Catholic School Counseling: From Guidance to Pastoral Care
Murray, Robert, Suriano, Kristy, Madden, Judith, Catholic Education
Those ministering to youth increasingly find themselves having to address numerous issues and complexities, which extend beyond the scope of the school setting. Catholic school students are not immune to these issues, and to address the needs of their students, Catholic school counselors must embrace aspects of the social sciences that affirm and elevate the message of the Gospel. The intent of this article is to present a Christian perspective of guidance counseling and to highlight those orientations and therapies that uphold Christian values.
THE HISTORY OF SCHOOL GUIDANCE
School guidance began in the early 1900s, when the role of the school counselor was to prepare students for entrance into the work force. However, the school counselor's role grew to include academic advisement and the implementation of broader counseling services. Although cautious about accepting guidance programs from the onset, Catholic schools have emerged to incorporate this broader perspective.
GUIDANCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS FROM THE TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY TO 1930
Measures of intelligence and achievement laid the groundwork for the school guidance movement. Thorndike constructed standardized, objective achievement tests, which were of particular assistance in vocational guidance (Humphreys, Traxler, & North, 1967). Binet and Simon developed a test of intelligence, which they administered to individual children in school (Humphreys et al., 1967).
In 1908, the Vocational Guidance Association of Brooklyn was established (Lee & Pallone, 1966). By 1910, approximately 35 cities began to implement school guidance programs, and the first National Conference on Vocational Guidance, representing nearly 45 cities, was held (Lee & Pallone, 1966). In 1913, the first professional guidance organization, The National Vocational Guidance Association, was established at The Third National Conference (Lee & Pallone, 1966). Guidance programs at this time were primarily concerned with occupational counseling, based on student input and discussion of their interests. Students also were assessed for their abilities, using the tests developed by Binet and Simon (Lee & Pallone, 1966).
The 1920s were a time of significant change in the theory and practice of vocational guidance. The school guidance paradigm expanded to include an interest in the quality of student life. One notable development during the late 1920s was the cumulative record. Humphreys and Traxler (Gysbers & Henderson, 1994) considered this to be a landmark because, prior to this, there was no way of knowing how students progressed throughout their school career. The utilization of aptitude tests also made a significant impact (Humphreys et al., 1967). Additionally, during this decade, English psychologist Spearman demonstrated how a student's score varied according to the different sections of the test (Humphreys et al., 1967).
While the middle of the 1920s witnessed the use of intelligence and achievement tests, the development of personality inventories also increased (Humphreys et al., 1967).
With support from organizations and foundations such as the Commonwealth Fund, the school guidance movement of the 1920s gained momentum. However, the momentum soon came to an abrupt halt at the end of the decade, with The Great Depression. School budgets decreased, and school guidance felt the severity of the blow (Lee & Pallone, 1966).
GUIDANCE IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FROM THE TURN OF THE CENTURY TO 1930
During the first decade of the 20th century, Catholic clergy generally thought of vocational education as unnecessary and as taking away from a solid education. However, a minority of teaching priests argued that vocational education served a valid purpose (Lee & Pallone, 1966). One such advocate was Dom Thomas Vernor Moore, a prominent Catholic educator with a background in psychology, who proposed that certain aspects of psychology be incorporated into a Catholic education. Still, most Catholic educators believed that strict discipline was the most effective guidance approach (Lee & Pallone, 1966) and actively opposed his ideas. Further, most Catholics also opposed standardized tests (Lee & Pallone, 1966). Despite this, two Catholic educators, Father John A. O'Brien of the University of Notre Dame and Father Leo F. Kuntz (1939), favored objective tests; however, their views were in the minority and were either ignored or denounced (Lee & Pallone, 1966). Still, a minority of Catholic schools spoke out in favor of guidance. By the 1920s, the Jesuits had introduced part-time pupil advisors who served as counselors. The Church's position, however, was that hiring a separate counselor was redundant (Lee & Pallone, 1966).
In the 1920s, skepticism was the predominant Catholic view toward guidance. Standardized tests were considered suspect, especially if the tests had a psychological basis, because they interfered with the work of God. However, the Catholic Church's response shifted to a willingness to adopt a "wait and see" attitude on the impact of guidance in the public school. By 1928, the Diocese of Pittsburgh made a bold move by appointing a priest who had been trained in guidance as the director of the office of guidance services (Lee & Pallone, 1966).
GUIDANCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS FROM 1930 TO 1965
As guidance techniques began to mature, the 1930s saw the introduction of depth psychology tests. Super began his pioneering work on career developmental patterns. His theory hinted at vocational interest and choice as part of the personality. Unfortunately, Super's ideas did not have a noticeable impact on school guidance at that time (Lee & Pallone, 1966).
During the early 1940s, Rogers, who developed client-centered therapy, was an important figure in counseling. His nondirective approach became widespread in school counseling after World War II (Lee & Pallone, 1966). The onset of war retarded the development of public high school guidance; however, the growth of guidance services continued after the war and aptitude test measurement procedures were fine-tuned through the appraisal of military men (Humphreys et al., 1967).
The emphasis on the overall needs of the students, including a range of personal, academic, and vocational issues, developed after 1950. This may have been due to the increasing variety of counseling theories originating within the psychological community (Lee & Pallone, 1966). The phenomenological-self theory, developed and elaborated upon by Rogers, Syngg, and Combs, led to an awareness by guidance counselors that problems and needs are reflections both of one's inner self and one's evaluation of one's inner self. Also during this time, an emphasis was placed on developmental guidance and an understanding of the stages of a child's maturation, as noted by Havighurst (1953).
In 1959, The Conant Report on the American Public High School placed a great deal of emphasis on improvement of guidance services (Lee & Pallone, 1966). The number of school counselors began to increase, with a particular emphasis placed on their role in the formation of curricula. There was also emphasis on the identification of gifted and talented students and their placement into colleges and universities (Aubrey, 1979).
As the 1960s unfolded, many state departments of education and local school districts began to place guidance under the pupil personnel umbrella. In addition, textbooks written in the 1960s on the organization and administration of guidance adopted the pupil personnel services model as the way to organize guidance in schools. Delivered within the broader framework of pupil personnel services, guidance was to become a subset of its services. In addition, because of the clinical model of guidance and the focus on personal adjustment, the counseling service emerged as the central service of guidance.
GUIDANCE IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FROM 1930 TO 1965
Catholic schools were making strides in …
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Publication information: Article title: Catholic School Counseling: From Guidance to Pastoral Care. Contributors: Murray, Robert - Author, Suriano, Kristy - Author, Madden, Judith - Author. Journal title: Catholic Education. Volume: 7. Issue: 1 Publication date: September 2003. Page number: 34+. © 2008 University of Notre Dame. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.