Patricia Jennings, MEd, PhD, is director of the Initiative on Contemplation and Education at the Garrison Institute, and research assistant professor in Human Development and Family Studies and the Prevention Research Center at Penn State University. Jennings received her doctorate in human development from the University of California, Davis, and completed postdoctoral training in the health psychology program at the University of California, San Francisco. She led the faculty team in developing Garrison Institute’s program, Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE), and she is currently conducting research to examine how CARE may improve teacher-student relationships, increase pro-social student behavior, create a more positive classroom atmosphere, and improve students’ academic performance. She is the principal investigator on a federally funded study to complete the development and preliminary evaluation of CARE.
In addition to psychological research, Patricia Jennings has nearly 25 years of research and teaching experience in the field of education. After receiving a master’s degree in education, she founded and directed an experimental school where she developed and field-tested curriculum for children from infancy through 5th grade, applying into her work a variety of contemplative approaches that come from alternative educational methodologies such as Montessori and Waldorf schools. She later served as director of intern teachers at St. Mary’s College Graduate School of Education in Moraga, California, where she taught education courses, supervised student research, developed teacher-training curriculum, and supervised student-teacher training.