Supervising School Counselors

Supervising School Counselors - April 1994 ERIC Digest...

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April 1994 EDO-CG-94-21 The Need Professionally appropriate supervision is emerging as a highly effective means of nurturing school counse- lors’ professional development. New challenges in schools and increased understanding of the complexity of professional development dictate the need for increased attention to and use of effective supervision practices. Today’s children and youth need highly skilled help in managing the complicated situations in which they live. School counselors see an increasing number of suicidal children as well as adolescents. The upsurge in substance abuse, gang involvement, and violence are well publi- cized. Increasingly, parents turn to the schools to help them solve problems that face them, including those posed by their children. In order to effectively help chil- dren in their classrooms, teachers seek consultative help from counselors. The comprehensive guidance programs today’s schools call for school counselors to use all of their professional skills. Focused and constructive supervision is of benefit to all practitioners whether they are novices or experienced, highly competent or insufficiently trained. Due to reduc- tions in caseloads, renewed commitment to elementary counseling, and retirement of counselors who entered the field in the 1960’s, the number of new school counselors is increasing. As noted by Matthes (1992), “we expect novice counselors to assume the same responsibilities as experienced counselors” (p. 245). They encounter the same complex problems posed by today’s students and they face similar ethical dilemmas. Such problems require the consultative and educative assistance of a com- petent counselor supervisor. Wiggins’ (1993) longitudinal study adds urgency to the need for supervision by experienced counselors. He found that “more than 28% of the total group … were independently rated as low in effectiveness … 10 years previously [and] were still rated in that manner — and still employed as counselors” (p. 382). Clearly, in the ten year period, supervisory interventions would have helped some of these counselors improve the quality of their performance! The Process Although it is a relatively new discipline, supervi- sion is compatibly defined in both education and in coun- seling. The purpose of supervision is the growth and enhanced effectiveness of the practitioner (Borders, 1991; Sergiovanni, 1984). “It is characterized by a cycle of feed- back, practice, and additional feedback” (Borders, 1991, p. 253), based on interpretation of gathered data in light
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This note was uploaded on 09/12/2011 for the course MHS 6803 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at University of Central Florida.

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Supervising School Counselors - April 1994 ERIC Digest...

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