1. The school assembly, 2. The home-room programme, especially in junior and senior high schools, 3. Guidance courses, 4. Interest and service clubs, 5. Organised programmes of school government and management, and 6. Special small-group conferences.
Some of the general functions and organisational patterns of these media of guidance are considered here briefly.
1. The School Assembly: The school assembly is a form of group participation common to all educational levels. The weekly schedule is so arranged that one or more opportunities are afforded for bringing together. Non-school institutions recognise the value of assembling their personnel for the purpose of encouraging an attitude of oneness among them and of bringing to the attention of the group certain matters of interest to them. Many business houses, industrial plants, professional groups, and social and civic organisations have regular meetings which are attended either voluntarily or under requirement by all who are associated with the institution or the group. At such meetings, instruction is given, operational plans are discussed, or management and worker problems are considered.
The assembly of any level or of any group is extremely worthwhile in the programme is related to the interests of the participants and is well organised and well presented. Various values have been attached to the school assembly. It affords opportunities to: 1. Help pupils develop attitudes of oneness and school loyalty. 2.
Integrate and broaden classroom learnings through various media; guest speakers, motion pictures or television showings, and educational programmes prepared and presented by pupils and teachers. 3. Provides practice of good audience habits. 4. Encourage the development of self-expression and poise through pupil-conducted programmes. 5.
Acquaint pupils with voting-procedures as applied to the selection of school government officers. 6. Give recognition to individuals and groups for good academic achievement and other phases of school performance. 7. Alert pupils to school and community standards of behaviour. 8. Inform pupils of special school and community activities and opportunities. 2.
The Home-room Programme: Much has been written concerning the benefits to pupils of participation in home-room activities. During the home-room period, certain administrative details must be taken care of. These include recording attendance, making reports, and reading notices. Such activities are time-consuming, since they may give rise to pupil’s questions and discussions. No matter how efficient a home-room sponsor may be, he often finds the period slipping away before little if any of a planned programme 1ms been reached. In addition, the home room should be what its name implies, a home situation in which individual pupils can settle many of their school or personal problems with teacher assistance. 3. Guidance Courses: The home-room period then can remain a time during which the class engages in informal but teacher-led activities of immediate interest to the group.
The scheduled guidance period is not a regular recitation period; no marks are assigned for performance. Although the content of the course usually is ‘structured’ so that the topics for discussion fit into a sequential framework. As individual progresses through succeeding school levels, he needs to learn the “know-how” of adjusting to the various areas of his present and future life experiences. At least a part of this learning process takes place in his regular study programme. Factors closely associated with one or another particular area of adjustment probably can be dealt with more adequately in special group situations or guidance classes. The area’s most commonly included in such courses stress educational and vocational opportunities and human relationship or mental hygiene. 4. Interest and Service Clubs: Young people like to participate in activities with similarly minded schoolmates in whom they can give expression to their interests and display initiative and self-direction.
Although they often appear to be extremely self-centered, they also welcome opportunities to do things for other people. Interest and activity clubs are excellent media for the satisfaction of these youthful urges. Clubs may either be an outgrowth of regular classroom work or stem from personal interests and school or community relationships. For the purposes of our discussion, they are included in these out-of-class activities. The point of view of some educators is that all co-curricular clubs should be included among curricular offerings. The advocates of this policy stress the idea that recitation-class sessions then would be conducted in the same informal manner that characterises club activities.
This would seem to be almost impossible in some areas of studies, especially on the secondary level. The teacher’s approach is restricted according to the demands of a course of study. Class activity is work, even though it should be a pleasant experience; club activity, no matter how great its educational value and how seriously the club members participate in the completion of projects, still is regarded by them as interesting ‘play’ or recreation. 5. Pupil Participation in School Government and Management: Organising and carrying out a programme of pupil-teacher school government and management offer excellent opportunities for guidance in democratic living. Such programmes can be found on all school levels. As young people grow in maturity and the power of decision-making, they may be permitted to assume added responsibility for the management of school affairs.
However, they should not have complete control. Since members of the faculty are as much a part of the school community as the pupils, the former should have a voice in matters which concern the welfare of the entire school. The administrative head of the school is responsible for whatever is done in the school; hence he has the veto power over activities of the student council.
In schools where teacher members of the school government council exercise tactful and indirect guidance over pupil enthusiasms, the principal rarely needs to exercise his veto power. For every member of school’s pupil population to participate actively in school government would constitute an ideal situation. Counsellors sometimes find it difficult to motivate even a few young people to assume responsibility for helping, initiate and carry on certain pupil benefits resulting from student government action. Yet all pupils want to avail themselves of privileges achieved.
In many instances, non-participating individuals are reflecting the citizenship attitudes displayed by the adult members of the family. The worthwhile outcomes of participation in student-school government include: 1. Development of friendliness and cooperation between pupils and staff members. 2. Training toward good citizenship and the assumption of civic responsibilities.
3. Encouragement of pupil self-discipline. 4. Development of leadership qualities. 5. Gaining of an appreciation of individual responsibilities in relation to the rights of others.
6. Special Small-group Conferences: In addition to guidance rendered through general school- sponsored group activities, counsellors and teacher-counsellors often are called on to lead small-group projects or confer with small groups of pupils concerning immediate problem situation involving the interests or welfare of the group. Such group-guidance conferences usually represent emergency needs, require little preparatory planning by the counsellor, and need no more than a few sessions to accomplish their purpose. Small groups of pupils having similar educational or vocational interest, or school-life problems may wish to meet with a staff member to receive information about opportunities for specialised education, specific business or industrial openings, learning difficulties in a particular field of study, teacher-pupil relationships in a particular situation, pupil-pupil relationships, or any other area of interest or difficulty common to the group. When a counsellor discovers that a small group needs special guidance of one kind or another, he arranges for conferences with them as a group. The degree of success attained in any small-group conference depends on the pupils’ recognition of the counsellor’s sincerity, co-operative attitude, and ability to be helpful.