THE ROLE OF THE SCHOOL COUNSELLOR IN SCHOOL–COMMUNITY COLLABORATION: THE CASE OF SLOVENIA
Keywords:school counselling service, community, parents, co-ordination, consultation, partnership
The article presents some essential characteristics of collaboration between the school counselling service and individuals or institutions in the community. The role of school counselling in Slovenia is not limited merely to counselling and providing direct assistance to students with learning and their personal development. Rather, it includes the encouragement of all participants in the educational process to create adequate learning environments. The role, however, should also be understood in broader terms as organizational and content collaboration with external environments, institutions and individuals in the community. The authors begin by proposing some starting points for collaboration between the school counselling service and the local community and, in the second part of the article, they move on to the findings of their empirical research study, conducted on a representative sample of school counsellors working in Slovenian primary schools. The results prove the need for collaboration between the school counselling service and different institutions or individuals in the community. The authors primarily focus on examining the obstacles and drawbacks to the collaboration, while they simultaneously highlight examples of good practice that enable constructive collaboration, without which schools and school-based counselling would not be able to contribute to educational processes. The described examples demonstrate that collaboration between schools/school counsellors and institutions/individuals in the community is crucial to solving the problems that students and their families face.
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