Patricia Jennings headshot

Patricia (Tish) Jennings

Unit: School of Education and Human Development
Department: School of Education and Human Development
Office location and address
Bavaro Hall 206D
417 Emmet St S
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Ph.D. University of California Davis, 2004
M.Ed. Saint Mary's College, 1980
B.A. Antioch College, 1977

Patricia (Tish) Jennings is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness in education. Her research places a specific emphasis on teacher stress and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom, as articulated in her highly cited theoretical article "Prosocial Classroom."

Jennings recently led the team that developed CARE for Teachers, a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, emotional supportiveness and sensitivity and classroom productivity in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress.

Currently, she is leading the development of the Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, an integrated health education program designed to align with state and national health and physical education standards, and is Co-Principal Investigator on a large randomized controlled trial being conducted in Louisville, KY, to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy.

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development among Children and Youth and was awarded the Cathy Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science by the Mind & Life Institute in 2018 and was also recognized by Mindful Magazine as one of "Ten Mindfulness Researchers You Should Know."

Earlier in her career, Jennings spent more than 22 years as a teacher, school director and teacher educator. She is the author of "Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom" and a book forthcoming entitled "The Trauma-Sensitive School: Building Resilience with Compassionate Teaching," both part of the WW Norton Series on the Social Neuroscience of Education.

Project CATALYZE: The Impact of CARE + PATHS on Students¿ Success
Source: U.S. Department Of Education
October 01, 2019 – September 30, 2024
The Relationship Between School Racial Composition and Out-Of-School Suspensions
Source: American Educational Research Association
July 01, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Blue Ridge Care Connection for Children (10/01/2019 - 09/30/2020)
Source: Virginia Department Of Health
October 01, 2019 – September 30, 2020
ParentCorps Effectiveness in Early Education Centers: Impact on Teachers and Classrooms
Source: New York University
March 01, 2018 – November 30, 2019
Trajectories of Teacher Stress: the roles of coping and prior exposure to trauma
Source: Michigan State University
December 20, 2017 – November 30, 2019
CU-CISE Teaching Mindfulness in Schools: A Mixed Method Study of Teachers¿ Mindfulness Practice, Professional Knowledge, Perspectives and Experiences
Source: Mind and Life Institute
May 01, 2017 – April 30, 2019
CU-Improving Classroom Learning Environments by Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education
Source: U.S. Department Of Education
March 26, 2014 – August 31, 2018
CU- K-12 Mindfulness & Well Being Curriculum in Louisville Ky
Source: Hemera Foundation
June 01, 2014 – August 31, 2016
EDIS 3012: Mindfulness in Health and Human Development
Credits: 3
Mindfulness-based interventions promote physical and mental health and support cognitive and emotional developmental processes in individuals across the lifespan. Mindful awareness practices can support our ability to be fully present to the needs of others. This course introduces a variety of these practices and the research on their effects as a means to promoting well-being and building supportive relationships in professional settings.
EDIS 4012: Advanced Mindfulness in Health and Human Development
Credits: 3
Students will continue to develop and refine their personal mindfulness practice, build upon their understanding of applications of mindfulness for cultivating their well-being and resilience, and for helping others. They will learn the pedagogy and teaching methods associated with mindfulness-based interventions that have been scientifically proven to promote physical and mental health and build skill in teaching and leading such practices.
EDIS 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Independent study.
EDIS 4995: Directed Research
Credits: 1–6
Directed Research under supervision of faculty member.
EDIS 5012: Mindfulness for Teachers
Credits: 3
Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Mindfulness for Teachers will introduce students to a series of evidence-based practical skills that will help them cultivate the inner resources needed to support their students' social, emotional, and academic growth.
EDIS 5013: Teaching Social and Emotional Learning
Credits: 3
This course introduces the knowledge and skills to teach or supervise others to teach social and emotional learning (SEL) formally and informally including mindful awareness practices to students in preK-12 school settings. Reviewing the latest research, students will learn effective strategies for teaching SEL and mindfulness to children and teens.
EDIS 5014: The Trauma Sensitive Classroom
Credits: 3
This course introduces knowledge and skills teachers need to support students exposed to chronic stress and trauma: the effects of trauma on body and mind; recognizing those effects; evidence-based practices to support healing, build resilience, and foster mindfulness and compassion in the classroom. Students will examine practices for meeting the needs of diverse populations (e.g., gifted learners, English learners, students with disabilities).
EDIS 5015: Social and Emotional Learning
Credits: 3
Social & Emotional Learning introduces current research on the social and emotional development of students and teachers in educational settings. It also presents students with the current theory underlying social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and programs and the empirical research on the efficacy of such programs.
EDIS 7993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Course permits students to work, under close faculty guidance, on an individual research project. Research done in this course may not be considered a part of thesis or dissertation work. Enrollment in this course should be limited to two three-credit registrations (six credits) at the doctorate level. Exceptions to this regulation should have the approval of the advisory committee and the dean of the School of Education.
EDIS 8970: Field Study
Credits: 3–6
In this student-driven, field-based course, students perform work at a school, district, or other educational setting to investigate and address a specific question, challenge, need, or interest of the partner organization. Students make informed analyses of the educational issues and present findings.
EDIS 9991: Ed.D. Research
Credits: 1–12
Ed.D. Research conducted under the guidance of dissertation/capstone committee. 12 hours required for graduation. Permission of Instructor required.
EDIS 9993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Under close guidance of a faculty member, students work on an area of particular interest that cannot be met by a regularly scheduled course. A plan of study should be signed by the faculty sponsor and filed in the student's permanent file in the Office of Student Affairs. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
EDIS 9998: Doctoral Research Apprenticeship
Credits: 3–12
Designed to give doctoral students experience conducting research in professional settings appropriate to their disciplines. Prerequisites: Advisor Permission Required
EDIS 9999: Doctoral Dissertation
Credits: 3–12
Doctoral Dissertation Research completed under the guidance of dissertation committee. 12 hours is required for graduation. Permission of instructor required.

Catherine Kerr Award for Courageous and CompassionateScience  2018

Mind and Life Institute, Charlottesville, VA

Educator in Residence 2016

Mary Washington University, Fredericksburg, VA

Senior Fellow 2006- current

Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY

Fellow 2004- current

Mind and Life Institute, Charlottesville, VA

Francisco J. VarelaMemorial Grant Award  2004

Mind and Life Institute, Charlottesville, VA

Outstanding GraduateStudent Teaching Award  2004

University of California, Davis, CA

Graduate OpportunityFellowship 2000& 2003

University of California, Davis, CA

Henry A. JastroFellowship  2001& 2002

University of California, Davis, CA