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Pre-Service Teachers Project

Image by XiXinXing via iStockPhoto


Teachers experience increasingly high levels of burnout and stress, which negatively affect students’ well-being and learning outcomes. Nearly one third of new teachers leave the profession in the first three years due to excess stress. Our study trains undergraduate students who are preparing to be teachers in well-being practices and then follows them to see if they have improved resiliency and effectiveness once they are licensed educators. This work could identify ways to nurture longer-term well-being in young teachers. 

Study Details

American teachers report high levels of daily stress and leave the profession at alarming rates. Teacher stress, distress and burnout reflect a diminution in teacher well-being that has important consequences for teachers and students as well as the school context more broadly.

Supported by a Mind & Life Institute Varela Award, a grant from the Trust for the Meditation Process and funds from the Center for Healthy Minds and the UW–Madison School of Education, the Pre-Service Teachers Project examines whether a novel well-being training provided during undergraduate teacher education can build resiliency in pre-service teachers and whether cultivating resiliency improves classroom management behaviors known to predict student outcomes.

Center researchers plan to follow pre-service teachers longitudinally for three years post-graduation to assess if the training predicts well-being and persistence in teaching after matriculation to professional teaching.

People Working on This Study

Richard J. Davidson
Founder, Center for Healthy Minds & Healthy Minds Innovations, William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry
Lisa Flook
Lisa Flook
Former Associate Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds
Lori Gustafson
Former Senior Outreach Specialist, Center for Healthy Minds
Matthew Hirshberg
Matt Hirshberg
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Healthy Minds
Lisa Thomas Prince
Former Outreach Specialist, Center for Healthy Minds
Jane Sachs
Jane Sachs
Research Program Manager, Center for Healthy Minds

Media Related to this Project

Mindfulness for Preservice Teacher Education
Apr 05, 2020
Postdoctoral Research Associate Matt Hirshberg talks about how mindfulness can help preservice teachers improve classroom skills.
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