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smartEducation (Smart Resiliency And Mindfulness Training)
Professional Development for Educators


Mindfulness for Educators: smartEducation™
A 9-Session Renewal Program

smartEducation™ (SMART: Stress Management And Resiliency Training) is an evidence-based program designed to address the needs of educators (K-12) and professional support staff. 

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SMART (Stress Management & Resiliency Techniques) originally developed in the US is now managed by smartUBC, a not for profit unit of the University of British Columbia and coordinated through the Okanagan School of Education, UBC Okanagan campus. UBC researches and manages the development of the evidence base for continual updating of the curriculum.  


The program involves experiential activities in mindfulness including: secular meditation, emotional awareness, self-regulation, and movement. Weekly meetings include presentations and group discussions.  Participants also benefit from daily at home exercises in support of the program.

Course format

The 20 hour program is delivered in a workshop setting, with a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 25 participants and consists of 8 two hour sessions and a 4 hour silent retreat. The course is non-religious and non-sectarian and is delivered by smartUBC accredited instructors.

Successful participants receive a certificate of completion from UBC Okanagan School of Education in cooperation with channel delivery partners.

Course outcomes

The course trains educators to:

  • Manage stress through a greater understanding and control of emotions
  • Employ self-care techniques to cultivate personal and professional resilience
  • Create effective strategies for relating to challenging situations
  • Have personal experience to support other programs for students in mindfulness
  • Enhance concentration and executive function (planning, decision-making, and impulse control)
  • Revitalize purpose, personally and professionally
  • Improve personal overall mental and physical health
  • Promote happiness through healthy habits of the mind

SMART involves experiential practices that promote:

  • Concentration, attention, and mindfulness
  • Awareness and understanding of emotions
  • Empathy, compassion, and positive interpersonal communication

Mindfulness Practices

Download these resources here

  • Pause Practice
  • Sitting Practice
  • Body Scan
  • Research

    Thirty years of informed basic research and, more recently, neuroscience, offer compelling evidence to support the use of employing mindfulness practices in education. The application of mindfulness by students and teachers has the potential to improve academic achievement, mental health, and positive relationships. Scientific studies show that mindfulness training develops one’s concentration, attention, executive function, (planning, decision making, and impulse control), emotional balance, pro-social behavior, compassionate action and promotes mental well- being. Please find below a short sampling of the Research on SMART, Mindfulness for Educators, and a longer section of readings and research related to mindfulness. smartEducation Specific Research SMART’s unique offering is not only the heavily researched MBSR as its foundation (70% of the program content), but the added components of emotion theory training (20%) and forgiveness and compassion training (10%). The SMART program is the most researched mindfulness program for educators, with over eight studies completed on SMART in various locations in Canada and the USA. As well, research on SMART has attracted over $200,000 in finished grants, with $3.7 million in additional grant funding pending. The following articles represent the research that has already been published specifically about smartEducation.

    Ragoonaden, K. (2017). smartEducation: Developing stress management and resiliency techniques. LEARNning Landscapes. 10 (2) 241-255.

    K. (2017). A Pedagogy of Well-Being: Introducing Mindfulness to First Year Access Students. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry 4(1) 1-28.

    • Randomized controlled study on the effects of mindfulness training on parents and educators of children with special needs. Results showed that SmartinEducation mindfulness training “significantly influenced caregiving competence specific to teaching” and significant reductions in stress and anxiety, as well as increased mindfulness, self-compassion, personal growth, empathic concern and forgiveness.
  • This research explores the psychological and physiological effects on 113 teachers in Canada and America of randomized assignation to an 8-week Mindfulness Training (SMARTinEducation) or wait-list control groups. Results showed teachers assigned to MT showed greater mindfulness, focused attention, and working memory capacity, and occupational self-compassion, as well as a reduction in occupational stress and burnout, and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Roeser, R. (2009). SMART-in-Education Three-Day Workshops for School Counselors, Principals and School Administrators: Vancouver, BC. Denver, CO. (unpublished)
    • This is Roeser’s report on a three-day SMART experience offered for administrators. The three-day intensive SMART workshop was to introduce the SMART program to administrators and to give them an idea of the benefits of SMART for their teachers and colleagues. They were presented with the material and surveys and reports of previous SMART trainings. In addition to giving feedback and recommendations for the program, the majority of participants said they would recommend this program to their teachers and colleagues.
    Research Evidence for Mindfulness Programs for Education The specific research studies referred to here demonstrate that practicing mindfulness decreases occupational stress and compassion burnout. Mindfulness protocols are highly regarded as a non-invasive mental health intervention tool for educators within the school system, and the current demand for the UBC SMARTinEducation curriculum and training by provincial school districts is evidence of this trusted resource.

    Abenavoli, R. M., Jennings, P. A., Greenberg, M. T., Harris, A. R., & Katz, D. A. (2013). The Protective effects of mindfulness against burnout among educators. The Psychology of Education Review, 37(2), 57-69.
    • This article reports on the study of 64 educators using self-reports measures of mindfulness, burnout, affect, sleep related impairment, , daily physical symptoms, stress and ambition. Descriptive statistics and correlations in the study variables show that teacher’s mindfulness has a strong protective effect against burnout.
    Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K. and Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for Teachers: A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout, and Teaching Efficacy. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7: 182–195. doi: 10.1111/mbe.12026
    • Results from a randomized control pilot trial of a modified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course adapted specifically for teachers suggest that the course may be a promising intervention with participants showing significant reductions in psychological symptoms and burnout, improvements in observer-rated classroom organization and performance on a computer task of affective attentional bias and increases in self-compassion. This study comes out of the Centre for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM), University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    Jennings, P. A., Frank, J.L., Snowberg, K.E., Coccia, M.A., Greenberg, M.T. (2013). Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of a randomized-controlled trial. School Psychology Quarterly, 28(4), 374-390.

    • Randomized controlled trial examined program efficacy and acceptability of CARE for Teachers program, a mindfulness-based professional development program. Fifty teachers were randomly assigned to CARE or waitlist and were given pre-post intervention self-reports. Results showed significant improvements in teacher well-being, efficacy, burnout/time-related stress, and mindfulness. (Also see: Jennings, P. A., Snowberg, K. E., Coccia, M. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2011). Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of two pilot studies. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 46(1), 37–48.)

    Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, M.L., Griffin, M. L, Biegel, G., Roach, A., Frank, J., Burke, C., Pinger, L., Soloway, G., Isberg, R., Sibinga, E., Grossman, L., Saltzman, A. (2012). Integrating Mindfulness Training into K-12 Education: Fostering the Resilience of Students and Teachers. Mindfulness, 3:291-307.

    • An overview of 14 studies researching mindfulness in K-12 and in teachers. Offers the rationale for mindfulness training, the effects of mindfulness, and a framework for evaluating mindfulness programs and studies.

    Roeser, R. W., Skinner, E., Beers, J. and Jennings, P. A. (2012), Mindfulness Training and Teachers’ Professional Development: An Emerging Area of Research and Practice. Child Development Perspectives, 6: 167–173. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-8606.2012.00238.x

    • This article discusses the rationale for Mindfulness training programs to be implemented as professional development aimed at improving teaching in public schools. It gives a definition for mindfulness training, its application in the teacher context and explores the effects and directions for future research


    For research and academic matters

    Karen Ragoonaden, BA MA PhD 

    Director, Professional Programs


    Phone: 250.807.8113


    To arrange SMART at your facility in Ontario:
    Contact Heidi Bornstein


    visit smartUBC


    Last reviewed shim12/5/2018 11:45:48 AM