The Journey of Mindfulness Into Western Classrooms and Its Impact on Education

Cameron Kolodge


Everything has a story, a point of origin, a list of defining features that make it into what it is. Yet the larger and more ubiquitous something gets, the harder it can be to define. The saturation of educational related mindfulness publications, resources, and research has made mindfulness into a modern educational phenomenon. The scale of this phenomenon begins far before its western transition and includes forces throughout history and around the globe. In an attempt to truly understand the story of mindfulness many layers need to be peeled back. Layers that have made it increasingly difficult to discern what mindfulness truly is. At some point external forces can alter something beyond its original form and into a newly created entity. This new entity holds the story of its past as it forges its own future. As an educational tool, mindfulness practices have proven not only to be popular, but also useful in tackling a great variety of complex issues in education. However, before putting these tools into practice, educational settings should consider the story and implications of these tools. Therein, being poised to better integrate mindfulness they may find of use. This master's thesis explores the origin, journey, applications and continued evolution of mindfulness as it became prominent in the educational framework of the west; encouraging practitioners to both thoughtfully engage with, and hold lightly the implications of its story.