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An investigation of the attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and understandings of school counselors in Saudi Arabia

INTRODUCTION: The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education established the 'General Directorate of Guidance and Counseling' in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia) in 1981. In 2003 approximately 4,000 school-based counsellors were working in schools in Saudi Arabia. Student counselling programmes in Saudi schools cover the areas of preventative, educational, vocational, and religious and moral counselling. Although school-based counselling is well established in Saudi Arabia there are very few studies researching school-based counselling in Saudi schools that have been identified in the literature. There is evidence to show that school-based counsellors face numerous problems in practice. RESEARCH QUESTION: The main research question for the research study is 'What are the attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and understandings of school counsellors in schools in Saudi Arabia?' OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the study were: (1) to investigate the personal views and opinions of school counsellors working in boys' secondary schools in the research city; (2) to investigate the level of knowledge as well as the understandings of school counselling which school counsellors have; (3) to investigate the attitudes and perceptions that school counsellors bring to/have developed through their work; and (4) to investigate any cultural impacts and influences on school counsellors in Saudi Arabia. METHODS: Four qualitative research methods were employed for the research study. These were: (1) a qualitative review of the literature; (2) a qualitative autobiography; (3) keeping a qualitative research journal; and (4) qualitative semi-structured interviews. The semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twenty-four (n=24) male school-based counsellors working in secondary boys' schools located in the research city. The interview transcripts were coded and qualitative Thematic Content Analysis (TCA) was carried out in order to identify themes from the qualitative data. RESULTS: The TCA drew out six themes from the data obtained that related to stakeholders (i.e. students, parents, teachers, head teachers) within the school environment. These were: (1) negative stakeholder behavioural attitudes towards school counsellors; (2) negative stakeholder perceptions towards school counsellors; (3) a general lack of knowledge of modern school counselling practices demonstrated by the school-based counsellors; (4) dissension between school-based counsellors and other stakeholders regarding their role; (5) cultural and religious influences on Western models of school counselling; and (6) a general lack of support within and beyond the school community. CONCLUSION: A broad range of significant problems for school-based counsellors were identified in the study. These problems significantly limit the ability of school-based counsellors to deliver effective and useful school counselling services. There exists a clear and pressing need to address these problems and deficiencies in order for school-based counsellors to be able to carry out their role within the school environment.
Date January 2018
CreatorsAlotaibi, Turki
PublisherUniversity of Nottingham
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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