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Implementing a Developmental Guidance Program in the Schools

Counselors who accept the principles of developmental guidance will need to be actively d in the
design and implementation of such programs. A hard, if unfortunate, lesson learned from the
initiation of guidance in the secondary schools is that unless guidance professionals assume a
proactive stance in the creation of programs, then others will determine the essential aspects of what
is to be accomplished. Many secondary counselors are viewed as the one who 'cures the problems" or
the one who "sends kids to the right college." The principal and others who determine school policy
are more often than not involved in deciding what the counselor would do. If a counselors is starting a
new program and is not reared to define her or his professional role in the schools, she or he can
be certain that there are n u me r o u s o t h e r s w h o w i l l b e p l e a s e d t o d e f i n e t h a t r o l e .
There are a number of approaches one can take to achieve program development in the schools. One
of the most widely accepted models developed in recent years is that advocated by Gysbers and
Henderson in 1988. The plan suggested by these authors is a four-phased approach that includes
plinnins, designing, implementing, and evaluating. Many school districts in the country have used
this model guide in the creation or the restructuring of guidance programs.
Planning a Developmental Program
Planning should not be done in isolation. Experience in educational institu tions at all levels has taught
us that individuals who have a say in the development of goals will be more likely to work toward those
goals. A guidance program that is planned and implemented in the quiet confines of the
counselor's office is almost certainly doomed to failure. A group effort is es sential, therefore, to the
individuals who will be involved in the process of guidance and to those who will be the consumers of
what guidance has to offer. Organizing for guidance must involve key individuals in an organized,
unified effort. If the plan is for a districtwide developmental guidance program, then the counselor
should include personnel from the superintendent's office. If the district has a number of schools, then
there needs to be active involvement by principals and other specialists from these schools. Individuals
with expertise in special education, reading, and health are good candidates for a districtwide committee. If
the guidance program is only for an individual school, the involvement of the building principal is

At both the district level and the local building level, parent input is highly desirable. In a
number of districts in the country at the present time, some fundamentally sound and widely
utilized guidance approaches have come under attack from conservative parent groups who feel
that any discussion of children's feelings and any group approaches are either antireligious or
socialistic. While most consider these attitudes archaic, such groups tend to be vocal, active, and
single-minded. Once organized, they target specific activities and place the counselor and the
school in a defensive stance. It is far better to canvas the community and involve parents who are
community leaders from the outset in the planning for guidance policy. Counselors who fail to
involve parents from the beginning may well oppose them in altercations at some later date.
In order to plan, counselors must first organize a representative commit tee (Gysbers &
Henderson, 1988). Such committees are often called steering committees, organizing committees,
or simply guidance committees. Their task is the planning, designing, implementing, and
evaluation of guidance. These committees may vary in size, from around eight to twelve
members, but they should not be too large for active participation by all members. As noted, each
committee should have building and district administrators, a principal or other specialist,
teachers, and parents. The counselor is the organizer and the consultant to the committee, but the

policy that emerges from the interaction must be the joint effort of all who are involved. A grass
roots effort of this nature is absolutely essential for the initiation of the planning process.
The steering committee, charged with the task of revising or implement ing a comprehensive
program of guidance, will need to become involved in a number of important issues. Since no
single model is appropriate for all schools and all districts, the committee will initially have to
develop a comprehensive model as a guide for practice. This document should just be a guide,
because the eventual curriculum will have content and goals that are locally developed.
A review by the authors of a number of guides for the development of comprehensive models
reveals many similarities in programs initiated in most states. While there are a number of
differences from state to state, the model developed in Texas is fairly representative of baseline
planning goals that in turn will help determine guidance content. The Texas model includes the
following goals for learners:
Motivation to achieve
Decision-making, goal-setting, and planning skills
Problem-solving skills Interpersonal effectiveness Communication skills
Cross-cultural effectiveness
Responsible behavior
With these broad areas in mind, the guidance committee should next turn its attention to the
development of locally appropriate statements of definition, rationale, and the underlying
assumptions of the program. Program definition includes the identification of the populations to
be served (students, parents, teachers, administrators), the basic content of the pro gram (content
areas and goals), and the organization of the program (deliv ery system, guidance curriculum,
individual planning system, responsive services, and system support). The rationale for the
program should result from an assessment of the needs of the students and the community.
These may be either general in nature (at the district level) or specific (at the building level).
In addition, all the assumptions on which the program is based need to be made as clear as
possible. These may include a description of the coun selors' professional training, background,
and professional experiences as they relate to the program. Assumptions should also include the
contributions that guidance can make to normal healthy individual development. It is also of vital
importance at this juncture to describe the conditions necessary for successful implementation,
which include staffing, districtwide commit ment, opportunities for program and staff
development, budget, materials, supplies and equipment, and facilities for the program. All of
these are essential components and must be included in the planning process (Texas Education
Agency, 1991).
Designing a Developmental Program
The initial planning process will lead naturally into the design for a compre hensive guidance
program. This stage of the process will require the committee to make a number of difficult
decisions. The essential work of the committee will be to answer questions similar to those
posed by Henderson (1987):
1. Which program component should have high priority for counselors?
2. Of the competencies that need to be learned, which should be emphasized at each grade level, or
grade grouping?

