Document Type


Publication Date


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International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies


Purpose: The current study sought to explore principals’ perspectives of definitions and uses of mindfulness in their leadership and equity practices.

Design: The primary researcher observed and interviewed eleven school principals using qualitative methods during the course of this study.

Findings: Four themes developed from principals’ definitions of mindfulness: (1) awareness and attention, (2) present centeredness, (3) modeling listening and respect, and (4) decision-making processes. The principals’ actions also presented ethical mindedness in their equity pursuits and reflection in their general leadership practices, despite establishing the presence of a stigma around mindfulness.

Research limitations/implications: Beyond the limitations of qualitative research towards generalizability, implications from this work include the need for an education-centric definition of mindfulness in educational leadership.

Originality/value:This first study to explore principals’ definitions of mindfulness in leadership and equity practices offers a potential definition based on the findings: Mindfulness in educational leadership is the practice of using awareness, attention, present-centeredness, and reflection in leadership and equity practices inclusive of decision-making and modeling listening and respect. This original definition holds significant value for work that aims to bridge the research-to-practice gap in education by allowing for a conceptualization of mindfulness based on practitioner perspectives.



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Inderscience Publishers





Peer Reviewed



educational leadership, adaptive challenge, leading change, school improvement, decision-making



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