Academic journal article Education

The Influence of Personal Characteristics on Secondary School Teachers' Beliefs about School Guidance and Counselling Programs

Academic journal article Education

The Influence of Personal Characteristics on Secondary School Teachers' Beliefs about School Guidance and Counselling Programs

Article excerpt

Introduction

Although, external support such as, the Federal Government of Nigeria's decision to offer scholarship for Masters degree students in guidance and counselling and the inclusion of guidance and counselling as an educational service in our national policy on education, as a result of the events that cropped up after the Nigerian civil war(July 29, 1967-January 15, 1970), which brought about the need to rehabilitate war victims from their post war social, political, economic and educational problems, were responsible for guidance and counselling programs getting a foot in the door of secondary school system (Aluede, 2000; Aluede & Imonikhe, 2002; Aluede, Afen-Akpaida & Adomeh, 2004), the staying power and eventual success would be largely determined by the internal support accorded these programs(Gibson, 1990). In terms of internal support, no group could be more critical than the classroom teachers (Gibson, 1990).

Our students need to be more competitive with students from other states of the federation, is a statement that has become a genuine concern among critics. This requires students to attend school on a much more regular basis, attend school for longer hours and take more academic classes. Surprisingly, very little attention, if any, was given to school guidance in all these efforts to revamp education. It is as though school guidance and counseling service is a fringe benefit instead of being directly linked with students' learning (Myrick, 1993).

Myrick (1993) remarks that learning is a consequence of the environment for better or for worse. Teachers and students working together create a learning climate, which plays a critical role in educational excellence. If students are to learn effectively and efficiently, to achieve more academically and to be productive and responsible citizens, then functional school guidance and counselling program must be part of the total school experience.

Myrick (1993) further noted that approximately 70 percent of the 21389 teachers surveyed in 1990 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, rated counselling services for students as either "fair or poor". This Myrick (1993) reports may be attributed to the ineffective traditional guidance and counselling methods, which too often rely on individual counselling at critical moments. Hence counsellors were seen as administrative assistants and having too little time to counsel. Even when counselling took place, it seemed to have little impact on students' attitude or behaviour.

Teachers' perception of school counsellors have been neglected and virtually ignored. However, a few authors who have studied this, report that most teachers perceive counsellors as a positive contribution to the school instructional programs (Aluede & Imonikhe, 2002; Quarto, 1999).

In Ireland for example, O'Brien, Tuite, McDonogh and Deffely (1982, as cited in O'Leary, 1990) reported areas of mutual interests to both guidance counsellors and their teaching colleagues. Ninety-five percent of the respondents held the opinion that the counsellor should participate in the teachers' discussions of classroom experiences; eighty-five percent of their research participants believed that counsellors should use teachers as a career information resource. Overall, the study points to the possibility of integrating career information with the role of the subject teacher. The study further advocated that new methods and techniques could be devised whereby the counsellor coordinates the subject teaching staff, as a team of people who can effectively fulfill many of the career information needs of the students.

Schmidt (1993) revealed that counsellors and teachers use classroom guidance activities to encourage positive self-concept development and alter behaviours for improving school success. These classroom activities are integrated with daily lessons or designated as specially planned presentations. …

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