Managing bereavement in the classroom: a conspiracy of silence?

Lowton, Karen and Higginson, Irene J (2003) Managing bereavement in the classroom: a conspiracy of silence? Death Studies, 27 (8). pp. 717-741. ISSN 0748-1187

[img]
Preview
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (272kB) | Preview

Abstract

The ways in which teachers in British schools manage bereaved children are under-reported. This article reports the impact of students' bereavement and their subsequent management in primary and secondary school classrooms in Southeast London. Thirteen school staff working in inner-city schools took part in in-depth interviews that focused on the impact of bereaved children on the school and how teachers responded to these children. All respondents had previously had contact with a local child bereavement service that aims to provide support, advice, and consultancy to children, their parents, and teachers. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using ATLAS-ti. Three main themes were identified from analysis of interview data. Firstly, British society, culture, local communities, and the family were significant influences in these teachers' involvement with bereaved students. Secondly, school staff managed bereaved students through contact with other adults and using practical classroom measures such as "time out" cards and contact books. Lastly, teachers felt they had to be strong, even when they were distressed. Surprise was expressed at the mature reaction of secondary school students to deaths of others. The article recommends that future research needs to concentrate on finding the most effective way of supporting routinely bereaved children, their families, and teachers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: cited By 13
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Karen Lowton
Date Deposited: 21 May 2015 12:40
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 18:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54079

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update