3. Who will be served and with what priority: all students in a developmental mode, or some
students in a remedial senices mode? What are the relationships between services to students
and senices to adults in the students' lives?
4. What competencies and outcomes will have priority?
5. What skills will be utilized by the school counselors: teaching, guiding, counseling, consulting,
testing, record keeping, coordinating, or disseminating information, and with what priority?
b. What school levels will benefit, and to what extent from the resources
appropriated to the program: elementary, middle school/junior high school, or high school?
7. What is the relationship between the guidance program and staff and the other educational
programs and staff? Is the sole purpose of guidance to support the instructional program? Does
guidance have an identity and responsibilities of its own? Should it be a program or a set of

To guide thinking in the design of comprehensive guidance programs, Gysbers and Henderson
(1988) have developed a seven-step process to estab lish the design of a program at either the
building or district level, as described in the following paragraphs.
I. Select the basic program shudure. The structural components contain: (a) program definition
(mission statement, statement of centrality ia the school, and the competencies the individual
will possess as a result of involvement); (b) a rationale for program existence (guidance as an
equal partner in the educational process); and (c) any assumptions (principles that shape the
program). Program components include the guidance curriculum (goals and competencies to be
developed in the program), individual planning (personal, educational, and appropriate gradelevel career plans), responsive services (special help to students, counseling and remedial
interventions), and system support (staff development, budget, community support, and
individual planning activities).
2. List student competencies. In this process the counselor lists the competencies the guidance program
will help students acquire. These include the knowledge, skills, and attitudes the students will
develop as a result of their participation in the guidance program.
3. Reaffirm policy support. Starting with the building principal and working through the
superintendent, the counselor will need to reaffirm the school district's support for the concepts
in the design. With the help of the steering committee the counselor will next develop a policy
statement. Again, toe counselor will want the key individuals up through the school board to be
part of the design. Since individuals work better toward goals that they have helped develop,
working with key individuals along the way will simply help ensure program success.
4. Establish parameters for resource allocation. In this step the counselor is ready to define, in more
concrete terms, the design of the program. This step is closely tied to the resources available.
Will the design include only activities for which there is funding? In cases where existing
programs are undergoing revision, some aspects of a comprehensive program may have to be
delayed until additional resources are available. Also included in this process is the allocation
of human resources. How much time can be allocated for counseling? for teachers? for other
At this juncture the counselor will also need to define his or her own role. Discussions of the
role of counselors at all levels has long been an issue in the field, and a move to comprehensive
guidance programs will not make the issue go away. Gysbers and Henderson (1988) point out
that a list of nine or ten duties will not suffice. They recommend instead that counselors

