University of Leicester
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School counselling : the role of the school counsellor as expected and enacted as this is perceived by selected school counsellors and members of their role set in some Arab schools in Israel

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:44 authored by George. Rantissi
The field of school counselling in Israel was first introduced into the educational system at the beginning of the 1960's. The roles of the school counsellor in Israel were directly elicited from the rationale and purpose of the school counselling program as was published in the 1960's by the 'American School Counseling Association' and the 'American Personnel and Guidance Association', which included the prime roles of counselling, consultation, coordination and execution of guidance programs. The first school counsellors to be occupied within the Arab schooling system in Israel began to appear at the beginning of the 1980's two decades after the program began to operate. Today the number of the Arab school counsellors occupied in the Israeli schooling system does not exceed 4 per cent of the total school counselling population which numbers above 2500. Reviewing the academic literature in the last four decades revealed many cases of role conflict with regards to the expectations and actual role performances of the school counsellors. This study aimed to learn whether the introduction of the new position of school counsellor within the Arab schooling system also led to cases of role conflict. The absence of any academic research conducted on the school counsellors population occupied within the Arab schooling system in Israel has triggered the interest to examine the impact of introducing the relatively new position into this schooling system, particularly with regards to the examining of the school counsellors' expectations, along with the study of what are their actual role performances. A review of the literature reveals that in the last two decades there is a constant increase in the number of expected roles to be fulfilled by the school counselors, a matter that has led to cases of overload, tension, inability to stand with the diversity of expectations held by different members working in the school settings and in many cases to conflict with the school counsellors own perception of the roles. The review of the literature assisted in the construction of the questionnaire along with the design of a new comprehensive school counselling framework that comprised five major role categories expected to be fulfilled by the school counsellors in any school setting. According to inspection reports, in the year 2001 there were 167 school counsellors occupied within the Arab schools. All in all, in Israel there are around 520 Arab schools serving the whole Arab population in the elementary, Junior-high and High schools. Almost a third of the Arab schools occupy a school counsellor. This study aimed to approach every school counsellor occupied within this sector (census approach) in order to collect descriptive data on both their demographic variables along with the data regarding their expectations and actual roles performed. The major research tool to collect the data was a closed questionnaire that was used both in the pilot and main study. This study also examined the expectations of the members of the role set which included a group of headteachers, classteachers, students and parents. The group of students and parents were examined via semi-structured interviews in the main study. This study examined four research questions and accordingly proposed four research hypothesis. The results of this study indicate that the school counsellors, headteachers, classteacher and students have a set of expectations which differs from the actual roles that the school counsellors actually perform. Other results indicate that it is not true that the headteachers, classteachers and parents expect more than the school counsellors to execute comprehensive guidance programs. Furthermore, this study has revealed that all the role categories that have been proposed in the comprehensive school counselling role framework developed in this thesis are expected to be fulfilled by the group of school counsellors, headteachers and clasteachers, but to a lower extent by the group of students and parents. Finally, this study found that the school counsellors occupied within the Arab schools in Israel do not perform in-services courses to the school's staff, do not perform publications and newsletters concerning the school counselling division in their school, do not conduct research on the students? characteristics in their schools and do not conduct evaluation procedures concerning educational programs taking place in their schools. This study ends with recommendations for further research and future policy making.


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University of Leicester

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  • Doctoral

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  • PhD



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