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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Elementary counsellor education: perspectives from the field Paterson, David


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of British Columbia elementary school counsellors, in terms of the following primary research questions: (a) What counsellor competencies were included as part of each elementary counsellor's specialized educational or graduate program, (b) how effective was the educational content and experience in these competency areas, (c) how important is the educational content and experience in these competency areas with respect to their current role as elementary school counsellors, (d) what counsellor competencies are perceived as strengths and weaknesses of elementary counsellor education programs, and (e) what areas should be included in elementary graduate training programs to make them more effective? A list of B.C. elementary school counsellors was developed and 219 elementary school counsellors (67%) completed and returned the questionnaire. Respondents indicated that preparation related to the context of the elementary school was of primary importance to them. Theories were highly emphasized and well taught by counsellor education programs, but were viewed as less important than specific counselling skills and interventions. Implications of this study are discussed with respect to (a) contributing to existing literature in elementary counsellor role description, (b) assisting practicing elementary counsellors by outlining their challenges, recommendations and concerns, and (c) contributing to the development and relevance of elementary counsellor education programs.

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