develop position guides that describe the primary function of the job, its major responsibilities,
key duties, organizational relationships, and performance standards. This description should
include expectations of counselors' performance in teaching the guidance curriculum,
counseling, consulting, referral, and other responses to specific needs and problems. It will also be
important to define the role of all other individuals who work in the guidance program. As the
program evolves, others such as teachers, parents, and volunteers should operate under role definitions. When the roles of others are not written down and agreed upon, then guidance can become
whatever anyone in power in the school wishes it to be. More than one well-prepared counselor has
been relegated to clerk status by a
powerful principal who has his or her own view of what counselors should and should not do.
The danger of this occurring in modern elementary and middle schools has not diminished. By
dealing with the issue early on, the counselor may avoid pitfalls.
5. Specify student outcomes. A program based on specific student outcomes has, in the long run, a
much greater chance of success than does one with a range of nebulous and largely
unmanageable statements about hoped-for outcomes. Concepts such as understanding and
respecting others, making wise choices, possessing problem-solving skills, and communicating
effectively are appropriate outcomes. These goals should be stated in a manner that allows
teachers, parents, and other professionals to understand them. A goal such as "all children will
experience enhanced self-esteem and a more fluid way of relating to others" may well be
understood by other counselors and by some teachers. To parents, however, it may say nothing.
As the counselor's work progresses, she or he will want to develop specific grade-level outcomes
and school-level outcomes. Once developed, everyone impacted by the outcomes and
competences, including the guidance steering committee and the school administrative staff,
should review them.
6. Specify activities by components. The next step in the process is to define the major emphases and the
major activities in each component of the program. For each of the components of the
guidance curriculum, these include the scope and sequence of the program and a restatement
of the student outcomes expected for each. In the individual planning component, the task is
one of defining the major activities that assist students to make individual plans. These plans may
be educational and/or appropriate career plans. Individual planning activities are the ones that
have been traditionally a part of most guidance programs. In the area of responsive services,
counselors and others involved should identify the topics that students, teachers, and parents
usually present. These will then allow for the development of a systematic means of addressing
these concerns. An example would be a listing of the concerns that seem to impede normal
personal, academic, social, or career development. Topics may include divorce, child abuse,
causes of school failure, discipline, family situations, and peer pressures. Once identified,
school personnel can develop a system for addressing each of these.
System support is also important. This aspect has two parts: the support needed by the guidance
effort and the support provided by the guidance effort. The support needed by the guidance
program includes appropriate school policies and administrative procedures related to guidance.
It also includes the areas of staffing, budget, facilities, and equipment. The support the
guidance effort provides to other programs includes consulting, referrals, staff development,
working with special populations, discipline, and curriculum.

. Write doom and distribute the description of the desired program. This is the final step in the design
process. If the other steps have been completed, then the program in a unified form should be
put in writing and shared with all who arc concerned. The finished design should be reviewed in
detail and revised by the steering committee, the school administration, teachers, and others it
may impact. The school board should also review and approve final revision. In this way, the
plan will have a better chance of "being owned" by the power structure. Gysbers and Henderson
(1988) recommend that the final version contain five parts: the
structural components, the position guides, the program components, the recommended
design/resource allocation for the program, and appendices. Note: The material for this section was
both quoted and adapted from Developing and Managing Your School Guidance Program by Norman
Gysbers and Patricia Henderson. The book should be consulted in its entirety for a complete
Implementing the Program
While careful planning and design are essential steps in guidance program development, the task of
implementation also requires additional planning and a dedicated effort on the part of all
concerned. Again, all counselors must remember that individuals work towards goals that they
have had some say in developing. Hence, in this phase, as well as the others, all who are part of
guidance or impacted by the process must be kept constantly informed . and involved as much as
possible. Lest we forget, teachers and administrators have additional agendas, and guidance may be
only a part of what they deem important. Counselors, therefore, must be proactive in their
implementation efforts.
A number of potential program improvements should come to the fore as a result of the
organizing, planning, and designing process. The counselor can use guidelines developed in these
components to decide on priorities and how they will be met. The counselor will use the goals that
have been established to provide parameters for all improvement plans.
Implementation of a program works best when plans are developed for an entire school year. It
will be helpful if the overall plan is broken down into monthly and weekly segments that direct
the delivery of the guidance program as well as specialized counseling services.
Gysbers and Henderson (1988) suggest a transition planning stage as the school moves into a new
program. Using Northside Independent School Dis trict in San Antonio, Texas, as a model, they
recommend that counselors carefully analyze their present programs in order to gather appropriate
data that will enable them to compare and contrast any elements in the present program with those
that are not yet in place. This will provide counselors with an assessment of where programs
overlap and where there are obvious gaps that require attention. By engaging in this discrepancy
analysis, counselors will be able to determine the placement of resources. For example, if counselors
are spending a small percentage of time in activities related to the guidance curriculum and an
identified goal is the increase of time in that component, decisions that direct the counselor's
attention to that component will probably need to be made. If additional resources are not
available or forthcoming, counselors may decide to reduce the time spent in the re sponsive or
individual planning aspects of the program in favor of more teaching of the guidance curriculum.
The discrepancy analysis process should be a positive experience for all involved with the program.
With the help of teachers, parents, administrators, and others, the counseling staff should now be
ready to create activities that it has been determined are of major importance. If, for example. a
discrepancy analysis shows that very few students are ever counseled, you may want to study the
responsive component of the program. Further analysis may reveal that the school offers little
or no group counseling. In this instance, a newly created activity could be the initiation of

