This chapter critically discussed theories related to the study as well literature on themes relating to the study.
2.1 Critical review of theories
Theories reviewed in this section are counselee-centered theory, systems theory and ASCA national model.
2.1.1 Counselee-centered theory
This theory was suggested by Rogers in 1961. According to the theory, people are always fighting the forbidding environment to express their good by perpetually striving towards self-actualization (Hough, 2006; Moloney, 2005; Mutie and Ndambuki, 2002). Njoka and Syallow (2014) noted that using this theory, the role of the counselor is to provide a warm atmosphere characterized by emphatic understanding, concern and friendship as well as development of a trustworthy relationship that provides the unconditional positive regard that catalysis the counselee to strive towards self-actualization. Counselors are required to demonstrate effective utilization of counselee-centered approaches while counseling, which involves the use of principles that guide counseling. Those principles that guide counseling include empathy, geniuses, being concrete, having unconditional regard, and upholding counselee confidentiality among others. This theory is relevant to this study since effective counseling takes place when there is friendship and trust between the counselor and the counselee, and the counselor should be competent.
2.1.2 Systems theory of organizations
The theory was advanced by Karst and Rosen Zweig (1985). They contend that the school like other organizations is composed of five major partly overlapping subsystems. These subsystems include managerial, technical, structural, psychosocial and competence. The theory states that for an organization to realize its goals, the five subsystems must be coordinated.
According to this theory, the psychosocial subsystem is made up of elements such as human resources, attitudes, perceptions, motivation, group dynamics, leadership communications and inter-personal relations. This study views a school as a system and guidance and counseling as a subsystem. As argued in the theory, guidance and counseling has to be effectively coordinated for a school to realize its goals. As cited in the theory, human resources, attitudes, and group dynamics are elements of organizations’ psychosocial subsystem. This implies that human resources play an important role in any organization such as a school. The theory also recognizes group dynamics as key components of an organization, therefore, this study based on this argument, sought to establish, whether teacher demographics effect attitude towards guidance and counseling services in schools.
Since the systems theory has been criticized as having failed to specify the nature of interactions and interdependence among subsystems, the study considered it inappropriate because of its holistic and assimilated view of organizations’ subsystems.
2.2.3 ASCA national model
ASCA National model was developed in 2003 by the American School Counselor Association to assist with the definition of roles, responsibilities and expectations of school counselors. According to the model, the basis is on four separate themes: a) leadership (b) promotion (c) collaboration and teaming and (d) systematic change. The model contents that leadership is founded by school counselors working to close the achievement gap among students.
The theme of collaboration and teaming involves understanding and appreciating the efforts of others towards educating all students and being a resource to parents, the community and the school staff. Systematic change results from school counselor’s examination of critical data for obstacles which parent students’ access to an equitable rigorous curriculum that can increase post-secondary options.
The model states that a school counselor is a specially trained educator who’s responsible for calling attention to school frustrations that defeat, frustrate and hinder students’ academic success and who has the leadership ability to assess school needs, identify issues and collaborate with others to develop solutions. ASCA stipulates that qualified school counselor maintains state credentials, possesses at least master’s degree and if not a certified teacher should have received training in student learning styles, class room behavior management, curriculum and instruction.
The ASCA model has a major advantage of emphasizing for training of school counselors. The model also spells out clearly roles and responsibilities of school counselors in schools. Therefore, there is need to train teachers in guidance and counseling in order to improve service delivery to students.
The model has however a weakness of considering training as the only factor that may affect provision of guidance and counseling services in schools. The model fails to point out other factors such as teacher demographic factors that may affect attitude towards guidance and counseling services in schools. It is therefore against this back ground that the study considered the model insuitable to be adopted in the theoretical framework.
2.2 Critical review of empirical studies
In this section, literature on teacher demographic factors and attitude towards guidance and counseling services was reviewed under the following sub headings: teachers’ conceptualization of guidance and counseling, teachers’ attitude towards guidance and counseling, teachers’ gender on guidance and counseling. Teachers’ professional experience on guidance and counseling and teacher training on guidance and counseling were also discussed.
2.2.1 Teachers’ Conceptualization of Guidance and counseling
The teachers’ concept of guidance and counseling and how it should be assimilated in the education system may affect their attitudes towards Guidance and counseling services in school. Counseling is defined as the skilled and principled use of relationships to develop self-knowledge, emotional acceptance and growth in an character. According to the Ministry of education manual, (2009) counseling is a helping process which involves creating a warm relationship using skills and techniques to help a counselee understand and deal with his or her own problems while, guidance is a process of helping an character understand himself/herself and his/her world.
