stoic contemplation), would be read about,
practiced, and/or discussed, likely before class discussions on the day’s text. Implementing such
a curriculum can occur at varying degrees of intensity, with increasing levels of effectiveness
with each increase in the intensity of implementation.

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Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Mindfulness, Compassion, Resilience and Well-being in College Students

Description

This paper will use a national cross-sectional survey approach to look at the association between trainable mind-body qualities (mindfulness and self-compassion) with well-being and resilience in 111 college students across the U.S.. Specifically, it will investigate (1) the relationship between

This paper will use a national cross-sectional survey approach to look at the association between trainable mind-body qualities (mindfulness and self-compassion) with well-being and resilience in 111 college students across the U.S.. Specifically, it will investigate (1) the relationship between trainable qualities (mindfulness, self-compassion) and the resilience, and subjective well-being in students, and (2) compare how these variables were distributed based on enrollment in a college course on compassion. After examination of descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations, comparative analyses were also employed to determine whether enrollment in compassion college courses had any relationship to one’s scores. Results: Respondents included 12 students enrolled in Compassion college course, and 99 students who were not. Both mindfulness and self-compassion showed significant positive correlations with well-being and resilience in all students, and in subgroups based on enrollment at p < .01. Additionally, students enrolled in the course averaged 3 points higher scores across all measures except resilience, where scores were about the same. Conclusions: In all college students, regardless of their enrollment in Compassion, well-being and resilience are positively correlated with both mindfulness and self-compassion. Furthermore, scores based on enrollment in “Compassion” yielded higher levels of mindfulness, self-compassion, resilience, and well-being.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Intervention for Adults with Autism

Description

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly have co-morbid psychiatric symptoms which can decrease quality of life. Although many adults with ASD are achieving greater independence, including attending college, psychiatric symptoms are generally not well controlled in this group. Mindfulness

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly have co-morbid psychiatric symptoms which can decrease quality of life. Although many adults with ASD are achieving greater independence, including attending college, psychiatric symptoms are generally not well controlled in this group. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program that has successfully been used to reduce the stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms in many clinical and non-clinical groups and may also be effective for college-aged students with ASD. The present investigation assessed the demand, practicality, implementation, adaptation, and acceptability of an MBSR course for college students with ASD. A total of 22 participants completed the questionnaire containing 53 questions and were between the ages of 18 to 64. We found that the MBSR therapy is in high demand for individuals with ASD, and that the participants would be willingly complete the intervention techniques. Participants generally stated that a therapy course like MBSR may help reduce their symptoms, and that they were eager to enroll. Participants were willing to attend all 8 classes during the summer, with a preference for afternoons. Also, modifications including yoga and background music would be accepted by each participant as well as any additional modifications made to the course to meet the needs of the individuals with ASD. Next steps include enrolling and randomizing students into the MBSR course or control group, as well as collect pre- and post-intervention data. We hypothesize MBSR will reduce the psychiatric symptoms and stress levels of individuals in college with ASD, demonstrating its effectiveness in this vulnerable population.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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The Architecture of Mindfulness

Description

In the age of social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and an overwhelming pressure to become "successful," there is a marked lack of personal connection within communities and a constant state of stress and overwork. This constant state of stress

In the age of social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and an overwhelming pressure to become "successful," there is a marked lack of personal connection within communities and a constant state of stress and overwork. This constant state of stress then builds into anxiety, as there are few public resources for mental reprieve. The World Health Organization reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide, begging the question as to how they can be addressed most effectively worldwide. As design is implicit within any environment that provides for mental wellness, it must be carefully curated to provide not only the physical necessities, but speak for something beyond explanation- a sense of mental refuge and comfort. Using the concept of mindfulness, architecture has the power to force users to truly be present in the experience, activating space to become a mental refuge rather than a passive infrastructure.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Key Importance of Equitable Mindfulness and Resiliency among Students in a Thriving Community

Description

Nowadays, the word mindfulness has become popular in a different part of the world especially in school and work environment to practice self-care through meditations and other mindfulness-based interventions. Mindfulness means simply being aware of the present and anchoring our

