Ethical considerations for mindfulness in education: prescriptive quick fix or transformational paradigm shift?
Master of Education
Buddhist roots of mindfulness
Contemporary mindfulness in the West
Mindfulness in education
Maladaptive conditioning and bias
Mindfulness and social justice
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While mindfulness practices have demonstrated utility in bolstering human well-being and functioning, they are certainly not beyond reproach. Purser and Loy (2013) have coined the term “McMindfulness” to refer to instrumental and prescriptive forms of mindfulness that attempt to apply scientific reductionism to isolate, quantify, and maximize components of mindfulness associated with specific outcomes, such as stress-reduction and increased attention. In this thesis, I examine mindfulness through the lens of conceptual analysis, Buddhist ontology and epistemology, and social justice. As mindfulness is mainstreamed and appropriated by various entities that attempt to capitalize on its growing popularity, it is crucial to understand what it is and how it may be applied in a holistic manner, particularly in educational contexts. Education is a critically important site from which to enact change; for this reason, it is essential to question and understand what mindfulness is before applying it as a pedagogical prescription. Furthermore, if mindfulness is to continue to be implemented in education, it should be in support of human development and human flourishing in ways that cultivate collective well-being, rather than individualistic well-being.