Patricia (Tish) Jennings is a professor of education and internationally recognized leader in the fields of social and emotional learning and mindfulness. Jennings led the team that developed Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE), a mindfulness-based professional development program shown to significantly improve teacher well-being, classroom interactions and student engagement in the largest randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention designed specifically to address teacher occupational stress. CARE research has been evaluated and confirmed by What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to promote educator wellbeing.
Jennings is a co-author of Flourish: The Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, an integrated health and physical education program, and is a co-investigator on a large randomized controlled trial to evaluate the curriculum’s efficacy. She is also the principal investigator of two large studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education:
- Project CATALYZE will examine whether CARE enhances the effectiveness of a social and emotional learning curriculum.
- Project ENGAGE will develop and evaluate a scaling model of the CARE program and replicate findings across a wide range of school and community settings in Virginia and Kentucky.
Jennings was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Promoting Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Adolescents, where she contributed to the committee's 2019 consensus report. She was honored in 2023 with the Distinguished Researcher Award from the University of Virginia. In 2018, she received the Cathy Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Scientific Contributions from the Mind & Life Institute and was featured in Mindful Magazine's list of "Ten Mindfulness Researchers You Should Know." With more than 22 years of experience as a teacher, school director and teacher educator, Jennings has authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and chapters, as well as several books.
Ph.D., University of California Davis, 2004
M.Ed., Saint Mary's College, 1980
B.A., Antioch College, 1977
- Social and emotional learning
- Teacher occupational stress, and how it impacts the social and emotional context of the classroom