Rao (2002) describes counseling as a helping relationship concerned with bringing about voluntary change in the counselee while guidance is viewed as the assistance given to characters in making intelligent choices and adjustments. There is a tendency of using the two terms; guidance and counseling synonymously. However, efforts have been made to differentiate guidance and counseling. Guidance looks at issues from a broad attitude while counseling looks at issues in a personalized manner. Guidance is knowledge based, dealing with facts, principles and methods while counseling is more personal, intimate and less structured. Guidance is informative while counseling is basically emotional and flexible. Guidance is usually initiated by a third party while counseling is normally initiated by the counselee (Kenya Institute of Education and Life skills Promoters, 2003).
A study by Ajowi (2005) on the role of Guidance and counseling in pupils’ discipline in primary schools in Kisumu district reported a disconnection between the guidance and counseling department and disciplinary committees in schools. This was as a result of lack of sufficient knowledge on the role of Guidance and counseling among head teachers, teachers and heads of departments. They seemed to identify that the role of Guidance and counseling is like that of the disciplinary committee. The study by Onyango (2004) on perception of head teachers and teacher counselors on guidance and counseling services in Kisumu municipality revealed that teachers were in agreement that peer counselors were of great help to their student counterparts.
According to Mutie and Ndambuki (2003), Kenyatta University was the only public university offering Guidance and counseling courses at degree level. The Kenyan schools had few Guidance and counseling reference books. Guidance and counseling in the education system in Africa is considered a relatively new concept suggesting limited awareness and knowledge of importance of the services in schools. Proper conceptualization of guidance and counseling is considered necessary for the formulation of a favorable attitude. Cooper, Hough and Loyd (2005), point out that some Scottish secondary school teachers viewed counseling as mere giving of advice which implies a narrow and limited understanding of Guidance and counseling; hence, the unfavorable attitude. Rao (2002) observed that counseling was regarded as a poor man’s psychotherapy hence, predisposing a negative attitude.
Benard (2002) pointed out that some teachers conceptualize counseling as service for the weak and in disciplined pupils which may reinforce negative attitude towards the services. Similarly, Njimu, (2004) posited that there is a relation between positive perception and knowledge of the importance of guidance and counseling services. The consequence is that teachers who have the right concept about Guidance and counseling are likely to have positive attitudes. This study was guided by the view that conceptualization of guidance and counseling may be related to a teachers’ demographic factors. It should be noted that the study on teachers’ demographic factors on attitude towards guidance and counseling has not been done in primary schools in Kimilili Sub-County.
2.2.2 Teachers’ Attitude towards Guidance and counseling
Feldman, (2002) describes attitudes as learned tendencies of responding in a favorable or unfavorable manner to a person, behavior, belief or thing. Baron and Byrne, (2003) point out that attitude formation is caused by social learning among other factors. This implies that teachers’ attitude have been acquired through various practices that may be linked to the social environment. It is therefore imperative that the factors persuading attitude towards guidance and counseling services be examined.
Based on the aforementioned observation, teachers’ attitudes are important determinants of successful realization of education programs. The teachers’ attitudes may determine the zeal with which they implement the programmes, the efficiency of the programmes and the persistency of maintaining the programmes. Yuen and Westwood (2001) pointed out that the teachers’ attitudes and beliefs may affect their practices and management policies in school programmes. They advanced in their findings that teachers possessed with relevant interpersonal skills are likely to take up the challenge of integration of programs in schools. Lack of confidence in their ability to cope with emerging situations related to teaching learners with special needs, lack of experience and relevant training are pointed out as factors that affect the attitude of teachers towards integration of programs in schools. The approach and assumptions are relevant to the present study which considered the effect of gender, training, experience and age on teachers’ attitudes towards Guidance and counseling services in school.
According to Deisinger (2000), attitudes of teachers may be based on prevalent myths and stereotypes concerning a specific aspect. It is pointed out that teachers with little experience and minimal contact with special need pupils have more positive attitudes towards integration because of misconceptions and lack of experience of the actual exercise. In comparison teachers with long time experience in teaching pupils with special needs may be less optimistic about the success of the integration of programs because the real life experience has proved to them what is viable or not viable. Similarly Waititu and Khamasi (2009) pointed out those teachers who have long time experience are aware of student sub-cultures and are aware of the viable approaches in dealing with student problems. The advanced arguments suggested that experience may be a factor that affects teachers’ attitudes towards guidance and counseling services in schools.
