Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EDD)
College of Education
Jennifer J. Lesh
The underperformance of Black male students and the achievement gap that exists in the education system of the United States have been the topic of many research studies for decades. Government and school leaders have created policies, developed and implemented programs to help address the inequities in schools in an attempt to reduce the gap. However, it continues to exist. In high schools across the country, Black male students continue to perform lower than their peers. Moreover, they tend to receive more infractions as the detention, suspension, and expulsion rates are higher among this group of students. There is very little research on the social emotional well-being of Black male high school students. Particularly on the stress factors that impede their learning. A stressed brain can not learn. Science shows that prolonged stress, such as toxic stress, causes the brain to be in constant fight or flight mode and negatively affects behavior and cognition. It is imperative to explore and implement a Mindfulness program in classrooms as it may help to help improve students’ behavioral and academic performance. The purpose of this investigation is to explore certified school counselors and mentor coordinators’ perceptions of the use of Mindfulness to help support Black male students in high school.
Participants (certified school counselors and mentor coordinators) will be solicited through email. Participants will view a webinar on the impact of stress on the brain and learning, and how Mindfulness may help emotion regulation, stress reduction, and cognition. Participants will partake in an anonymous pre and post online survey to share their knowledge of the racerelated stressors impacting the learning of Black male students, and their perceptions of Mindfulness as a tool to help support Black male students in the classroom. Participants will also have the opportunity to provide their feedback on the effectiveness of the webinar and offer ways to improve it. Participants will not receive any benefits for answering the survey questions but they may enjoy discussing their knowledge of Mindfulness. Participants will receive an email which will include an explanation of the research study and a link that will direct them to a page explaining more about the investigation, the informed consent, confidentiality/anonymity, and researchers’ information. Participants will find a statement at the bottom of that first page stating that they may opt out of the survey at any time while taking the survey, by just clicking the “X” in the top right corner. In addition, by clicking “Next” they are agreeing to participate and have been “informed” and give their “consent”. Inclusion criteria are certified school counselors and mentor coordinators of the program Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders serving Black male students in Florida high schools.
This investigation will be done through the use of Action Research. Descriptive statistics and open-ended answers will be gleaned simultaneously from the two online surveys. Simple correlations and themes may be discovered to add to the research base on Mindfulness and certified school counselors and mentor coordinators’ perceptions.
Firmino, D., & Reynolds, O. (2023). Mind mapped: Supporting black male students through mindful mentoring [Doctoral dissertation, Lynn University]. SPIRAL. https://spiral.lynn.edu/etds/399