Guidance and Counselling in Education

Guidance and Counselling in Education

You must have observed that there are times when students do not pay any attention in class, do not respond at all, and are antagonistic as well. There are also instances when they lag behind in studies, academic achievement is very low and to complicate it further, there is no motivation and a lack of concentration. Further, when they want to select a particular subject for higher studies they are at a loss to decide anything. Also, there are periods when they do not want to come to school at all, daydream a lot in the classroom, are least interested in socializing, or show aggressive behavior.

Above mentioned problems could be an expression of maladjustments in the areas of physical, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual development and a teacher has a responsibility to understand these problems and depending on the intensity of the problems either provide necessary guidance or to refer such students to professionally trained person for guidance and counseling. Guidance and counseling services as supporting functions in the educational process by directing and controlling activities to help each individual develop to his/her fullest potential.

“Guidance is an assistance made available by personally qualified and adequately trained men or women to an individual of any age to help them manage their own life activities, develop their own points of view, make their own decisions, and carry out their own burden”.

Ordinary Meaning

Guidance is help, assistance, and suggestions for progress and showing the way. In that sense guidance is a lifelong process. Man needs guidance throughout his life. He needs it even from his infancy. When a child is born, the world for him is big, buzzing, blooming with confusion and he knows nothing. He learns everything from society. From the mother, he learns how to stand on his feet, from the father, he learns to walk and from the teacher, he learns to seek knowledge and education, all learning takes place through guidance.

Society guides the individual to learn, to adjust oneself to the physical and social environment. To sum up we may say that guidance is a personal help rendered by society to the individual so as to enable him to adjust to the physical and social environment and to solve the problems of life.

Specific Meaning

Guidance in India is comparatively a new field within the larger and more inclusive field of education and is used as a technical term with a specific meaning. It covers the whole spectrum of education, which starts from the birth of the child and continues till his death. This is a wide meaning of the term, which includes all types of education such as formal, non-formal, informal, vocational, etc., which aims to adjust the individual in his environment in an effective way. There are usually three connotations attached to the word guidance :

1. Guidance as a Specialised Service whose primary concern is with the individual and to help them to solve their problems and take appropriate decisions in their choice points;

2. Guidance as a General Service and is considered to be synonymous with education and educational processes; and

3. Guidance is a Sub-Process of education in which the developmental needs of the learners are considered the basic points.

Purpose of Guidance

Guidance is to help one to adjust to the abilities, interests, and needs of society. In other words, it means helping a person to develop in the desired direction and to orient him/her according to the needs and demands of changing times and society. The purpose of guidance at the elementary school level is focused on assisting pupils to integrate such primary groups forces as the home, the school, religion, and peer relationships.

These are the forces that form the base for the students’ adolescence, then blend those forces into a harmonious whole. At the secondary school level, it is centrally focussed upon differentiating aspects of these forces as they affect the pupils' knowledge, acceptance, and direction of him/herself. Secondary school guidance services focus on the assistance given to the students to develop themselves according to their potentialities and opportunities in the areas of educational planning, career choice, interpersonal relationships, and interpersonal acceptance.

Thus the purpose of the guidance is to improve the capability of the individual to understand and deal with self-situational relations for greater personal satisfaction and social usefulness which includes students, teachers, parents, etc.

Contribution to students:

a) to help them understand themselves by knowing more about their abilities, aptitudes, interests, and limitations.

b) to get along better with other people and understand the world in which they live.

c) to get the most out of school by gaining information regarding careers, subjects, etc.

d) to explore their own interests, and abilities, learn about various aspects of the world of work and learn to make the most of their abilities.

e) in recognizing gifted and slow learners and students having special needs and helping them to develop proper attitudes and make maximum use of their potential ability.

Aid to the teacher

1) Guidance offers opportunities to increase teachers’ understanding of their students through in-service education programmes carried on by the guidance person. The school counselor assists in administering tests and in familiarizing teachers with the interpretation of the tests. These test results give information that assists teachers in better understanding their students’ classroom behavior and performance.

2) Data on students’ special interests, capabilities, and past experiences are provided on the cumulative record by the guidance faculty. Knowledge about students’ physical condition, medical history, family background, scholastic record, scores on standardized tests, personal characteristics, etc. helps the teacher to provide better instruction to the student.

3) Beneficial to the parents: The teacher can provide a picture of the child’s abilities, interests, and potentialities to the parents so that they know, understand, and accept the child as he/she is.

4) To assist the local community population towards better mental health.

5) Help the entire school in many ways. e.g. by aiding students in their choice of courses by counseling on the basis of their interests and aptitudes. Give administration information on those aspects of the school programme which relate to the educational career and personality development of the students.

Scope of Guidance

The scope of guidance covers the following areas:

1) Individual and curriculum: a) Academic achievement and progress. b) Personal development through curricular and co-curricular activities.

2) Personal-social relations of the individual in school: a) Understanding of the self and personal characteristics. b) Understanding of others and relations with them.

3) Educational, and vocational requirements and opportunities vis-a-vis the individual: a) Preparing to meet future educational and occupational requirements. b) Utilization of appropriate opportunities – educational and vocational areas.