Some important determinants of teachers’ attitude towards Guidance and counseling services in schools include; Social effect, rich background in educational psychology, long teaching experience and teaching of guidance and counseling in teacher training institutions. Studies have shown that women folk have more positive attitudes towards Guidance and counseling because of the multiplicity of the problems they face in the social circles; hence, they have developed diverse mitigation measures. The argument was provocative considering that several studies have attested to the predominance of female teacher counselors in schools (Kimathi, 2002; Aura 2003; Mungai, 2004). It therefore lends credence to the assumption that gender may be a factor persuading teachers’ attitudes towards Guidance and counseling services in school.
Basci and Dilekmen (2009) argued that the existence of senior teachers in terms of age and professional experience affected teachers’ attitudes towards corporal punishment. They observed that professional experience is associated with the application of preventive discipline measures such as guidance and counseling instead of curative measures such as corporal punishment. This study sought to establish the relationship between age, experience and attitude towards guidance and counseling services that have particularly been instituted to substitute corporal punishment in schools. The study sought to establish teachers’ attitude towards guidance and counseling services in primary schools in Kimilili Sub-County.
2.2.3 Teachers’ Gender on Guidance and counseling services
Gender is a socio-cultural construct; however it is evidently reinforced by biological features. Some features of sex role stereotyping are evident in the view that men are tough, aggressive and competitive while women are emotional and more interested in people and thoughts. Women are considered to have nurturing instincts while men have aggressive instincts (Santrock, 2006).Gender roles based on the division of labor in society is apparently reflected in assignment of female teachers to guidance and counseling roles in schools. The consequence is that in comparison to male teachers the female teachers are identifyd to be more favorable to counseling activities because nature and upbringing has programmed them to be listeners and encouragers which are considered ideal characteristics of a counselor.
Santrock (2006) indicated that there is a difference between female and male in the corpus callosum; the massive band of fibers that connect the brain hemispheres. The corpus callosum is larger in females which may account for the ease with which females are aware of their own and others emotions, a skill that is advocated for in guidance and counseling. It is noted that women are better at rapport talk; the language of conversation and a way of developing connections and negotiating relationships. In contrast, men are more proficient in report talk; a detached and formal way of giving information to an audience. According to Matlin (2004) females are considered more helpful and generous in offering assistance and emotional support. It is observed that women are more likely than men to enter occupations in the “helping professions” such as guidance and counseling. Kimathi (2002) pointed out that majority teacher counselor (67%) in central division in Machakos District of Kenya were females. The phenomenon is replicated in the studies undertaken in Butere-Mumias sub-county and Thika County. Kimathi points to boys preferring lady counselors while girls prefer male counselors. In contrast Kariuki (2004) points out that female counselee are more satisfied with female therapists. It is evident that gender is an important consideration in counseling activities, while both male and female teachers may be assigned roles in guidance and counseling in school. It may be imperative to gather information on probable differences in gender towards attitude to the guidance and counseling services in school.
Khan (1998) pointed to a difference in teachers’ attitude towards guidance and counseling on the basis of gender. In a study undertaken in selected institutions in Pakistan revealed that while both male and female teachers had positive attitudes towards guidance and counseling the female teachers had very high positive attitudes. Khan attributes this phenomenon to the fact that women have a greater realization of the importance of guidance and counseling because of the multiplicity of problems faced by women folk in the social circles. The emergent idea is that gender can affect attitudes towards Guidance and counseling and consequently choice of discipline methods. Effect of gender on attitudes towards guidance and counseling services is evident in a study carried out in Nigeria. The study findings indicated a significant difference between attitudes of male pupils and female pupils towards guidance and counseling services (Eyo, Joshua and Esuong, 2006). Despite the fact that previous studies emphasised on how gender affected Guidance and counseling in schools, little has been conducted on the effect of teachers’ gender towards attitude to guidance and counseling services in public primary schools of Kimilili Sub-County.
The predominance of female teacher counselors in primary schools is clearly illustrated (Kimathi, 2002; Aura, 2003; Mungai, 2004). Waititu and Khamasi (2009) observed that 65% of their teacher counselor respondents were female an indicator that more female teachers are assigned counseling duties than male teachers, confirming the societal held belief that women are better nurturers and care taker, the study however does no attribute this to the fact that female teachers may have positive attitudes towards Guidance and counseling compared to male teachers. Njimu (2004), pointed out that there is no significant difference in the perception of female and male teachers towards guidance and counseling services. The study therefore aims at developing the current status of gender effect on attitudes towards guidance and counseling in school.
