one time or another in our lives, we have all been students. Some of our
teachers were ‘good’, while others we remember as ‘not so good’. What
was it about the teachers that left a lasting impression in our minds? It’s a
good bet that your favourite teachers were using counselling techniques to
motivate you and bring out your best.
is something we often discuss and strive to achieve. On the other hand, fear of
failure (and actual failure) is a reality of student training. Professional
educators must be sensitive to student needs and be ready to provide effective counselling
regarding their progress.
is essential for two reasons:
To provide feedback on performance; and
To address and resolve problems.
is important that students receive counselling regarding their strengths and
weaknesses on all aspects of assessment. If students have difficulty grasping
important concepts or performing skills, counseling sessions can be effective
remediation or intervention tools. By praising talents and focusing on
strengthening deficiencies, the students’ opportunities for success are
are may effective counseling techniques and approaches with no single method
being better than another. Sometimes, a variety of techniques are required or an
‘off-the-shelf’ technique may need to be tailored to suit the individual
student. It helps if the instructor is familiar with the students’ background
and the extent of their current competencies. No matter which technique is
employed, the outcome must be positive and benefit the student in some way.
are two different approaches that have been used.
directive approach requires the instructor to take an active role during the counselling
session. This means that the instructor becomes the source of
information that directs the discussion. This approach is effective for telling
the student how far s/he has progressed during the course and what s/he must do
to improve. Many students expect this type of counselling, so it usually proceeds
without delay, requiring a minimum of time.
disadvantages of the directive approach is that the student takes on a passive
role and may not become involved in the decision making process. If the student
fails to improve, s/he may feel its because s/he received inadequate direction.
counselling encourages the students to discuss their progress and take an active
part in developing ideas for improving their performance. This approach is very
effective in getting students to address their problems and take responsibility
for the decision making process. However, non-directive counselling is time
consuming, and may not be effective if time is limited.
of the approach, counselling sessions need planning to achieve objectives and use
time effectively. Consider the following points when planning a counselling session:
Pre-assessment Student’s background and motivation is established
time is set aside and student progress is followed up
is performed in private to encourage openness
agenda is used to meet counselling objectives
reaction to counselling is documented and monitored
Schedule counselling sessions as frequently as possible throughout the
course. Regular counselling sessions increase cognizance of the objectives and
action plans discussed previously.
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