Types of Guidance

Guidance is a continuous process and it deals with all aspects of life. Hence guidance is needed in various aspects of life. Generally, schools offer the following types of guidance services:

1) Educational

2) Vocational/career and

3) Personal-social

Educational Guidance

It is a process of helping the individual to place him/herself continually in the most favorable setting or environment for his/her education. It is concerned with helping the individual to plan wisely his/her educational programme and to put him/herself in a position to carry forward successfully that programme along lines that society considers wholesome both for itself and for him/her.

It is primarily concerned with the problems related to courses, curriculum, and study. Students can be given the training to develop study skills: – locating and collecting academic information/data from various sources – organizing academic data – linking/using the data/information in the course of study – note taking – note making – retrieving required data – summarizing – techniques for memorizing.

Further school guidance programme can help students develop critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. At the secondary stage of schooling, students need guidance for planning future higher education.

Vocational / Career Guidance

Vocational / Career guidance is the process of assisting the individual to choose an occupation career, prepare for it, enter upon it, and progress in it. Vocational / career guidance concerns itself with students in the academic courses in high school, college, in the trade and commercial courses categories as well as vocational courses.

Personal-Social Guidance

This includes social, emotional, and leisure time guidance. It concerns the problems of health, emotional adjustment, social adjustment, etc. The purpose of personal guidance is to help the individual to help him/herself in regard to his/ her physical, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual development.

Principles of Guidance

Guidance is based on certain principles. It is mandatory that we should understand the basic principles of any discipline before attempting to gain and utilize the knowledge of various operations involved in the application of knowledge to human life. The principles of Guidance are:

1) Guidance is a lifelong process: Guidance is a continuous process, which starts from childhood and continues till death. It is not a service that begins and terminates at a specified time or place.

2) Guidance lays emphasis on individualization: It emphasizes that each individual should be given the freedom to shape his/her personality and he/she should be guided whenever the need arises. For individualizing education at different levels so that each individual develops his/her abilities, interests, and aptitudes in unique ways, proper organization of guidance services is very essential.

3) Guidance gives importance to self-direction: The main idea of guidance is to develop the individual so that s/he no longer finds it necessary to seek guidance. The guidance makes the individual better adjusted to her/his environment and leads her/him to self-reliance and self-direction. A student who tries to seek help asks and may even implore the counselor to tell him/ her how to solve his/her difficulties. But appreciates it more when her/he is shown several alternative procedures which s/he could adopt together with probable results of each.

4) Guidance is based on cooperation: Guidance depends on mutual cooperation of two individuals, the guidance seeker, and the guidance giver. No one can be forced to seek guidance without the consent of the individual her/himself.

5) Guidance is for all: Guidance looks towards the development of each individual’s potentialities. Although maladjusted students receive more of the counselor’s time the basic principle of the guidance is that it should not be available only to the few but rather to many. It will be of great use to devote attention to all children in an attempt to stimulate their intellectual growth.

6) Guidance is an organized activity: Guidance is not an incidental activity. In spite of being a broad-based programme, it has a definite purpose to achieve. It is therefore a systematic and well-organized activity.

7) Guidance workers need special preparation: It is generally agreed that in addition to the general survey course in guidance, which should certainly be regarded as a minimum essential in the preparation of all the teachers, the specialists need considerable background study in Psychology including a child and adolescent development, mental hygiene and some course work with practical experience.

The guidance worker should also know what agencies and resources are available in his/her community so that the individuals seeking help should be able to utilize these resources. Along with this, periodic appraisals should be made of the existing school guidance programme.

8) Guidance gives respect to individual differences: No two individuals are alike. Guidance understands these individual differences among students and is concerned with the uniqueness of needs, problems, and developmental characteristics of individuals.

Principles of Counselling

Counseling is based on a number of principles. These principles are:

1) Counselling is a process. It is necessary for the counselor to understand that counseling is a process and a slow process. Failure to understand this will result in annoyance and disappointment.

2) Counselling is for all. Especially in the school situation counseling is meant for all students and not only for those who are facing problems or other exceptional students. As we have already discussed in the school situation counseling is more developmental and preventive than remedial in nature. 20 Introduction to Guidance and Counselling

3) Counselling is based on certain fundamental assumptions. a) every individual in this world is capable of taking responsibility for him/herself. b) every individual has a right to choose his/her own path, based on the principles of democracy.

4) Counsellor does not deprive the right of self-choice but simply facilitates choice. The counselor should give due respect to the individual and accept him/her as he/she is.

5) Counselling is not advice-giving.

6) Counselling is not thinking for the client, but thinking with the client. Counseling is for enabling the client to do judicious thinking.

7) Counselling is not problem-solving. The counselor simply assists the person to find a solution on his/her own.

The Major Approaches to Counselling

The practice of any profession is based on a system of beliefs and assumptions, generally called a theory. Counseling is no exception. In the case of counseling, though many elaborate theories have been proposed, no single theory explains all aspects of counseling. Therefore, the term approach is generally preferred because it is a more comprehensive term.

An approach provides a coherent definition of the counseling process, a clear statement of counseling goals, a rationale for selection for a particular counseling technique, etc. There are three major approaches to counseling. The directive approach, the non-directive approach, and the eclectic approach.

In Conclusion

A career guidance and counseling program develops an individual's competencies in self-knowledge, educational and occupational exploration, and so on.


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