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Toward the Integration of Meditation into Higher Education: A Review of Research Evidence


by Shauna L. Shapiro, Kirk Warren Brown & John A. Astin — 2011

Context: There is growing interest in the integration of meditation in higher education.

Purpose: Here, we review evidence bearing on the utility of meditation to facilitate the achievement of traditional educational goals and to enhance education of the “whole person.”

Research Design: We examine how meditation practices may help foster important cognitive skills of attention and information processing, as well build stress resilience and adaptive interpersonal capacities through a review of the published research literature.

Conclusions/Recommendations: We offer directions for future research, highlighting the importance of theory-based investigations, increased methodological rigor, expansion of the scope of education-related outcomes studied, and the study of best practices for teaching meditation in educational settings.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 113 Number 3, 2011, p. 493-528
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16058, Date Accessed: 4/24/2014 2:42:21 PM

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About the Author
  • Shauna Shapiro
    Santa Clara University
    E-mail Author
    SHAUNA L. SHAPIRO, Ph.D. is an associate professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University. Dr. Shapiro’s research focuses on mindfulness meditation and its applications to psychotherapy, education, and well-being. She is the recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies teaching award, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to graduate education in the area of mindfulness and psychotherapy. Dr. Shapiro lectures and leads mindfulness training programs nationally and internationally for health professionals on the growing applications of mindfulness in psychology, education and health care. She is co-author of the book, The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions, published by American Psychology Press.
  • Kirk Brown
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    KIRK WARREN BROWN, PhD, completed undergraduate and graduate training in Psychology at the University of Toronto and McGill University, respectively, and post-doctoral training at the University of Rochester. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. His research centers on the role of attention in self-regulation and well-being and he has a particular interest in the nature of mindfulness, and the role of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions in emotion regulation, behavior regulation, and mental health in healthy and clinical populations. He has authored numerous journal articles and chapters on these topics. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the US Administration on Aging, and several fine non-profit foundations.
  • John Astin
    California Pacific Medical Center
    JOHN ASTIN is a research scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. He has published over 50 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in such journals as Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), American Psychologist, and Academic Medicine. His scholarly work has covered a broad range of topics including: the efficacy of complementary/alternative therapies, particularly mind-body awareness practices, in the treatment of many common medical conditions; barriers to the integration of psychosocial factors in medical training and practice; and, the efficacy of mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches for relapse prevention in addiction.
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