Examining the ethics of school-based mindfulness programs

Deborah L. Schussler, Janiyah Davis, Sebrina L. Doyle Fosco, Kimberly Kohler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


School-based mindfulness programs (SBMPs) are gaining prevalence in K-12 schools, yet little is known about how they foster students’ ethical development. Using a qualitative content analysis this study examined how three SBMP curricula promoted ethical literacy. The primary ethical frame was Care/Compassion with little evidence of Justice/Fairness and Rights. The main Prosocial Motivation was Perspective-Taking. The primary curricular tool used was Reflection, with Skills and Knowledge used to a lesser extent. Social-emotional learning domains differed across the curricula, but Responsible Decision-Making was least prevalent across all. Explicit terms related to morals/ethics were scarce. The emphasis on relational-related ethical frames and motivations represents a shift toward a more nuanced view of moral development that represents a dynamic interplay between self and other marked by compassion and empathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Moral Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Religious studies

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