2.2.4 Teachers’ Experience and attitude towards Guidance and counseling
The length of time in the teaching profession may have an impact on teachers’ attitudes towards guidance and counseling services. Waititu and Khamasi (2009) inferred that long time experience in teaching profession equips teachers with knowledge of pupils’ behavior and sub cultures making them better equipped to understand behavior problems. On the other hand, teachers who have taught for less than five years, belong to the new generation that has been brought up differently and may have taken a course in guidance and counseling as part of the teacher training.
Teachers who have taught more than ten years may belong to the “during our days” school of thought and may insist on dealing with indiscipline as it was dealt during their days: frequent use of the cane, and the idea that pupils should be seen and not heard. Such teachers are believed to be intolerant to the wayward behavior exhibited by the young people in schools (Kihumba, Njagi and Ng’eno, 2009). Basci and Dilekmen (2009) found out that teachers who had taught for a longer time; more than 26 years, resorted more to corporal punishment as a way of maintaining classroom discipline, instead of acceptance new modes of maintaining discipline (guidance and counseling).
Basci and Dilekmen(2009) consider the effect of age on teachers’ attitudes towards corporal punishment, based on their finding there was no significant difference between the age groups regarding attitudes towards corporal punishment. However the mean scores indicate that age group 40-49 years with a mean of 36.67 had the least favorable attitude towards corporal punishment, the age group 50-59 years had the least mean of 34.25 implying that they were more favorable towards corporal punishment. Analysis of the difference between experience of teachers and attitudes towards corporal punishment reveal that senior teachers with experience of 26 years and above were more favorable to corporal punishment compared to other groups. This was attributed to the fact that the teachers loss of strength and increasing incompetence in class management made them to opt for corporal punishment as a quick solution. In comparison Waititu and Khamasi (2009) point out that, teachers with long time experience have better knowledge of student sub-cultures and are therefore in a position to make appropriate choices of discipline methods.
Age and experience in teaching profession are related variables. It is likely that the aged members of the staff have taught for a longer time. Young and old generations have tended to hold divergent views on certain features of life. It was of interest therefore to establish whether experience of a teacher plays a role in the attitude formation towards guidance and counseling. It is presumed that the young inexperienced teachers may be more receptive and cooperative in participating in guidance and counseling in school by virtue of their youth and comprehension of youth issues. On the other hand, the more experienced teachers may take appropriate measures in their choices of discipline methods in varied situations, by virtue of having tested which measure works and which does not work. Consequently, the study will presume a relationship between age and experience of teachers in relationship to their attitude towards guidance and counseling and the choice of discipline methods. It aims at developing whether there will be a difference in the attitudes of long serving teachers and those who have served for a short time and attitudes of elderly teachers and young teachers.
Basci and Dilekmen (2002) inferred an effect of teaching experience on teachers’ attitude towards corporal punishment. They found out that teachers who have taught for a longer time exhibited a more favorable attitude towards the use of corporal punishment as a mode of maintaining discipline. This study will emphasis on relating the findings to the choice of discipline methods among teachers who have taught for a long time.
2.2.5 Teachers’ Training on Guidance and counseling
Training equips an character with necessary facts, skills and knowledge of carrying out the task successfully. Counseling is viewed as a profession hence requiring substantial investment in terms of time and money. According to Gladding (2004) counseling as a profession has a specific body of knowledge, professional organization of peers, a code of ethics, accredited training programmes and other standards of excellence. This implies that for one to be a counselor training is one of the requirements. Kariuki (2004) and Mwanthi (2005) observed that majority of teacher counselors are not trained recommending research on whether training of teacher counselors would improve effectiveness of guidance and counseling services in schools. Training therefore emerges as an important aspect that can affect attitude towards guidance and counseling services
Development plan 1997 – 2009 (Kenya) points out the necessity for education and training in counseling. Recent developments in the field of education and the new challenges facing the adolescent has necessitated teacher training in guidance and counseling in order to provide effective guidance and counseling services in schools. Kariuki (2004) outlines the ineptness of inexperienced, untrained teacher counselors who dwell mainly on giving advice and get entangled emotionally with the counselees due to lack of professionalism and skills Indeed insuitable training features as a recurrent hindrance to effective guidance and counseling services in schools (Benard, 2002; Aura, 2003; Mungai; 2004.) .