developmental counseling groups for various grade and age levels. Other priorities calling for
different activities could emerge in the support system aspect of the pro gram or in the guidance
It is perhaps redundant to suggest that all activities be carefully planned, but lack of planning
has been a major historical weakness in many guidance programs, particularly those developed
shortly after the inception of the NDEA Institutes and based on a problem-centered program
of services model. All planning should be based on high-priority needs in the local school
system as these needs relate to the overall developmental goals. A good plan will contain
objectives linked to student guidance outcomes.
Program Evaluation
Gysbers and Henderson (1988) indicate that evaluation is not something done in the very last
step of program revision. Rather, it is an ongoing process that provides continuous feedback
during all phases of the program. The major purpose of evaluation is to provide data for the
necessary decisions about program structure and future developments.
Trotter (1991) recommends a context-level evaluation which is used to describe current
practice, characterize the student-client population, inven tory human, financial, material,
equipment, and political resources presently available to the program, and assess consumer
needs. In this design, the counselor can assess current practices by using information from
counselor logs that describes the nature and frequency of student-client contacts, job descriptions,
student and consumer surveys, selected interviews with individ uals from consumer groups, and
the use of time and task analysis procedures. Assessment of the consumers of the program
includes a gathering of facts about counselor- and teacher-to-student ratios, general achievement
levels, socioeconomic status, ethnic composition, attendance and dropout figures, and the
prevalence of exceptionality.
Consumer needs may be evaluated by gathering data from the advisory committee, using a
qualified staff of outside observers (consultants) familiar with elementary guidance, presenting
open forums for the community, conducting structured interviews with consumers (parents,
teachers, students, administrators), and implementing record reviews, criterion-referenced
surveys, and follow-up studies (Trotter, 1991).
Counselors should have an outline of an evaluation plan to guide their efforts in program
review and change. They can choose from a number of approaches. A plan designed by a study
group for the Texas Education Agency recommends the following eight steps:
I. State the evaluation question.
2. Determine the audiences/uses for the evaluation.

Gather data to answer the questions.


Apply the predetermined standards.

Draw conclusions.
Consider the context.
Make recommendations.
Act on the recommendations.
(Texas Education Agency, 1991, p. 93)
The evaluation process will require more than the counselor's efforts alone. Since
comprehensive, developmental programs involve all children and other professional personnel, the

evaluation of guidance must involve all who use guidance activities and all who may be impacted by
these activities.
A natural starting point for evaluation of guidance is to examine the stated goals and
objectives. In addition, it is essential to also examine the staff who are charged with the delivery of
the services. All goals and objectives listed for the program should be turned into research questions
for the evaluation process. For example, if the goals suggested earlier in the chapter were to be the
basis for evaluation, the research questions would be as follows:
1. Are our children experiencing positive feelings from teachers, parents, and peers?
2. Is learning meaningful for our children?
3. Are our children developing positive self-images?
4. Are our children becoming more aware of their personal values and the values necessary to live in a
pluralistic society?
5. Are our children developing the necessary academic skills?
6. Are our children developing planning, problem-solving, and goal-setting skills?
7. Are our children developing coping skills?
8. Are our children developing positive attitudes toward life?
9. Is there evidence that our children are developing responsibility for their own behavior?
10.How effective is our program for parents?
11.How effective are our efforts with teachers in the enhancement of learning?
Even the neophyte evaluator will be able to see that the evaluation of guidance cannot be a onetime, finished product. Many guidance activities are part of a long-term process and must be
viewed as such. An assessment of a child's self-image done in September may be quite different
from an additional assessment done in May, particularly if the child has been actively in volved in
the guidance program. Evaluators should also note that guidance goals are generally stated in
broad terms, and a given goal may require two or more research designs in order to gather
appropriate data for decision making. Again, it is essential that evaluation be considered a regular
process that is part of the ongoing program in a manner similar to the guidance curriculum and the
counseling program. The data needed will be related to the kinds of goals being measured. In some cases,
the evaluation process may require a simple counting or a perceptual check of consumers'
example, the number of contact hours spent in group counseling or in the
teaching of the guidance curriculum will provide quantitative data for
evaluation purposes.
Qualitative data may be more difficult to measure. Assessing client satisfaction (teacher,
parent, child) of various components of the counseling program is one way to determine the
quality of a given effort. In a similarvein, the counselor may want to survey the children in the
school to determine if they feel that they are generally receiving positive feelings from others
(peers, teachers, parents). Then by simply computing frequencies and per centages of children
who are and who are not experiencing positive feelings, the counselor can evaluate those aspects
of the program designed to promote positive feelings. This review could cause the counselor to
add, en.hattce, or delete some guidance activities. Based on these kinds of data, the counselor
might decide to increase group counseling efforts, add new units to the guidance curriculum, or
develop special programs for teachers and parents.
Counselors may also want to determine program effectiveness by measur ing whether guidance
programming has had any positive impact on con sumers. For example, suppose counselors are
concerned with enhancing the self-esteem of children in grades five and six. They could use a
standardized instrument such as the Children's Self-Concept Scale or the Coopersmith Self-Esteem

