University of Oulu

Educator, supporter, and collaborator : a narrative study of teachers’ self-perception of their roles in a Finnish hospital school

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Author: Nagano, Megumi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
Pages: 72
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Nagano, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-05-30
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Sirkko, Riikka
Reviewer: Takala, Marjatta
Sirkko, Riikka


It is believed that up to 30% of children in developed countries have a chronic health condition such as cancer or other genetic diseases (Hopkins, 2016, 1). These children are disrupted from their regular routines and forced to face social exclusion within the period of hospitalisation, depriving them from the daily lives that their healthy peers experience. Additionally, they are challenged in accessing quality education compared to those who are able to attend regular schools or special schools in society. Undeniably, literature has pointed out that chronic health conditions put students at a higher risk of educational underachievement (Caggiano et al., 2021, para.15; Hopkins, 2016, 1) and school disengagement (Caggiano et al., 2021, para.15), as they cope with academic and social challenges (Nabors et al., 2008, 217).

This research is a narrative study that explores the experiences and perceptions of teachers working in a hospital school in Northern Finland. The focus is on teachers situated within the context of hospital schools as they play a crucial role in providing education and support to students facing physical, emotional and academic challenges, as well as promoting their social skills and capabilities, self-esteem, satisfaction and encouragement. Five narrative interviews were conducted to gain insight into the complex working environment of hospital teachers, and the data was analysed using thematic analysis. Findings suggested three interdependent dimensions that emerged through the five narratives, which were the roles of Educator, Supporter, and Collaborator. Each dimension highlights the teachers’ multiple roles of teaching their students with love and attentiveness, as well as taking part in the collaborative activities with multiple stakeholders.

This study can be significant for hospital teachers to deeper understand and perceive their working lives and environment as a hospital teacher. Furthermore, it can be beneficial for administrators of hospital schools, medical staff, and conventional school teachers working with hospital teachers to improve the quality of education and healthcare provided to hospitalised children. The research aims to offer a glimpse into the intricate work of teaching in a hospital setting and shed light on this significant topic from their perspective.

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Copyright information: © Megumi Nagano, 2023. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.