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The Reflective School Counselor's Guide to Practitioner Research
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The Reflective School Counselor's Guide to Practitioner Research
Skills and Strategies for Successful Inquiry



September 2007 | 128 pages | Corwin

"Like the little train that said 'I think I can, I think I can,' this book tells school counselors, 'You can, you can' do research. The text encourages and guides school counselors who have very little time and resources for research, enabling them to show and tell the differences that result from their programs."
—Angie Stansell, School Counselor
Hatton High School, Town Creek, AL

"This text can help any school counselor develop the observation and analytical skills to become a practitioner-inquirer. However, the book is much more than a collection of research techniques—it is a celebration of what is possible when school counselors pursue answers to their own questions about the students with whom they work. I predict this groundbreaking book will become a classic."
—Ruth Shagoury
Author, The Art of Classroom Inquiry

Become an advocate for underserved students by using data from inquiry projects!

This practical and timely book is ideal for school counselors unfamiliar with the process of practitioner research, from framing research questions and gathering authentic data to using results that can benefit students and create lasting schoolwide change. The authors use the American School Counselor Association's National Model to build practitioners' inquiry skills on issues of achievement, opportunity inequities, school culture, and community partnerships. The text covers:

  • Practical methods for formulating the questions on which inquiry projects are based
  • A step-by-step process for collecting, analyzing, and using data
  • Guidelines for developing counselors' advocacy, leadership, and collaboration skills

 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
School Counselors Collaborating for High Student Achievement  
School Culture in the Time of School Reform  
Tips for Using the Book  
 
1. Launching Inquiry: Developing Your Question
How We Arrived at This Point  
Moving Into Inquiry  
Data Sources  
Thinking About Thinking  
Formulating Questions  
Exploring Your Question  
Strategies for Success  
Meet Dianne: An Ongoing Case Study  
 
2. Discovering the Territory: Exploring Others' Expertise
Why Gather Supporting Information?  
Exploring Others' Expertise  
Keeping It Simple  
Components of the Summary  
Dianne's Journey Begins  
 
3. Getting It Together: Gathering Your Data
Ethical Considerations  
What Data Is Needed?  
Avenues for Gathering Data  
School Artifacts  
The Last Tip: How to Navigate Dead Ends  
Dianne's Hunch Pays Off  
 
4. Sorting It Out: Making Sense of Your Data
Descriptive Data as a Powerful Tool  
Ways to Look at Data  
Dianne Makes Sense of It All  
 
5. Stepping Up: Sharing What You Now Know
The Fundamentals  
Know Your Audience  
Know Your End Product  
Inquiry Support Groups  
Routines  
The Block  
Deadlines  
It's All in the Details  
Dianne Seeks Support From Key People  
 
6. Building Your Learning Community
Learning Communities  
Practitioner Inquiry Suport Team  
Dianne Brings Parents Into the Learning Community  
 
7. Review and Can-Do: Putting It All Together
Where's Dianne Now?  
 
References
 
Index

"It is critical that professional school counselors join the ranks of other educators in becoming accountable. This book will help school counselors learn how to use data to both help students better navigate the educational system, and, more importantly, help the school change to better meet the needs of students."

Peggy Hines, Director
National Center for Transforming School Counseling, The Education Trust

"Kudos to Brooks-McNamara and Torres for writing a text about inquiry for aspiring school counselors! Now more than ever, school counselors must be ready and able to participate in determining and documenting how school initiatives, large and small, impact student performance. My students will be thankful to enter the profession ready to ask questions, collect and analyze data, and challenge practices that may not be serving students well."

Chris Jensen, Associate Professor
Seattle University

"This text can help any school counselor develop the observation and analytical skills to become a practitioner-inquirer. However, this book is much more than a collection of research techniques—it is a celebration of what is possible when school counselors pursue answers to their own questions about the students with whom they work. I predict this groundbreaking book will become a classic."

Ruth Shagoury
Author, The Art of Classroom Inquiry

"Provides a much needed resource and guide for those in the midst of school reform. Brooks-McNamara and Torres present an action research framework that enables school counselors to be central in school decision making to improve the learning and community for all students."

Nancy G. Nagel, Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Education
Lewis & Clark College

"Provides a practical and valuable tool for all school counseling professionals trying to align their school counseling program with the ASCA standards."

Todd E. Ryan, Director of Guidance & Counseling
Louisa County High School, Mineral, VA

"Offers a means by which school counselor practices can better support and be more clearly aligned with the educational community and greater schoolwide efforts. A very vital and useful publication."

Stephanie A. Bierman, School Counselor
West Lake Elementary School, Apex, NC

"Like the little train that said 'I think I can, I think I can,' this book tells school counselors, 'You can, you can' do research. This book encourages and guides school counselors who have very little time and resources to do research, enabling them to show and tell the differences that result from their programs."

Angie Stansell, School Counselor
Hatton High School, Town Creek, AL

"An excellent outline of skills and strategies for underserved students and their counselors. Chapters provide a framework for gathering data and authenticating results to foster schoolwide change."

The Bookwatch, December 2007
Midwest Book Review
Key features
  • Delivers practical guidance for developing questions on which inquiry projects are based
  • Offers a step-by-step process for collecting, analyzing, and using data
  • Addresses how inquiry projects develop school counselor essential skills outlined in the American School Counselor Association National Model  (advocacy, leadership, collaboration, use of data, and systemic change skills) 
  • Provides examples of real counselor inquiry projects

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ISBN: 9781412951104
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