Aura (2003) recommended that every teacher ought to undertake training in Guidance and counseling so that Heads of Department (HODS) of Guidance and counseling can use the whole staff to ensure effective delivery of the services. Training is therefore regarded as a requirement for the proper staffing of the Guidance and counseling department. Kimathi (2002) founded that there was need for teacher counselors to attend seminars on Guidance and counseling in order to acquire the requisite skills and techniques, and observed that any effective Guidance programme should be carefully planned and organized by a trained counselor who is not only limited to attending to pupils problems but is a resource person to the entire staff. According to Mungai (2004) reported that the reasons advanced by respondents for seeking the teacher counselor’s service was confidence in a trained and experienced counselor. The consequence is that help was sought from those considered capable due their training in the field. This study sought to establish whether training has an effect on the attitude since it has been considered a key aspect in the efficiency of the Guidance and counseling services in school.
Studies have founded the importance of training in guidance and counseling as a way of making the services more effective. Yuen and Westwood (2001) observed that in Hong Kong all teachers are expected to participate in guidance and counseling even though not all the teachers have had training in the same. However, they reported a more favorable attitude towards integration from teachers who have specialized in special education and in Guidance and counseling as compared to regular teachers particularly those lacking training in guidance and counseling. Cooper et al. (2005) point out that the competence and skills of the counselors have a bearing on attitude of other teachers towards Guidance and counseling services in schools. It may be argued that training is necessary to make an character skilled and specialized in a specific activity. It is notable that specialization of a teacher in guidance and counseling may inspire positive attitudes among other stakeholders in school and make character counselors to develop positive attitudes towards the programmes instituted in school.
It is anticipated that trained teacher counselors may make appropriate assessment of counselee problems while using appropriate theoretical approaches. Training may equip them with the ability to identify referral cases. Trained counselors are likely to institute preventive rather than curative measures (Gladding, 2004). In principle, training inspires confidence in the guidance and counseling, which is likely to predispose a positive attitude in the counselor, stakeholders and counselees. The scenario in Hong Kong (Yuen ; Westwood, 2001) is replicated in Kenya where all teachers should take up guidance and counseling as one of their normal duties in spite of lacking the necessary training. To compensate for the shortcoming in training, short courses and seminars have been organized to develop the teachers’ skills in guidance and counseling, signaling the importance of training in guidance and counseling.
Studies have shown that training of the school counselor is considered necessary because they are no longer specializing in crisis and remedial counseling only but are rather required to put in place comprehensive developmental counseling programmes that emphasis on meeting the pupils’ needs. The responsibilities of a school counselor include designing a guidance curriculum that specifies the competencies expected from the pupils after their interaction with the counselor, organize small and large group sessions for the purpose of delivering the content. The school counselor ought to coordinate the testing programme, administration of interest, achievement and aptitude tests is a core activity to the school counselor furthermore the modern school counselor is expected to utilize newer theoretical approaches in order to be effective. There is some also need for school counselors to update professional skills if they are to successfully implement effective school counseling programmes. In-service training in Guidance and counseling, attendance of professional meetings and reading of professional journals are advanced as possible ways in which school counselors may acquire necessary skills and knowledge. The principle is training in guidance and counseling may be an important aspect of efficient guidance and counseling services in schools.
The present study therefore targeted at developing whether training in guidance and counseling effects teachers’ attitude towards guidance and counseling in school and choice of discipline methods, in light of the recommendations made by various researchers (Benard, 2002; Aura, 200; Mungai, 2004) on the necessity of training. The studies however do not establish whether training in Guidance and counseling indeed predisposes favorable attitude. Moreover, previous studies to ascertain the effect of teachers’ training in guidance and counseling towards attitude towards guidance and counseling services in primary schools in Kimilili Sub-County has not be founded based on the extensive literature review done.
2.3 Recap of literature review
From review of literature above, it was evident that several studies have been done on guidance and counseling in schools. Factors persuading provision of guidance and counseling services have also been explained. For instance, Waititu ; Khaemba (2009) founded that teachers’ experience affected teachers’ knowledge about students’ characteristics. The findings were similar to those of Basci & Dilekma (2009) who argued that teachers’ experience and age effect attitude towards corporal punishment. Matlin (2004) found out that teachers’ gender affects their attitude towards guidance and counseling. The study also revealed that female teachers were considered more helpful and generous in offering assistance and emotional support. Mwanthi (2005) reported that most teachers are not trained to offer guidance and counseling services in schools.
Based on the review, it is evident that factors persuading attitude and provision of guidance and counseling services have been explained. Among the factors are teachers’ age, gender, experience and training. However, no study has been done to establish the effect of teachers’ demographic factors on attitude towards guidance and counseling services in Kimilili Sub-County. This therefore explained the need for the current study to fill the existing knowledge gap.