Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Miller, Carroll H. (Carroll Hiram), 1907-

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


Counseling; Educational counseling


STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM. The problem was to determine if there were significant differences of opinion and ideas, concerning some aspects of their work, between guidance counselors who had taught for one or more years and those who had only student teaching experience. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship in thinking between non-teacher counselors and teacher counselors who had taught for a short period, and a lesser positive relationship between non-teacher counselor's and teacher counselors who had taught for a longer period. PROCEDURE. A letter explaining the nature of the proposed study and a request for cooperation was sent to 260 counselors. Those responding affirmatively received questionnaires which they and their staff filled out. Many were interviewed as well. The questionnaire was filled out by 135 counselors, 17 of whom were non-teacher counselors. The remaining 136 were teacher counselors. Altogether 35 persons were interviewed; 16 non-teacher counselors and 39 teacher counselors. RESULTS. With the exception of the difference in emphasis on the importance of teaching experience, the over-all similarity of response of non-teacher counselors and teacher counselors, as demonstrated by the questionnaires, was impressive. This was true whether the question elicited a wide range of responses or an essentially unified one. One of the questions revealed considerable insecurity non-teacher counselors apparently felt in dealing with teachers. As measured by the five questions which could be quantified, there was a trend for a more positive relationship between the thinking of non—teacher counselors and teacher counselors who had taught for a short period than between non-teacher counselors and teacher counselors who had taught for a longer period. Thus the hypothesis was tenable. By and large, in the interviews, non-teacher counselors and teacher counselors had much the same things to say about their work except in regard to teaching experience. Non-teacher counselors did not think they were unduly handicapped because they had only practice teaching. A large number of teacher counselors however, did feel quite strongly that some teaching experience was important. A minority, but fair sized group of teacher counselors showed up on the questionnaires, in the interviews, or in both as either skeptical or in complete disagreement over the need of a counselor having a teaching background. Most of them had a relatively shorter amount of teaching experience, but not always. CONCLUSIONS. Non-teacher counselors, in their own eyes, have been faring satisfactorily in the field. Using this as a criterion of counselor effectiveness, they do belong in education. The one conclusion of real consequence from the study was philosophic in nature and was based upon existentialism as applied to counseling in an article by Dugald S. Arbuckle in the February, 1965 issue of The Personnel and Guidance Journal. Arbuekle's assumption was that each person's reality exists only for him. Therefore, the counselor's reality is not the sane reality as the client's. If the most important function of the counselor is to help the client explore his reality, the counselor must be a person who is accepting, non-judgmental, and does not try to impose his reality upon the client. Since the counselor's experiences as incorporated into his reality cannot become a part of the client's reality, teaching, or any other experience as such, has nothing to do with who shall become a counselor. Any person, teacher or not, should be accepted as a qualified counselor in education If he is able to succeed academically in a counselor education program plus develop the necessary qualities previously mentioned. Nor did this study uncover any information that could be construed as favoring either non-teachers or teachers as being better counselor material.


Includes bibliographical references.


iii, 112 pages




Northern Illinois University

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