Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Scholarship

2019-2020 Recipient

Abstract: Despite the adoption of mindfulness practices across many Canadian elementary and secondary schools, little is yet known about the ways in which mindfulness is understood by parents and by the broader community. News media reports about this topic serve as a key source of information available to the public. The ways in which media discourse frames topics in areas such as mindfulness in education can both reflect and influence public understanding, beliefs and actions. This study seeks to explore the depiction of mindfulness within schools as it exists in Canadian news media between 2014 and 2019. The Canadian Major Dailies Proquest database was searched using the terms ‘mindfulness’ and ‘education OR school’. After an initial scan of 719 articles, 71 were retained for analysis. Qualitative deductive content analyses were conducted with a range of themes emerging. Results revealed novel perspectives, indicating some key conceptualizations about the use of mindfulness strategies for various purposes and populations. Divergent and varied narratives have been noted, which speaks to a need for greater coherence and a shared rationale supporting the use of mindfulness practices in schools.