Educators and Wellbeing: The Role of Mindfulness in the Times of Technology

Educators and Wellbeing: The Role of Mindfulness in the Times of Technology

Plamen Miltenoff (St. Cloud State University, USA) and Kelsey Milne (St. Cloud State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1766-6.ch006

Abstract

In a growing world of technology, stress and burnout increase. The surge of depression and anxiety among the young generations with their smart devices and the new reality of social media is a clear sign for the need to restore ancient practices of contemplative exercises and meditation. The authors of this chapter assert the pivotal role of educators as role models in the process of fending stress and affirming wellbeing by introducing and fostering these practices in educational institutions. A mixed method research confirms findings in the literature regarding the importance for both teachers and students to learn to regulate and control their emotions in the classroom and develop effective coping strategies to alleviate the high degree of burnout among teachers.
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Review Of Existing Literature

The review of the literature for this chapter faced this complex structure of surroundings, factors, and topical issues. We lack an overarching search term, e.g., stress, burnout, depression, tension, anxiety; all are terms related to the topic at hand. Mindfulness, wellbeing, meditative and contemplative practices/activities, are also related to the topic. Chiesa & Malinowski, (2011) noted “mindfulness” and “meditation” as two words often used for multiple processes, making a true meaning difficult to capture with a single definition. In addition, although closely related, the literature habitually treats instructors’ approaches toward students as a separate arena.

The rapidly increasing and ubiquitous presence of technology, particularly social media, is viewed by many as the foremost cause for burnout, stress, anxiety, etc. Bailey (2018) considers the disruption through technology in education as dangerous for children. However, McMullan, (2018) argues the positive correlation of moderate technology use to positive mental health, as per Przybylski & Weinstein, (2017).

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