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When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom

Everybody is doing it: companies like Google provide professional development around mindfulness for their employees, professional athletes practice mindfulness, and even the military trains soldiers through mindfulness. A growing body of neuroscience and other research suggests that mindfulness also holds an array of benefits for higher education, including individual benefits (such as increased self-regulation, attention, and creativity) and communal benefits (such as the promise of more inclusive environments). When students are emotionally engaged in the classroom, they have a greater sense of belonging because content connects to their personal lives and academic pursuits. During this workshop, participants learn how to incorporate mindfulness into their classrooms to support student engagement and success.

By the end of this workshop, participants know or are able to:

  • Understand the “contemplative pedagogy” movement in higher education.
  • Identify practical strategies and a wealth of resources for implementing mindful practices.
  • Implement mindfulness in various classroom formats.
  • More fully support their students!


  • Hands-on exercises involving practical strategies for implementing mindfulness practices in and out of the classroom.

About the Facilitator

Chelsea Biggerstaff, Coordinator, Faculty Development, Austin Community College After visiting classrooms in Japan, China, the United States, and the Navajo Nation during her undergraduate studies at Indiana University, Chelsea recognized a disparity in educational settings that was inexcusable. In response, she devoted two years to national service with AmeriCorps and later accepted a position at Skillpoint Alliance. As a Program Lead at Skillpoint Alliance, Chelsea coordinated the NEXT Intermediate Job Program and developed and facilitated professional development trainings and workshops in areas such as Leadership, Presentation Skills, Team Skills, Task and Time Management, Communication in the Workplace, and Creative Problem Solving. In addition, Chelsea coordinated several youth STEM programs where she planned teacher trainings with a focus on computer science in the classroom; natural sciences; making, tinkering and inventing; project-based learning; and rapid prototyping. Chelsea’s background in education and passion for closing the achievement gap drew her to Austin Community College where she uses her creativity, educational background, and positive spirit to inspire and learn from the college’s hardworking faculty.

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