Baltimore , Maryland
June 25, 2023
June 25, 2023
June 28, 2023
First-Year Programs Division (FYP)
In this evidence-based practice paper, we seek to investigate our students’ perceptions of the inclusion of mindfulness practices in the engineering classroom. Mindfulness and meditation involve the art and science of building an awareness of self and developing reflective techniques to promote calmness and stability. There is evidence from the literature that demonstrates positive effects of mindfulness and meditation for well-being.
In engineering education in particular, the cognitive stress of engaging with the curriculum can be high. Past research has found that engineering students do perceive benefits from engaging in mindfulness activities. In engineering design, stress-management also has the potential to improve outcomes while supporting student well-being.
Although the literature around mindfulness and meditation in engineering education suggests positive outcomes for students, there is still a need for more evidence across varied contexts. In this paper, we explore student perceptions around the utility of mindfulness and meditation in a first-year engineering design course.
At a private research-intensive university in the northeast US, first-year faculty acknowledged the stress levels of post-COVID first year students and scaffolded a mindfulness and meditative program nested at the beginning of class.
We administered closed- and open-ended survey questions and used content analysis techniques to analyze the written responses from students surveyed during their first-year engineering design course. While the closed-ended responses were helpful in gaining an overall picture of our students’ perceptions, the addition of an open-ended approach helped to capture students’ authentic feelings about the activities in class. Results initially have been positive and in-line with the results seen in the literature, students resonating with the practices and telling us they are expecting and wanting it every day.
Schulte Grahame, K., & Jay, A., & Gillen, A. L., & Freeman, S. F. (2023, June), Meaningful Moments: First-year Student Perceptions of Mindfulness and Meditation in the Classroom Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. https://peer.asee.org/43561
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