Patricia A. Jennings

Associate Professor

  • Ph.D. University of California Davis, 2004
  • M.Ed. Saint Mary's College, 1980
  • B.A. Antioch College, 1977


Patricia (Tish) Jennings is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education. She became a meditation practitioner at 17 and has taught mindful awareness practices to children and adults for over 40 years. Her research places a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom, as articulated in her highly cited theoretical article "The Prosocial Classroom."

Jennings recently led the team that developed CARE, a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, classroom interactions and student engagement in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress.

Currently, she is leading the development of the Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, an integrated health and physical education program designed to align with state and national health and physical education standards, and is co-Investigator on a large randomized controlled trial being conducted in Louisville, KY, to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development among Children and Youth, she was awarded the Cathy Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science by the Mind & Life Institute in 2018 and recently recognized by Mindful Magazine as one of "Ten Mindfulness Researchers You Should Know."

Earlier in her career, Jennings spent more than 22 years as a teacher, school director and teacher educator. She is the author numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters and several books: Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom, The Trauma-Sensitive School: Building Resilience with Compassionate Teaching, and Mindfulness in the Pre-K-5 Classroom: Helping Students Stress Less and Learn More, part of Social and Emotional Learning Solutions, a book series by WW Norton of which she is editor.



Mindfulness in the PreK-5 Classroom


Mindfulness in the PreK-5 Classroom

Forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. in August 2019


The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom


The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom

Forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. in November 2018


Mindfulness for Teachers


Mindfulness for Teachers

Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.



Commentary & Opinion

  1. October 2018 - Bringing Mindfulness to Teacher PD. Educational Leadership

  2. May 2018 - Commentary: Here’s What We Can Do to Empower America’s Teachers. Fortune

  3. March 2018 - Student walkouts show compassion is a tool for change. CNN Opinion

  4. March 2018 - Opinion: Rather than arming teachers with guns, let’s arm them with the supports they need. The 74

  5. September 2017 - Congress must preserve, improve professional growth for teachers. The Hill

Recent Press

  1. Dialogue with the Dalai Lama: A 15-year journey in mindfulness and education.  UVA Today

  2. 10 Mindfulness researchers you should know.

  3. A mind of your own: A look at the latest on mindfulness in education. Educational Tours

  4. Cultivating mindfulness for educators using resources. The New York Times

  5. Self-care for teachers: Wellness practices for in and out of the classroom.

  6. Teaching can be tough, but we're 'lucky' - Classroom Q & A with Larry Ferlazzo. EdWeek

  7. When teachers get mindfulness training, students win. The Greater Good Magazine

  8. Schools experimenting with meditation as an alternative to detention. Newsworks/WHYY.

  9. Awaken Pittsburgh develops mindfulness programs for youth, teachers. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  10. Louisville's experiment: Can teaching empathy boost math scores? Christian Science Monitor

  11. The mindful classroom. Time

  12. Teachers are stressed, and that should stress us all. NPR Morning Edition

  13. The movement of meditation replacing detention in schools. Newsweek

  14. When teachers take a breath, students can bloom. nprEd Blog

  15. Study: Teacher stress reduction leads to instructional improvement. EdWeek Blog

  16. Publisher’s roundtable on mindfulness. Mindful

  17. Under stress, students in New York schools find calm in meditation. New York Times

Other Publications

  1. March 2018- Presenting CARE for Teachers to the Dalai Lama. Garrison Institute Blog

  2. September 2015 - The three-second pause in the classroom, Mindful

  3. May 2015 - Mindfulness and teaching. Curry Blog

  4. February 2015 - Slowing down to learn: Mindful pauses that can help student engagement, KQED MindShift

  5.  March 2015 - Seven ways mindfulness can help teachers. Greater Good

  6.  November  2018 - Changing How Educators See Negative Experiences in the Classroom. KQED Mindshift