Singapore / Rivera the Westernization of Education Article Review

Excerpt from Article Review :

Singapore / Rivera

The westernization of education has influenced teacher training programs, particularly for school counselors. Rivers, Nash, Wah and Ibrahim (2008) wanted to take a look at training of school counselors in Singapore, a tiny Asian city-state where school counseling is just emerging as an independent and recognized profession. The authors wanted to put counselor training in Singapore in its proper cultural context, since schools and their students are different from those in the United States. As the authors point out, U.S. schools are often used as the model for so-called globalization efforts, and ideas do not necessarily translate effectively to the other side of the globe.

Rivera et al. acknowledged that two recent articles about the school counseling profession in Singapore, while they provided some information on the historical and cultural context, nevertheless provide an incomplete picture. Still, the authors felt that the two articles they reviewed were the best of what was available; there is not much literature on the topic. The first article discussed the progression of career guidance in Singapore schools. The three historical stages of the profession were discussed, in addition to cultural resistance by Singaporeans to the concept of personal guidance or counseling. The second article discussed applications of school guidance, where a 10-session psychoeducational group process was designed and used to look at Singaporean students' self-efficacy and self-regulation. Rivera et al. considered it significant that no mention was made in either article about the training the school counselors received. School counselors, according to their findings, were often categorized with various types of psychologists. If this is the case, then school counselors are not adequately prepared for the work they need to do.

Rivera et al. point out that school counselors are a relatively new phenomenon in Singapore society. They cited statistics from 2001 indicating that only 15 part-time school counselors worked in the system. None had…

Sources Used in Document:


Rivera, E.T., Nash, S., Wah, B.S.C., and Ibrahim, S.B. (2008). Training school counselors in Singapore: First impressions of a multicultural challenge. Journal of Counseling and Development 86(2), pp. 219-223.

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