Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Bruce Uhrmacher, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth

Third Advisor

Sarah Pessin

Fourth Advisor

Paul Michalec


Cancer, Grounded theory, Health policies, School community, Teachers, Thematic analysis


This study investigates the residual impacts of cancer on teachers. Much research is currently available on how to support students in the classroom who have cancer, but there is still a gap in research regarding the impact of teachers with cancer.

This research focuses specifically on three central questions: 1) What are the perceptions of practicing teachers who identify themselves as cancer patients with regard to their professional experiences? 2) What are the perceptions of the teachers about their school community when they are identified as cancer patients? And, 3) What are the perceptions of practicing teachers who identify themselves as cancer patients with regard to the institutional school support they do or do not receive?

The literature review focuses on the perceptions of teachers who have cancer, the perceived impacts to their classrooms, and the teachers perceived support from the school community. The literature review also discusses how the teacher's cancer treatments and side effects impact the classroom. Additionally, this research found that teachers' identities are impacted by their cancer experiences.

This study uses a thematic analysis and a grounded theory method research design to analyze cancer forum groups for teachers as the data. Three data coding methods (theming, narrative, and pattern) are used to explore and uncover the related costs to the: education system, the teacher themselves, the community, administration, and impact on students and their learning. Four central patterns and themes emerged: support, time, changes, and relationships.

This research discovered that when teachers are compromised, so is the effectiveness of any curriculum they teach to overall learning effectiveness in school communities. Recommendations include: 1) new teacher support policies and procedures; 2) health awareness support programs for teachers; and, 3) the development of new education programs. This research aims to be a catalyst for additional research and studies to examine how education systems and health care systems can work together to help support the growing number of teachers with cancer and the greater school communities.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jill Athena Netz-Fulkerson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

205 p.


Education, Health Education, Teacher Education