Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Transformative Education and Social Change

Committee Chairperson

Dana Morrison Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Elmore Ph.D

Committee Member

Jason Wozniak, Ph.D.


Throughout this thesis I will outline how the current school system creates considerable gaps in developing happy, healthy, and fulfilled individuals. Since I believe the purpose of a democratic education is to help all people reach some level of self-actualization, I will explore how schools can and should tend to the basic needs of children as a foundation for their learning experience. By investigating the purpose of schools and the purpose of educators, I will argue the importance of taking education beyond the world of academics to tend to the physical, emotional, and social bodies of all students and the positive repercussions of doing so. I will explore why our educational system is established to place so much emphasis on academia, rigor, and testing and expose inequities for our students. I will further expose this issue and its impact on students’ mental, emotional, physical, and social well-being through theoretical frameworks, historical and literary reviews. Finally, I will propose a three-step intervention system that creates a shift for preservice teachers, existing teachers, and students. I will then further explore a mindfulness-based intervention for teachers through on a professional development course for existing educators.