Capturing the emotional geographies of school personnel working with children with cancer

dc.contributor.advisorSchallert, Diane L.en
dc.creatorRechis, Ruth Pendletonen
dc.description.abstractIn studies of human learning, cognition and motivation have traditionally received more attention than emotion as an independent construct, particularly in research on teacher emotion (Noddings, 1996). Although they are expected to show emotional restraint and self-control, and not become very angry or frustrated, teachers do experience a wide range of emotions. As a framework to study teacher emotions, Hargreaves (2000, 2001) offered the construct of emotional geographies, referring to “the closeness and/or distance in human interactions and relationships that help to create, configure, and color the feelings and emotions we experience about ourselves, our world and each other” (p.1061). Using the framework of emotional geographies provides an opportunity to learn about the context of the classroom particularly by studying situations that are known to evoke strong emotions. One situation that has been known to evoke many ix emotional responses including concern, grief, anxiety, and uncertainty is when a student is diagnosed with cancer (Leigh & Miles, 2002). The present study explored the emotional experience of school personnel (teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors, and other related school staff) working with children with cancer during the school re-entry process. Participants’ knowledge of and confidence in the school re-entry process were studied before and after attendance at a workshop. Case studies were conducted to explore, within the framework of Hargreaves’ (2000, 2001) emotional geographies, participants’ emotional experience associated with the school re-entry process. Working with children with cancer was found to be an intense emotional experience varying upon each participant’s background, experience with cancer, and emotional geographies. Similarities noted across the cases included maintaining an open and supportive relationship with the family, meeting the educational and emotional needs of the child with cancer, coping with teaching a child with a life-threatening illness, and identifying and maintaining the individual’s role as a professional. Dissimilarities across the cases included that only some followed a team approach, had a child with cancer in the general education classroom while on treatment, or worked with a family where the first language was not shared
dc.description.departmentEducational Psychologyen
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.subject.lcshSchool employees--Mental healthen
dc.subject.lcshCancer in children--Social aspectsen
dc.titleCapturing the emotional geographies of school personnel working with children with canceren
dc.type.genreThesisen Psychologyen Psychologyen University of Texas at Austinen of Philosophyen
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