Login | Register

"Children learn what they live": Foster Parents' Experiences and the Emotional Curriculum


"Children learn what they live": Foster Parents' Experiences and the Emotional Curriculum

Murphy-Gelderman, Fina (2020) "Children learn what they live": Foster Parents' Experiences and the Emotional Curriculum. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Murphy-Gelderman_MA_S2020.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Murphy-Gelderman_MA_S2020.pdf - Accepted Version


“Children learn what they live”: Foster Parents' Experiences and the Emotional Curriculum
Fina Murphy-Gelderman

Foster parents play an important role in the lives of foster children. This study elicited the perceptions of six foster parents about their roles as caregivers to foster children. The value of foster parents cannot be overexpressed, as they have a huge potential to be positive influences in their caregiving roles for foster children. This study was guided by two questions: 1) How do foster parents understand their roles as caregivers for their foster children? and 2) How do foster parents understand their roles in providing a learning environment for their foster children? These questions morphed into one central inquiry exploring how the role of a caregiver is intricately connected to providing a learning environment. The data was analyzed through the lens of curriculum studies using open coding, resulting in emergent themes about foster parents’ perceptions about their roles and responsibilities as caregivers as well as challenges that foster parents and foster children experience. Curriculum theorists such as Parker Palmer and John Dewey afford vital insight into the importance of the data, opening up the discussion to notions of emotional curriculum and the need for trauma-informed practices. This study provides rich descriptions of insights from foster parent on the foster care system. Findings suggest that raising awareness of the need to attend to foster children’s emotions and history of trauma may be one way forward to providing the best care for children living in foster care
Keywords: foster care, foster parents, caregivers, emotional curriculum

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Murphy-Gelderman, Fina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:6 January 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Chang-Kredl, Sandra
Keywords:foster care, foster parents, caregivers, emotional curriculum
ID Code:986373
Deposited By: Fina Murphy-Gelderman
Deposited On:25 Jun 2020 19:22
Last Modified:25 Jun 2020 19:22