Nowadays, the word mindfulness has become popular in a different part of the world especially in school and work environment to practice self-care through meditations and other mindfulness-based interventions. Mindfulness means simply being aware of the present and anchoring our self at the moment without any judgments. Additionally, there are plenty of ways to practice mindfulness whether through focusing our attention on our breathing, mindful walking, yoga, tai-chi, and many more. Students are often bombarded with much information from their academics but at the same time with their tasks and responsibilities outside of their academics. The school environment encourages students to thrive in the community to learn and be the best version of themselves, however, this could lead to some depressive disorders such as anxiety, stress, and the feeling of overwhelm. I, myself experienced having anxiety and a high level of stress throughout my college journey. My thesis focuses on the importance of equitable mindfulness including different interventions to practice self-care and the importance of being a resilient student in a thriving community. Moreover, along with my thesis, I created the Be Present (BPRSNT) website blog, which is an interactive tool and resource to students and the community to highlights the benefits of mindfulness and ways to overcome some challenges. Since almost everyone has access to online technology and information the main goal of the Be Present is to disseminate information about the importance of practicing self-care specifically in a robust and fast phase community by having a positive mindset and a mindful living. Aside from the website blog, I also created a personalized journal which is a tool that can help students and the community to practice mindfulness through writing whether coming up with to-do lists or journaling the events that happen in their life. It is also a good and fun way to document innovative ideas and passions.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Mindful Applications of Communication Processes

Description

Mindfulness, the practice of being aware of your present-moment experiences with an attitude of compassionate curiosity, has recently gained popularity in the academic world - this creative thesis project is intended to help others understand the importance of using mindfulness

Mindfulness, the practice of being aware of your present-moment experiences with an attitude of compassionate curiosity, has recently gained popularity in the academic world - this creative thesis project is intended to help others understand the importance of using mindfulness to improve one’s relationship with oneself and with others through effective communication. This project provides a course template that may be used to help students to implement the ideas from mindfulness into their own patterns of communication on all levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, public, and mass communication). The lectures and course materials provided may act as an instructor’s manual to teach students to practice the facets of mindfulness outside of the classroom setting, and to reflect on their experiences; the lessons in this proposed course were specifically designed to help others learn effective communication practices through the use of empathy, acceptance, and awareness. When used in combination with regular mindful meditation sessions and course readings related to mindfulness, the concepts taught in this project allow others to learn the ideology behind mindfulness and how to benefit from its practice.

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Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Mindful Leadership: An Initiative to Integrate Transformative Learning into Barrett, the Honors College

Description

This paper proposes that mindfulness should be integrated into the culture and pedagogy of educational institutions like Barrett, the Honors College. Research suggests that members of the millennial generation experience higher levels of stress due to the conditions of their

This paper proposes that mindfulness should be integrated into the culture and pedagogy of educational institutions like Barrett, the Honors College. Research suggests that members of the millennial generation experience higher levels of stress due to the conditions of their upbringing. The text explores the author's experience of mindfulness practice both outside of the classroom and as integrated into pedagogy through transformative learning courses. This paper shows that practicing mindfulness, improving self-talk, transformative learning, increasing social connection, and practicing Free Listening will help to cultivate a more mindful culture in Barrett and help to reduce stress-levels in students.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Marvel at The Ordinary: A Community-Centered Gratitude Movement

Description

This project was generated out of a desire to understand and explore a novel twist on a well-traversed route to happiness. I set out looking for a new perspective on fulfillment and found sustainable, everyday joy through gratitude. In doing

This project was generated out of a desire to understand and explore a novel twist on a well-traversed route to happiness. I set out looking for a new perspective on fulfillment and found sustainable, everyday joy through gratitude. In doing so, I created a space where a group of people could practice and share gratitude as a community. Gratitude is familiar to most as a feeling, but putting intention behind gratitude turns it into an action, and even a virtue. In fact, Roman philosopher Cicero says, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." I created a Facebook community called Marvel at The Ordinary (MATO) applying principles rooted in the Theory of Change to express this greatest virtue. I found both success and earnest support from others in this novel approach to current gratitude practices. Defined by Dr. Robert Emmons, an expert in the science of gratitude, practicing gratitude is a two-step process: "(1.) affirming goodness in one's life, and (2.) recognizing that the sources of this goodness lie at least partially outside of the self." There is substantial research touting the worth of gratitude journaling, in fact, few things have been more repeatedly and empirically vetted than the connection between gratitude and overall happiness and well-being. Yet there is one facet ubiquitously overlooked in current gratitude research: what happens when gratitude journaling is shared with others? With anecdotal evidence, short-form interview analysis, thematic analysis of journaling lexicon, and a case study on the growth and engagement of Marvel at The Ordinary as a social movement, there is reason to believe that a social media-based community centered around gratitude may support and even enhance the practice of gratitude, which is typically practiced in isolation. It was also found that communities of this sort are highly sought after, based on the engagement within and growth of the Facebook group from 50 to 600+ members in a period of 2 months. MATO set out with the aspirations of creating a community which encourages others to gratitude journal, raising awareness about gratitude journaling, and building a community which fosters empathy, optimism, and awareness in an everyday sense. In each of these goals, overwhelming success was found.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Mindfulness as an Intervention to Mitigate and Decrease Rates of Burnout in Registered Nurses: A Systematic Literature Review

