Studies in mindfulness: Widening the field for all involved in pastoral care
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Nixon, G., McMurtry, D., Craig, L., Nevejan, A. and Regan-Addis, H. (2016) 'Studies in mindfulness: Widening the field for all involved in pastoral care', Pastoral Care in Education, 34(3), pp. 167-183.
Since 2010, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, has offered an MSc in studies in mindfulness degree programme within its School of Education. The programme has attracted over 200 students from multiple professional contexts, providing the authors with the opportunity to gather and analyse demographic data, as well as data regarding student motivations and expectations, both personal and professional. The paper initially creates a picture of the current UK ‘studies in mindfulness’ landscape by describing the established programmes at UK universities. Data from an entry questionnaire completed by three cohorts of students on the ‘Aberdeen’ programme and data collected from students throughout their studies is then presented, analysed and discussed. The authors argue that, in their professional roles, graduates from programmes and courses at Universities in the UK are introducing an ever-increasing number of people to mindfulness. They are implementing and integrating mindfulness into diverse social, business contexts as well as into all sectors of education. The University of Aberdeen’s programme, based in the School of Education, perhaps represents a move towards more holistic, pastoral and multi-professional applications of mindfulness. This contrasts with the clinical, pathological settings for mindfulness to date.