Special education teachers are at heightened risk for stress and burnout, which negatively impacts teacher effectiveness and well-being. With a 5-year grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences, Penn State and Georgia State University researchers are teaming up with school districts in Georgia to test the effectiveness of the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) professional development program for the first time with special education teachers.
The researchers will conduct a randomized controlled trial with more than 220 special education teachers in elementary schools in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Teachers will participate in three days of CARE training to practice skills such as mindfulness, caring and compassion for themselves and others, listening, and managing classroom stress. They will also participate in monthly virtual check-in meetings during the school year.
In addition to measuring teacher, student, and classroom outcomes, the study will determine the cost-effectiveness of the CARE program in a special education setting.