Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Felver, Joshua C.
educational disparities, mindfulness, racial bias, teacher training
Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology
There are pervasive, consistent, and consequential racial disparities in educational outcomes (Quintana & Mahgoub, 2016), which are driven, in part, by teachers' decision-making processes regarding student behavioral evaluation (Gregory et al., 2010). Research aimed at achieving greater equity in schools has focused largely on providing teachers with tools to reduce ambiguity in decision-making, which may buffer against the influence of discrepant teacher expectations (McIntosh et al., 2014). However, researchers have found that such methods narrow, but do not eliminate, racial disproportionately in educational outcomes (McIntosh et al., 2018). As such, scholars have suggested the need to bolster teacher social and emotional qualities that are associated with more equitable teaching practices (Gregory & Fergus, 2017). Given the importance of awareness and concern for promoting bias reduction (Devine et al., 2017), we were interested in the extent to which mindfulness and compassion were related to more equitable decision-making among teachers. Contrary to our hypotheses, our results did not provide evidence that mindfulness and compassion among teachers were related to more equitable academic decision-making in response to student files in which student race was manipulated. Given the limitations inherent in self-report measures of dispositional qualities, future researchers should use intervention-based research methods that reproduce real classroom conditions to better examine the extent to which mindfulness-based practices can be used as a tool to address racial disproportionality in teachers' decision-making.
Ash, Tory L., "The Influence of Mindfulness and Compassion on Racial Biases in Student Evaluation and Discipline" (2022). Theses - ALL. 597.
Available for download on Thursday, November 06, 2025