SMART in Education was created in 2007 by the Impact Foundation. The original author of the program was Margaret Cullen. Linda Wallace and Betsy Hedberg participated in its development and wrote the curriculum manual.
The curriculum is rooted in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program of the Center for Mindfulness in Worcester, MA and also includes material from other research-based sources.
Since January 2010, the program has been offered in Colorado in Boulder Valley Public Schools, Jefferson County Public Schools and Denver Public Schools. Courses have also been taught in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Canada.
In May 2013 The Impact Foundation transferred the US rights to SMART in Education to Passageworks Institute in Boulder, Colorado and the Canadian rights to the University of British Columbia – Okanagan. These institutions are collaborating to expand the reach of SMART in Education in North America.
In April 2013 research results from a randomized wait-list study of SMART in Education courses in Boulder, Ann Arbor and Vancouver were published in the peer reviewed Journal of Educational Psychology published by the American Psychological Association:
Roeser, R. W., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., Oberle, E., Thomson, K., Taylor, C., & Harrison, J. (2013, April 29). Mindfulness Training and Reductions in Teacher Stress and Burnout: Results From Two Randomized, Waitlist-Control Field Trials.Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0032093.
Roeser, R. W., Benn, R., Akiva, T., & Arel, S. (2012, September). Mindfulness Training Effects for Parents and Educators of Children With Special Needs. Developmental Psychology, Vol 48(5), 1476-1487. doi: 10.1037/a0027537
Additional peer reviewed research articles on the effects of mindfulness training on educators include:
Roeser, R. W., Skinner, E., Beers, J. and Jennings, P. A. (2012), Mindfulness Training and Teachers’ Professional Development: An Emerging Area of Research and Practice. Child Development Perspectives, 6: 167–173. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-8606.2012.00238.x
Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of two pilot studies
Jennings, P., Snowberg, K., Coccia, M., & Greenberg, M. (2011). Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of two pilot studies. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 46 (1), 37-48.
The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes
Jennings, P., & Greenberg, M. (2009). The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 79 (1), 491-525.
Educator’s Social and Emotional Skills Vital to Learning
Jones, S. M., Bouffard, S. M., & Weissbourd, R. (2013). Educators’ social and emotional skills vital to learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(8), 62-65.
The Protective effects of mindfulness against burnout among educators
Abenavoli, R. M., Jennings, P. A., Greenberg, M. T., Harris, A. R., & Katz, D. A. (2013). The Protective effects of mindfulness against burnout among educators. The Psychology of Education Review, 37(2), 57-69.
Because many educators experience stress and burnout, identifying factors that promote health and well- being among teachers and school staff is critical. Educators’ mindfulness is one aspect of social-emotional competence that may protect them from experiencing burnout and its negative consequences. (Abenavoli et al., 2013)
Mindfulness for Teachers: A Pilot Study to Assess Effects on Stress, Burnout and Teaching Efficacy.
Flook, L., Goldberg S. G., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A Pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout, and teaching efﬁcacy. Mind Brain and Education. Journal Compilation from International Mind, Brain and Education Society and Blackwell Publiching inc., 7(3), 182-195.
Abstract:Results from a randomized control pilot trial of a modified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course adapted specifically for teachers suggest that the course may be a promising intervention with participants showing significant reductions in psychological symptoms and burnout, improvements in observer-rated classroom organization and performance on a computer task of affective attentional bias and increases in self-compassiobn.