Teachers' Narratives of Pagdadala in Caring for Students in Low-Resource Urban Public Schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology, Concentration in Counseling Psychology (Thesis Program)



First Advisor

Dr. Nico A. Canoy


Teachers’ caring work with struggling students is integral for students’ holistic development but has been linked with psychosocial costs that negatively affect teacher wellbeing. In low-resource public schools, these costs may be amplified for teachers who help students bear increasingly complex burdens despite lack of resources and specialized support. However, there are limited studies on how caring work is experienced Filipino public school teachers in low-resource contexts. Hence, this study utilized Clandinin's narrative framework that integrated Decenteceo’s cultural story- model of Pagdadala (i.e. burden-bearing) to explore teachers’ stories of caring for burdened students in low-resource contexts. Decenteceo’s model is an emic approach to understand the experiences of caring for burdened students through co-burden- bearing. Findings showed four narrative pathways of pagdadala of caring that teachers lived and told across the caring landscape: shared, overextended, asserted, and curtailed. These non-linear pathways reflect how teachers’ experience of caring work is shaped by the overlapping sphere of influence of homes, schools and communities in student care. Discussed are the theoretical implications of narratively understanding teachers’ care work and its costs through the lens of Pagdadala, as well as its practical implications on supporting teacher-carer wellbeing in low-resource school contexts.

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