Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rebecca Burns, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janet Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.


elementary education,, eacher education, teacher candidates, Zen


The field of teacher education is in tumultuous times. Criticisms and questions about teacher preparation have led to calls for reform, including grounding teacher preparation programs in clinically rich experiences. Responsible for preparing these teachers, university- based supervisors are under added pressure to provide opportunities that connects theoretical knowledge with field experience. Complicating matters, views of supervision continue to evolve and remain divided, creating uncertainty over how to best approach the role. In light of these challenges, I argue in this study that current conceptions of supervision need to be reevaluated and expanded by entertaining new views, namely those from outside of traditional Western perspectives. For instance, scholars (Burns, Jacobs, & Yendol-Hoppey, 2018; Glanz, 1995; Tremmel, 1993) have referenced Eastern philosophies of Taoism and Zen Buddhism as ways to improve supervision practices. To more deeply explore this line of thinking, I studied the enactment of Zen Buddhist constructs within my role of supervising teacher candidates in a clinically rich teacher program. Using a spiritual self-study methodology, I collected data through journaling, field notes, surveying candidates, and candidate artifacts, such as lesson plans and observation reflections. I analyzed data through meditative writings and mindful coding practices. Eight findings, or “awakenings,” emerged from the analysis, including experiencing anxiety as a I became more mindful of my supervision practices, experiencing a flow state during supervision, feeling more connected with triad members, and noticing an enhancement of the observation cycle through deep listening and other mindfulness techniques. Implications from the study include Zen assisting in developing a state of mind that enables supervisors to flow more seamlessly between tasks and functions, manage the stresses of the function and role, and became more mindful of the needs of teacher candidates. I also present a reconceptualizing of supervision, reframing it as a present-moment experience that can transform.