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Connexions draws on interests in economic performance, community stability and equal opportunity. Some of these interests are more firmly embedded than others. And, in any event, no system is perfect, some are damaging, all can be improved.

But improvement needs people who can work with ideas about what else might be done. They are, in this sense, not wholly ‘system oriented’ as far as the status quo is concerned.

So what is it like to put yourself in such a position? This research - first carried out with school counsellors - examines the question and applies the answers to the work of personal advisers.

After all, if we are not prepared to entertain the alternatives how on earth are we to appreciate how good Connexions is now – let alone know how much better it might be?



bumpy rides for personal advisers
how the idea of system orientation helps
what the enquiry probes
moving on from the final reports



chapter one

system orientation:
a dilemma for the role conceptualisation
of ’counsellors’ in schools

> the experiential base
> elaboration from the literature
>> value system of the school
>> identification of problems
>> maintenance of the school system
>> individual and the group
>> identification of clients
>> definition of problems
>> client change
>> contract with the client
>> role influences
>> decision-making responsibility
>> formal and informal organisation of the school
> conceptualisation
> empirical study
> discussion
>> conceptions of system orientation and directiveness
>> system orientation and organisational and
instrumental considerations
> conclusion


chapter two

counsellors as teachers

> the arguments
> the ingressive relationship
> the egressive relationship
> the contemporary role of the teacher
> counsellors’ acceptance of teaching and
non-teaching roles
> the construction of a Teacher Identification Inventory


chapter three

the concomitants of system orientation
in secondary school counsellors

> the personality of the counsellor
> the counsellors’ experience of inter-role conflict
concerning teaching and counselling
> the counsellors’ experience of transactional
intra-role conflict with teaching colleagues
> use of the designation ‘counsellor’
> the amount of time available to do counselling work
> amount of training received in counselling work
> summary of findings
> discussion
>> the philosophy of counselling and guidance
>> the sociology of the school
> conclusion

chapter four

the contexts of system orientation
in secondary school counselling

> the internal context
> the external context
> discussion
> conclusion


help for personal advisers

> is there anything there?
> an orientation to what?
> why now?
> local scope for personal advisers

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