Compassion-based mindfulness training in teacher education: The impact on student teachers at a South African university


This paper presents findings from a teacher education study, exploring the implications of mindfulness training on student teachers in the context of a transitional society, South Africa. Western secular mindfulness has been expanding to new continents, from its origins in the East, and now needs to be contextualised. Recent critiques of the contemporary mindfulness movement identify elements that are missing from much secular mindfulness training, such as ethics, compassion, and social engagement.

As part of a mixed methods research study, in-depth interviews were carried out with fourteen student teachers in Gauteng, aiming to understand the level and causes of their stress, and evaluate whether a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) was beneficial. The study’s findings extended the current literature, highlighting the benefits of including compassion practices in MBIs, particularly in stressful contexts. Compassion-based mindfulness has the potential as a practice that not only improves the resilience of individuals, but also becomes a means of enhancing social engagement. For student teachers in developing world contexts, mindfulness combined with compassion could address some of the current critiques of MBIs.

Author Biography

L.J. Draper-Clarke, University of the Witwatersrand
Drama for Life, School of Arts


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How to Cite
Draper-Clarke, L.J. 2020. “Compassion-Based Mindfulness Training in Teacher Education: The Impact on Student Teachers at a South African University”. South African Journal of Higher Education 34 (1), 57-79.
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