Next, the literature will review the processes involved in collecting data and creating a method to guide counselors using a standardized curriculum. The literature review will also provide a history and information on the reasons for developing the ASCA model, and identify the individuals or leaders pioneering this model in the educational context. The researcher expects there will be much research both qualitative and quantitative available for review on the subject of school counseling and the ASCA model. The researcher also predicts however, that relatively little data has been systematically collected on the perceptions of teachers toward guidance counselors using the ASCA model. Thus, the intent of the literature review is primarily a synopsis and explanation of the events leading up to the ASCA implementation, and some review of any recent studies available describing the impact or influence this model has had on education, students, parents, teachers, the curriculum, administrators and the community. The researcher proposes providing a comprehensive overview of the events leading to implementation of the ASCA. For this reason the researcher will not rely on newer text and peer reviewed research alone, but also texts and research dating one, two and three decades previous, as it is important to explore history as well as modern philosophies of education.
The researcher proposes comparing the results of the survey and focus groups to information collected from the research. In doing so the researcher will have an opportunity to provide a philosophy or theory about the efficacy, advantages and disadvantages of the ASCA. The researcher's intentions include filling a gap in current research related to the effects the ASCA model has had on education as a whole, and identify whether improvements may be made in the current system and method.
The research method used for this proposed research is a qualitative case study, which utilizes small focused groups to collect information from participants and surveys or interviews to provide further insight into the research question (Strauss & Corbin, 1998).
Analysis and Research Method
The research model adopted for this research is a qualitative case study. Thus, the researcher will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the model provided by the ASCA in depth. The sample proposed for this study will include teachers and guidance counselors in the K-12 school district using the ASCA. This approach is congruent with a number of social researchers who cite the advantages of qualitative case studies in providing a timely "snapshot" of a given topic through a comprehensive analysis of primary and secondary sources (Dennis & Harris, 2002; Neuman, 2003). According to Iorio (2004), a qualitative case study methodology represents a useful means of gaining additional insights into a wide range of topic areas, but there are some fundamental challenges associated with the technique as well that must be taken into account. This author reports that, "The qualitative case study occupies a unique position in the social sciences in that it is defined more by its object of inquiry (the case) than by the particular research methods used to study it. The object can be an individual, a group, an organization, even an entire community, among many other things" (Iorio, 2004, p. 59). In addition, Iorio (2004) reports that an increasing number of qualitative case studies have involved educational research in recent years as well. Just as the area of interest varies from case study to case study, the procedures used to collect the requisite information vary, and the procedures used in the instant study are discussed further below.
To collect data, the researcher will create a survey that allows a combination of open and close-ended questions revolving around experiences pre and post implementation. The information collected from focus groups and interviews will then be compared with information gathered from previous research in the field. The researcher will then contact several schools and inform them of the study's purpose and the means by which information is to be gathered. Once the researcher receives approval, the researcher will conduct the focus group sessions and survey over a two-month time frame. The survey will include the following questions:
Are you familiar with the ASCA?
Do you feel the ASCA has impacted the field positively, negatively or neutral.
What are the advantages of using the ASCA?
Do you feel the ASCA disadvantages outweigh the advantages proposed by the study?
Has implementation of the ASCA affected your perceptions of the role guidance counselors have in student education and social achievement?
Has implementation of the ASCA resulted in changing perceptions among guidance counselors toward students?
Are their tools you think necessary to improve further the functionality of the ASCA model?
Have you noticed changes in guidance counselors' approaches and interaction with student, parents, teachers and the community since inception and implementation of the model described?
Once the researcher gathers and collects information from the surveys and focus groups the researcher proposes comparing this research to information collected from previous studies. The researcher will compare data from the case study to identify commonalities and differences among the answers received from teachers and school guidance counselors. This information will then be compared with evidence gathered from the literature review. The researcher will identify the primary advantages and disadvantages of the ASCA, and provide a theory as to whether this model is an acceptable model for the K-12 school district observed. The researcher will also present idea on how to expand this model to explore the effects of ASCA modeling on other school districts at varying levels of education. In doing so, the researcher provides the opportunity for the results of this study to provide the impetus for future research on this subject in the field of education.
The discussion of the research proposal will include commentary on the advantages and disadvantages of the ASCA model. It will discuss commonalities and differences in response from teacher to teacher and between counselors and teachers. It is clear from the introduction of the ASCA model that it is critical for guidance counselors, teachers and administers to realize change and the significance or context of change so that positive change results from any system implemented (Brown, 2004).
Most children acquire much of what they know and learn from the world during their earliest years, often between ages 5 through 16 (Brown, 2004; Tarnowski & Brown, 2000), which is one reason the researcher proposes exploring teachers perceptions of counseling programs at the K-12 level. The researcher will also propose discussing how this information affects the field at large. It is the intent of the researcher to then provide a theoretical framework that teachers and other agents involved in education can use to model best practices in education on. As the study continues and the researcher collects more information, the researcher will gain greater insight as to the efficacy and impact of the ASCA model on education.
The goal and hope of the proposed research is to create a blueprint for educators interested in identifying tools to maximize the advantages of the ASCA and better understand how the ASCA influences education and student achievement. The researcher intends to conduct all research over the course of two months. The first half of the month will involve a review of the literature, creation and compilation of the survey questions more fully and data collection. The second half will include the analysis of the information gathered and discussion of the results. The draft of the thesis will be ready at the end of the two-month period, at which point the researcher intends to present this information for review.
Comparing the Perceptions of Teachers on the Role of the School Guidance Counselor Before and After Implementation of the American School Counseling Association Model (ASCA) K-12
Qualitative Case Study
This qualitative case study explores the opinions of teachers at the K-12 level with respect to the role of school guidance counselors before and after implementation of the ASCA. The researcher predicts that teachers will realize a difference in the attitudes of school guidance counselors and some positive change in student outcomes resulting from the implementation of the ASCA program. The reasons for this are varied. Many researchers of note claim that school guidance counselors have made little progress in implementing their initiatives especially given the fact that new educational reforms repeatedly put their needs on the backburner (Dimmitt, 2003).
However, despite this gloom review of the ASCA program, the program itself has caused teachers and other administrators to recognize how relevant the input of school guidance counselors is and can be toward student education. It is vital school educators realize the importance of cooperation and collaboration between school guidance counselors and the parents, teachers and leaders of the community.
While progress may be small, the researcher knows progress will be achieved especially if more emphasis is given the needs of school guidance counselors in contemporary society. School guidance counselors are no longer a mediocre group within the educational system. They are inextricably linked to the successes and…