Separate counselling services in Norwegian upper secondary schools. A possibility for a collective holistic approach?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionMathiesen, I.H., Gunnarsdottir, H.M. (2021) Separate counselling services in Norwegian upper secondary schools. A possibility for a collective holistic approach? International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance 10.1007/s10775-021-09494-z
Guidance counsellors hold an important role in youth’s educational and vocational choices, well-being and future careers. Central Norwegian policy documents recommend dividing counselling practices in schools into two functions: (1) career guidance and (2) educational welfare guidance. Policy documents also promote a holistic view of the pupil and the value of safeguarding the pupils’ best interest. This study explores how counsellors interpret these potentially conflicting recommendations for counselling practice. Our findings indicate that counsellors act as street-level bureaucrats and interpret the recommendations in relation to professional values and local contexts. Our analysis reveals three perspectives on how separate forms of counselling can be practised. The first view suggests an integrated, holistic approach. The second suggests a collective holistic approach. The third view indicates a reductionistic approach to career guidance. Counsellors appear to base their views on occupational professionalism, with the ideal of guarding the pupils’ best interest at its centre. Hence, the different understandings of separate counselling services, a holistic approach and of what is in the pupils’ best interest appear significant for implementing the policy recommendations in schools.