Description

The aim of this review is to explore the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on Registered Nurse's rate of burnout and stress. Particularly focusing on the mitigation and decrease of burnout. Burnout is a multifaceted, complex issue that has become engrained

The aim of this review is to explore the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on Registered Nurse's rate of burnout and stress. Particularly focusing on the mitigation and decrease of burnout. Burnout is a multifaceted, complex issue that has become engrained in the culture of nursing and a widespread epidemic. Burnout has detrimental effects for the quality of life of the nurse, patient outcomes, interprofessional collaboration, and nursing practice. A systematic literature review incorporating qualitative data and analyzing the quantitative data was conducted. Studies on the effects of mindfulness-based interventions for nurses relating to burnout published between January 2008 and May 2018 were identified through a systematic search in electronic databases: CINHAL, Cochrane, Embase, Medline, PsycInfo, and PubMed. Gray literature was searched through Scopus and clinical trials were explored through clincialtrials.gov. Data analysis was based on 8 data points that were extracted from the research. A total of 17 articles were selected for inclusion in the systematic literature review. There were several different types of studies including single group intervention study, randomized control trial interventions studies, mixed model, quasi-experimental studies with controls, and a non-randomized controlled comparison. All relied on self-reporting scales and questionnaire for quantitative pre-post intervention changes. Overall, the 10 of the 17 studies found that there was a statistically significant decrease in burnout rates and an increase in mindfulness post intervention. Several other factors improved in a number of studies such as quality of life, decreased stress, increased sense of personal accomplishment, and decreased emotional exhaustion. There were also indications of an improvement in the individual's holistic well-being (e.g. inner state of calmness, awareness and enthusiasm) relating to improved mindfulness levels in 12 of the studies. Based on the results of this systematic review, mindfulness may be considered a potentially effective intervention for decreasing nurse burnout and mitigating future burnout. This intervention could be useful in a number of contexts including on-site and off-site programs with institutional support. Future research should explore longitudinal outcomes of mindfulness practice, symptom focused outcome measures, and multi-modal studies.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Perceptions of health care and the use of physical activity and mindfulness to cope with grief in racial/ethnic minority women who have experienced stillbirth: Informing interventions

Description

Introduction/Purpose: the purpose of this study was to explore the perception of care after stillbirth and the use of physical activity and/or mindful approaches (e.g., yoga) to cope with grief in women of racial/ethnic minority who have experienced stillbirth.

Introduction/Purpose: the purpose of this study was to explore the perception of care after stillbirth and the use of physical activity and/or mindful approaches (e.g., yoga) to cope with grief in women of racial/ethnic minority who have experienced stillbirth.
Methods: This was an exploratory qualitative research study. Participants were African American, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian women, between the ages of 26 and 38, who have experienced stillbirth within the past 3 years. Participants completed a 20-30 minute phone interview.
Results: Fourteen women participated in the study (M age = 31.02 ± 5.97 years; M time since stillbirth = 1.47 ± 0.94 years). Women’s perceptions about physical activity and mindfulness to cope with grief were coded into the following major themes: perception of health care after stillbirth (satisfaction with the level of care provided), recommendations about inter-conception health care from physician (relating to mental, emotional, and physical health), grief (comfort with communicating with the physician), coping mechanisms, perception of the relationship between physical activity and mood, barriers to participating in physical activity (social and behavioral), pre-pregnancy physical activity, and perception of mindful approach (e.g., yoga) as a coping mechanism.
Conclusion: This was the first study to explore perceptions of health care and the use of physical activity and/or mindful approaches (e.g., yoga) to cope with grief after stillbirth in women of racial/ethnic minority. Findings from this study may help inform health care professionals alter their care practices and introduce physical activity and mindfulness based approaches as coping mechanisms to mothers of stillborn babies.

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2015-05