Guidance is an integral part of the total educational programme, serving as a positive function rather than a corrective force, and to be most effective it must be a continuous process from the child’s first contact with the school until he is ready for placement on a job or in some type of post-secondary education.
Guidance is no longer based on a concept of services designed to meet crises but rather on a concept of continuous development.
This view emphasizes prevention and good mental hygiene and demands organised guidance services in the earliest years of the educational experience.
The present emphasis upon the development and utilization of human resources is bringing increased demands for earlier and more effective identification of individual differences.
This demand for earlier identification is gaining impetus with the growing recognition that guidance services in the elementary schools are especially effective because (1) the child is flexible and has had less time for problems to become deep-rooted; (2) the parents are more actively associated with the school; and (3) many years of more successful development lie ahead for the child who can be helped to understand himself and to find acceptable approaches toward the solution of his problems.
Research findings and developments in the curriculum field point up the necessity for increased guidance services in these early years of the school experience.
The concept of readiness for learning includes the recognition that educational stumbling blocks may appear if curriculum experiences are offered too soon or too late.
This concept demands the earliest and best possible identification of individual differences and calls for greatly improved systems of pupil records.