Spring 2018: Mindfulness in Health and Human Development - EDIS 3012



Spring 2018: Mindfulness in Health and Human Development - EDIS 3012


Wed. Jan 17, 2018 - Tue. May 1, 2018 (15 weeks)
Every Wednesday from 4:15 PM to 6:45 PM


McLeod Hall 2010

Mindfulness-based interventions promote physical and mental health and support cognitive and emotional developmental processes in individuals across the lifespan. Mindful awareness practices can support our ability to be fully present to the needs of others. This course introduces a variety of these practices and the research on their effects as a means to promoting well-being and building supportive relationships in professional settings.
Mindfulness in Health and Human Development is designed to integrate cutting edge science with practical applications for students preparing to work in caring professions. Evidence has shown that mindfulness can give us an edge in supporting our own well-being and our ability to provide support for others. As a student in Mindfulness in Health and Human Development, you will gain a solid foundation in the interdisciplinary field of interpersonal neurobiology and the scientific study of mindful awareness and compassion practices. For the purposes of this course, mindfulness is defined as a trait, a state, and a practice. Research has found that some people are naturally more mindful that others (trait), anyone can be more or less mindful at any given moment (state) and you can cultivate mindfulness with practice. Mindful awareness practices can be formal (such as forms of meditation) or informal (bringing mindful awareness to everyday activities). It can also be practiced in a variety of ways besides formal meditation, including movement (walking, yoga and martial arts), and engaging with nature and the arts. You will become familiar with a variety of these practices and will be asked to integrate them into your own life by regularly engaging with them for the duration of the course. You will then apply this theoretical and practical knowledge to a series of case studies highlighting common intrapersonal and interpersonal challenges. You will also learn how to present and lead these practices to others and gain experience practicing this in class. In this way, Mindfulness in Health and Human Development will prepare you to use the skills learned in this course to care for yourself and build capacity to help others.
* 3 credits
Instructor Tish Jennings is an Associate Professor of Education at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education with a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom. Dr. Jennings led the team that developed CARE for Teachers, a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, emotional supportiveness and sensitivity and classroom productivity in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress. Dr. Jennings is leading the development of the Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, an integrated health education program designed to align with state and national health and physical education standards. She is Co-Principal Investigator on a large randomized controlled trial being conducted in Louisville, KY to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy. Dr. Jennings is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development among Children and Youth. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jennings spent over 22 years as a teacher, school director and teacher educator. She is the author of Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom part of the Norton Series on the Social Neuroscience of Education.