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Title: Teachers' experiences of working with children with life-limiting conditions in special schools
Author: Brunt, Rachel Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 8042
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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This research explores the experiences of teachers who work with children with life-limiting conditions in special schools. The study is located within a qualitative, interpretive paradigm utilising a phenomenographic approach. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from eighteen teachers currently teaching children with life-limiting conditions in special schools. Interview data was transcribed and analysed using the Four Stages of Analysis for phenomenographic data (Schröder & Ahlström 2004). Following data analysis, five categories of description were identified; challenges faced when working with children with life-limiting conditions, pedagogical considerations, school health provision, emotional impact and emotional support. The findings demonstrate that teachers' educational biographies are characterised by a number of significant challenges, particularly around curriculum and assessment, communicating with parents and professionals and attending to medical emergencies. The most significant challenge faced by teachers of children with life-limiting conditions was the death of a child, an event that was regularly experienced by the majority of those interviewed. The challenges of the teaching role were found to have a huge impact on the emotional wellbeing of teachers which in turn was found to impact on their personal and professional lives. Emotional support was sought through formal and informal channels, including through professional counselling or via friends and family. However, barriers to this support were found to include a lack of understanding, awareness and an underestimation of the time the support was needed for. This research provides a clear and original understanding of the experiences and support needs of teachers who work with children with life-limiting conditions in special schools. It has important implications for those responsible for teacher training and professional development programmes, particularly in the areas of grief and bereavement, as well as for senior leadership teams responsible for ensuring the emotional wellbeing of their teachers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available