Counselling and Education
Richard Nelson-Jones describes the core conditions of relationship counselling to be:
‘..empathic understanding, respect for clients’ potentials to lead their own lives and congruence or genuineness. Terms like ‘active listening’ and ‘rewarding listening’ are other ways of expressing the central skills of basic helping relationships.’
(Nelson-Jones, 1997, p5)
The Person-Centred approach is particularly relevant in the way, in which I try to create a safe growth environment. I teach PSHE/Citizenship and Music throughout the school and always begin the year by establishing; even with the youngest children in the school, a form of ‘contract’ in a similar way ...view middle of the document...
Having taught children from Reception to year 8, both as a general subjects teacher, Sats teacher and Music/drama specialist, I can say categorically that the most productive lessons, those where the energy in the classroom , I can only describe as being ‘electric’ have been when pupils have worked in a less directive, prescriptive way. When they experience the ‘light bulb’ moment, when the ‘penny drops’ and discover learning for themselves.
This, of course, is an ideal most teachers and schools would claim to hold as important to their core beliefs and indeed is referred to in my current schools policy. However, in reality, this is not always upheld. In my previous role, as Head of Department in a Middle school, I regularly attended Pyramid meetings with colleagues from neighbouring middle schools and the feeder high school. During meetings a common problem stated by my high school colleagues was the inability of pupils on transferring to high school to think for themselves and work autonomously. This begs the question, if educationalists on the whole agree on the ideology of the Rogerian model, why is it in practice we are failing to approach our teaching with this in mind? Talking to many teachers across the Primary and Secondary sector the answer is not hard to find. Since the introduction of the National Curriculum, Sats testing and League tables, schools and teachers have been under an increasing amount of pressure to be academic ‘result’ led. It is no wonder that when talking to children about their views on school, including my own children who are 8yrs and 11yrs old, it saddens me that even at a very young age the attitude to much of their school experience and ultimately view of education and learning is that it is ‘boring’ and a process that is ‘done to them.’
My current place of employment is a high achieving school as indicated by its Year2 and Year6 Sats results. Parents queue to send their children to this school because of its academic reputation. It is in a good catchment area with regards to parental support, behaviour issues are not of major concern and the staffs are very dedicated. However, as a parent myself I wouldn’t want my own children to attend this school.
Pupils are placed in Literacy and Numeracy sets across each year group ( until very recently, this was also the teaching approach in Reception). Working in silence is viewed as the ideal. However, the teachers will admit when children are given a more open ended task, children constantly look for permission to try something out and seek reassurance that they are ‘doing it right.’ Following a recent performance by a visiting Pantomime Group, a teacher commented...