Research Project Mindfulness in Teacher Training at the University of Vienna

Researcher: Dominik Weghaupt

The research project Mindfulness in Teacher Training at the University of Vienna researches the prerequisites, forms and effects of the implementation of mindfulness in pre-service teacher education.

Therefore, the university course Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in Schools– one of the first models that integrated mindfulness in pre-service teacher education in Europe – is evaluated and compared to other mindfulness and non-mindfulness-based university seminars at the University of Vienna, Munich and Leipzig.

The research project is based on an educational-scientific approach that presents a novelty in the currently psychologically and neuro-scientifically dominated field of mindfulness research. By resorting to the theory of education as a foundation, it aims at clarifying how and to what extent mindfulness can be implemented in teacher training courses beyond already established ways that focus on promotion of health and performance by putting a holistic pedagogical professionalization at the center.

The research design is structured into 4 steps:

  1. In the first step, the intersections between the scientific discussion of mindfulness and teacher education are identified and current links between the two are localized.
  2. In a second step, hypothesis for a pre-post-design questionnaire are developed on the basis of literary research. The data that is collected by dividing the participants (n=200) into 3 intervention and 3 control groups will be analyzed using a multi-variational approach (quantitative part of research).
  3. In the third step, the focus is on the students’ individual environments. By making use of journal entries collected during the university courses, their individual realities are made accessible. These collected anecdotes are subject to phenomenological analysis (qualitative part of research).
  4. In a fourth step, semi-structural guided expert interviews with three lecturers of mindfulness-based university courses are carried out. Making use of qualitative content analysis, the lecturers’ subjective theories will be made visible (qualitative part of study).

The aim of this ground-breaking exploration based on Educational Science is to initialize further discourse on pedagogical professionalization of teachers by drawing on the currently developing educational theory of mindfulness.


Additional resources:

  • For detailed information on this research project click here (in German only).