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Durham e-Theses
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Dilemmas or no dilemmas: The role and experience of eleven counsellors working in the Singapore secondary school system

Kok, Jin-Kuan (2008) Dilemmas or no dilemmas: The role and experience of eleven counsellors working in the Singapore secondary school system. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The role definition of school counsellors has always presented a variety of difficulties. This is especially true when changes occur because of local counselling movements or educational reforms which are closely linked to the contextualized socio-economic or political agenda. This is well documented in the literature. This study is an attempt to make a critical enquiry into the ways in which school counsellors describe and experience their role working in the Singapore secondary school system. It is essentially exploratory and qualitative in nature. The aim of this study is to explore the internal landscape, their feelings and thoughts; their perceptions about their roles and work, and to examine the factors that contribute to their role descriptions and experience. The unique environmental factors that shaped and define their role and experience will be explored. In-depth face to face interviews were carried out with the eleven participants involved in this study, two sessions for each participant. An adapted grounded theory methodology was used to guide the data collection and data analysis process. The findings show that the role experienced by the 11 counsellors was less restricted to role-base and operates on a flexible role description regime. Most counsellors described their role as being defined by pupils' profiles, and by the counselling approach they used. These interviews revealed that role and job scope were ill defined, there was a mis-match of expectations held by the counsellors and within the overall educational climate, and some uncontrollable factors from the wider environment were found. The emergent over-arching theme of dilemmas was identified and factors that enable and inhibit the role of the counsellors as described by the participants were also highlighted. As a result of this study, an ecosystemic approach is proposed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:27

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