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Mindfulness research in higher education: student perspectives, educator perspectives and the research gap

McColl, Julie (2016) Mindfulness research in higher education: student perspectives, educator perspectives and the research gap. In: Garcia Medina, Irene and Martin Llaguno, Marta, (eds.) Business, Economy and Society: Issues for Research in a Knowledge and Information Society. Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Alicante Spain, pp. 18-24

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Founded in the ancient Buddhist philosophy as Sati (Chiesa, 2012), mindfulness has evolved over the past three decades to be a subject of empirical study within the field psychology and has gained attention in the academic literature as applied in studies such as those related to mental and physical health (Woodruff, et al., 2014), criminal psychology (Parks and Mariatt, 2004), education (Langer 1997; Bush, 2011), relaxation and stress reduction (Hinterman, et al., 2012; Williams and Penman, 2011; Gilbert and Choden, 2013; Kabat-Zinn, 2013). Daily practice is known to increase acceptance, compassion, non-judgement, positivity and empathy, and ultimately helps to promote a calm and restful mind (Brach, 2011). In education, mindfulness supports student learning and improves student performance (Langer 1997). October 2015 has seen the publication of a Mindful Nation UK Report. The Mindful Nation UK report is the result of a twelve month inquiry by the Mindfulness All-party Parliamentary Group into how Mindfulness could be applied across the policy areas of health, education, criminal justice and the workplace (Mindful Nation UK, 2015). This is indeed recognition of the benefits of mindfulness, and although the focus of this report is school education, the report recognizes the increase in mental health issues amongst 17 to 19 year old youths and the benefits of mindful practice to improving the wellbeing and educational potential of this group. This paper is a result of a review of the literature and seeks to establish the benefits of mindfulness in higher education from the perspective of the student and the educator and also highlights the need for future large scale, multi-site empirical studies in relation to mindfulness in higher education.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3264

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