Headshot of Deborah Schussler

Deborah Schussler

Professor, Education

204H Rackley Building
814-863-1314
dls93@psu.edu

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Introduction & Projects

Deborah’s research interests include exploring how prospective teachers acquire the necessary dispositions to meet the needs of all learners. Specifically, Deborah has examined the epistemological nature of dispositions and how teacher education fosters awareness of dispositions to enhance prospective teachers' knowledge, skills, and moral sensibilities. Teachers who are reflective and mindful about their intended aims and how they achieve those aims in their practice, are better prepared to nurture the academic and social-emotional development of their learners. Therefore, Deborah's recent work has strategically focused on mindfulness-based programs designed to enhance teachers’ social-emotional competencies and communication skills.

For more information about Dr. Schussler, click here.

Prevention-related Projects

Recent Publications

Implementation barriers and facilitators of a mindfulness-based social emotional learning program and the role of relational trust: A qualitative study

Mischenko, P. P., Nicholas-Hoff, P., Schussler, D.L., Iwu, J., & Jennings, P. (2022). Implementation barriers and facilitators of a mindfulness-based social emotional learning program and the role of relational trust: A qualitative study. Psychology in the Schools (59)8, 1643-1671. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.22724

Respecting communication skills: The missing link for the wellbeing of educators and their schools

Schussler, D. L. & Frank, J. L. (forthcoming). Respecting communication skills: The missing link for the wellbeing of educators and their schools. In Carpenter, B. W., Mahfouz, J., & Robinson, K. Supporting Leaders for School Improvement through Self-Care and Wellbeing. Information Age Publishing.

Stress and well-being: A systematic case-study of adolescents’ experiences in a mindfulness-based intervention

Schussler, D. L., Oh, Y., Mahfouz, J., Levitan, J., Frank, J. L., Broderick, P. A., Mitra, J. L., Berrena, E., Kohler, K., Greenberg, M. T. (2021). Stress and well-being: A systematic case-study of adolescents’ experiences in a mindfulness-based intervention. Journal of Child and Family Studies 30, 431-446. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-020-01864-5

Embodied teacher mindfulness in the classroom: The Calm, Clear, Kind framework

Taylor, C., Jennings, P.A., Harris, A., Schussler, D.L. & Roeser, R.W. (2019).  Embodied teacher mindfulness in the classroom:  The Calm, Clear, Kind framework. In P.A. Jennings, A. Demauro, & P. Mischenko (Eds.), Mindfulness in Schools: Transforming School Cultures through Mindful Awareness and Compassion. NY: Norton. 

Stress and release: Case studies of teacher resilience following a mindfulness-based intervention

Schussler, D. L., Deweese, A., Rasheed, D., Demauro, A. Brown, J., Greenberg, M., & Jennings, P. A. (2018). American Journal of Education, 125(1). https://doi.org/10.1086/699808

Evaluating the quality of mindfulness instruction delivered in school settings: Development and validation of a teacher quality observational rating scale

Broderick, P. C., Frank, J. L., Berrena, E., Schussler, D. L., Kohler, K., Mitra, J., Khan, L., Levitan, J., Mahfouz, J., Shields, L., & Greenberg, M. T. (2018). Evaluating the quality of mindfulness instruction delivered in school settings: Development and validation of a teacher quality observational rating scale. Mindfulness. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0944-x

Using virtual role-play to enhance teacher candidates’ skills in responding to bullying.

Schussler, D. L., Frank, J. L., Lee, T. K. & Mahfouz, J. (2017). Using virtual role-play to enhance teacher candidates’ skills in responding to bullying. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 25(1), 91–120.

Related News

two women smiling and looking at computer monitor

August 25, 2021

Teacher candidates build self-awareness through case study exercise

Schussler’s research interests include exploring how a prospective teacher acquires the necessary disposition – a person’s inherent qualities of mind and character — to meet the needs of all learners. Specifically, she has examined the epistemological nature of dispositions and how teacher education fosters awareness of dispositions to enhance prospective teachers' knowledge, skills and moral sensibilities. Schussler’s recent work has strategically focused on mindfulness-based programs designed to enhance teachers’ social-emotional competencies and communication skills.

Read more.
Three people having a conversation in the workplace

August 18, 2021

Helping special education teachers under stress

Special education teachers are at heightened risk for stress and burnout, which negatively impacts their effectiveness and well-being. With a new five-year, $4 million grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences, Penn State and Georgia State University (GSU) researchers are teaming up with school districts in Georgia to develop and test an adaptation of the Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) professional development program to support special education teachers.

Read more.
Schussler named associate editor of Mindfulness journal

January 08, 2021

Schussler named associate editor of Mindfulness journal

Deborah Schussler, Associate Professor of Education at Penn State and PRC affiliate faculty member, assumed the role of associate editor of the journal Mindfulness on Jan. 3.

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smiling teen in standing meditation pose

December 10, 2020

Mindfulness practices shown to help teenagers deal with stress

Learning to BREATHE, which was developed by Broderick, is a school-based mindfulness-based program (MBP) developed for adolescents that has been implemented in a variety of contexts. The program comprises a six-theme module delivered in six, 12 or 18 lessons, with the module themes stemming from the BREATHE acronym: Body awareness, Reflections, Emotions, Attention, Take it as it is, Healthy Habits of mind, and Empowerment.

Read more.