Aldgate, J., Heath, A., Colton, M., & Simm, M. (1993). Social work and the education of
children in foster care. Adoption & Fostering, 17, 25-34.
Altshuler, S. J. (2003). From barriers to successful collaboration: Public schools and child
welfare working together. Social Work, 48, 52-63. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/48.1.52
Aylor, M. W. (2008). Parker Palmer: Paradox and possibility. Journal of Philosophy and History
of Education, 58, 1-5.
Badley, K. (2012). The heart of higher education: A call to renewal. Journal of Education &
Christian Belief, 16, 272-274. https://doi.org/10.1177/205699711201600224
Beam, C. (2013). To the end of June: The intimate life of American foster care. Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Beckett, K. (2018). John Dewey's conception of education: Finding common ground with R. S.
Peters and Paulo Freire. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 50, 380-389.
Berg, K. (2010). Negotiating identity: Conflicts between the agency of the student and the
official diagnosis of social workers and teachers. European Educational Research
Journal, 9, 164-176. https://doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2010.9.2.164
Brown, J. (2008). Foster parents’ perceptions of factors needed for successful foster
placements. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 17(4), 538-554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-007-9172-z
Brown, J., & Calder, P. (1999). Concept-mapping the challenges faced by foster
parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 21, 481-495. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190- 7409(99)00034-1
Brown, J., Rodgers, J., Ivanova, V., Mehta, N., & Skrodzki, D. (2014). Mental needs of aboriginal foster parents. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 31(6), 539-557. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-014-0335-7
Clemens, E. V., Klopfenstein, K., Lalonde, T. L., & Tis, M. (2018). The effects of placement and school stability on academic growth trajectories of students in foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 87, 86-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.02.015
Daniels, H. (2006). Rethinking intervention: Changing the cultures of schooling. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 11, 105-120. https://doi.org/10.1080/13632750600619273
Day, A. G., Somers, C., Smith Darden, J., & Yoon, J. (2015). Using cross-system communication to promote educational well-being of foster children: Recommendations for a national research, practice, and policy agenda. Children & Schools, 37, 54-62. https://doi.org/10.1093/cs/cdu027
Dewey, J. (1902). The child and the curriculum. In M. S. Dworkin (Ed.), John Dewey on education (pp. 91-111). Teachers College Press.
Frank, J. (2017). Realizing a democratic community of teachers: John Dewey and the idea of a science of education. Education Sciences, 7, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci7010011 Geiger, J., Piel, M., Lietz, C., & Julien-Chinn, F. (2016). Empathy as an essential foundation to
successful foster parenting. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 25, 3771-3779. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0529-z
Guarino, K. & Chagnon, E. (2018). Trauma-sensitive schools training package. Washington, DC: National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments.
Goemans, A., van Geel, M., Wilderjans, T. F., van Ginkel, J. R., & Vedder, P. (2018). Predictors of school engagement in foster children: A longitudinal study. Children and Youth Services Review, 88, 33-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.02.029
Hardin, T. (2016). Educational experiences of foster children and communication patterns of key stakeholders: The foster parent perspective. Theses and Dissertations – Family Sciences. 41. 1-86.
Katz, S. (2019). Trauma-informed practice: The future of child welfare. Widener Commonwealth Law Review, 51. https://lib- ezproxy.concordia.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eds hol&AN=edshol.hein.journals.wjpl28.8&site=eds-live.
Kelly, W., & Salmon, K. (2014). Helping foster parents understand the foster child’s perspective: A relational learning framework for foster care. Clinical Child Psychology and
Psychiatry, 19, 535-547. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359104514524067
Lewis, C. (2011). Providing therapy to children and families in foster care: A systemic-relational approach. Family Process, 50, 436-452. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2011.01370.x
Lietz, C. A., Julien-Chinn, F., Geiger, J. M., & Piel, M. (2016). Cultivating resilience in families who foster: Understanding how families cope and adapt over time. Family Process, 55, 660- 672. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12239
Luke, N., & Banerjee, R. (2012). Maltreated children's social understanding and empathy: A preliminary exploration of foster carers' perspectives. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 237-246. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-011-9468-x
Menmuir, R. (1994). Involving residential social workers and foster carers in reading with young people in their care. Oxford Review of Education, 20, 329. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305498940200306
Miller, A. E., Green, T. D., & Lambros, K. M. (2019). Foster parent self-care: A conceptual model. Children and Youth Services Review, 99, 107–114. https://lib- ezproxy.concordia.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eds elp&AN=S0190740918305607&site=eds-live.
Miranda, M., Molla, E., & Tadros., E. (2019). Implications of foster care on attachment: A literature review. Family Journal, 27, 394-403. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480719833407
Murray, L., Tarren-Sweeney, M., & France, K. (2011). Foster carer perceptions of support and training in the context of high burden of care. Child and Family Social Work, 16, 149-158. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2010.00722.x
Nelson, L. R., & Horstman, H. K. (2017). Communicated meaning-making in foster families: Relationships between foster parents’ entrance narratives and foster child well-
being. Communication Quarterly, 65, 144-166. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463373.2016.1215337
Nguyen, H., & Slavik, S. (2017). (Re)visiting John Dewey and imagining a curriculum with the empty space of a haiku. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 15, 42-53.
Noddings, N. (2013). Education and democracy in the 21st century. Teachers College Press. Parker, E. (2017). An actor-network theory reading of change for children in public care. British
Educational Research Journal, 43, 151-167. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3257
Palmer, P. J. (2007). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Perry, B., & Szalavitz, M. (2017). The boy who was raised as a dog: What traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing (2nd ed.). Basic Books.
Pirttimaa, R., & Välivaara, C. (2018). Educational intervention planning for children in foster care in Finland: A case study. Education Inquiry (Co-Action Publishing), 9, 237-246. https://doi.org/10.1080/20004508.2017.1328932
Powell, W. E. (2001). On creating a space: An interview with Parker Palmer. Families in Society: Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 82, 13-22. https://doi.org/10.1606/1044- 3894.237
Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed.). SAGE.
Skilbeck, A. (2017). Dewey on seriousness, playfulness and the role of the teacher. Education
Sciences, 7, 2-14. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci7010016
Talebi, K. (2015). John Dewey—philosopher and educational reformer. European Journal of
Education Studies, 1, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.2009706
The Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2014). Trauma-Informed Systems and
Organizations. The Mental Health Commission of Canada. https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/sites/default/files/2014-0408_mhcc_trauma- informed_care_0.pdf.
Tyre, A. D. (2012). Educational supports for middle school youths involved in the foster care system. Children & Schools, 34, 231-238. https://doi.org/10.1093/cs/cds009
Waks, L. J. (2011). John Dewey on listening and friendship in school and society. Educational Theory, 61, 191-198.
Whiting, C. C. (2018). Trauma and the role of the school-based occupational therapist. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 11, 291-301. https://doi.org/10.1080/19411243.2018.1438327
Weinberg, L. A., Zetlin, A., & Shea, N. M. (2009). Removing barriers to educating children in foster care through interagency collaboration: A seven county multiple-case study. Child Welfare League of America. 77-111.
Zetlin, A. G., Weinberg, L. A., & Shea, N. M. (2006). Seeing the whole picture: Views from diverse participants on barriers to educating foster youths. Children & Schools, 28, 165-173. https://doi.org/10.1093/cs/28.3.165
Zetlin, A., MacLeod, E., & Kimm, C. (2012). Beginning teacher challenges instructing students who are in foster care. Remedial and Special Education, 33, 4-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932510362506
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top