Inventory as a pretest measure. Once they have gathered and reviewed this data, counselors may
want to design activities to improve the self-images of children. After they have implemented the
activities, counselors could Use the same instruments again, to determine whether or not the
guidance activity conducted had any impact on the self-esteem of children. This simple de sign is
widely used in numerous research designs in education and psychology.
In the evaluation process, counselors should not overlook single case studies. For example,
suppose Mr. Radcliff, a teacher new to the school, seeks the counselor's help because he is
encountering difficulties with classroom management. The new teacher feels the need to do a better
job in "discipline" and indicates that much of his time is spent in attempts to control the class.
He feels that the learning suffers because valuable teaching time is spent on "problem children." In
a developmental program, Ms. Arnold, the counselor, may choose to observe the class, discuss her
observations with the teacher, and help plan some activities to deal with Mr. Radcliff's concerns.
She would not automatically begin by counseling the "problem kids," al though this is an option
that she might choose later. How does one evaluate this important counselor activity? A good
starting point may be simply an assessment of how the teacher feels about the counselor
interventions. Does he consider her work helpful? Why or why not? After the counselor interven tions, are there fewer disruptions in class? Is the learning climate any better? By keeping careful
records of what transpired between teacher and counselor, it is possible to make at least a
subjective evaluation of one component
of a developmental program. In a similar way, the counselor can use subjec tive evaluations of direct
work with a parent or parents or with children for evaluation purposes. Counselors will not only want
to maintain records on how many times consumers are seen, they will also want to keep records on
progress of individuals.
Counselors should have a general plan or outline that includes local goals. The Texas Education
Agency (1991) and other professional groups suggest four general areas of guidance evaluation:
I. How effective have program improvements been?
2. Does the program meet the program standards?
3. Have students become competent in the high-priority content areas?
4. How well are counselors performing their roles?
In the program improvement area, counselors should list objectives and strategies to be
accomplished. These objectives should then be organized into a series of tasks that are to be
accomplished in a given period of time. This will provide data on which objectives were met and
which were not. Those not met may call for a change of strategy or a different process altogether.
Program standards have both a qualitative and a quantitative dimension. In the quantitative
domain, counselors should note the numbers of contacts with parents, teachers, and children.
Qualitative evaluations are those that show the outcomes or how well the standard was met. Stated
another way, a quantitative evaluation might report, The counselor met with 67 children in October
and November? A qualitative statement may read, "Both parents and teachers generally expressed
satisfaction with the program at two recent PTA meetings." While not all reports will be as positive as
this one, counselors who take the time to evaluate may be pleasantly surprised about the impact of
their work with individual children.
Student competencies may be evaluated by examining both cognitive and affective dimensions.
Test scores, inventories, observations, case studies, pretest/posttest comparisons, goal attainment
scaling, and follow-up interviews can all be used to assess competencies. For example, guidance
directors may evaluate counselors by determining how well they are meeting job performance
standards. Using a job description as a guide, directors employing performance evaluations can help
counselors make maximum use of their professional skills. For example, one aspect of the counselor's
job could be evaluated as follows:
Evaluation Question. Does the developmental group counseling meet local, state, and national
standards for group work?

Target Audiences. Counselors, teachers, administrators, parents.

Data Gathering Methods. Interviews, reports, records, observations, professional peer review, selfreports, parent and teacher opinion data, and outside observer comments.
Standards. Indicators of performance, competencies.
Conclusions. Overall rating of the developmental group counseling program based on the data
gathered for the evaluation.
Special Considerations. Experience level of the counselor, length of time the program was
conducted, nature of the counseled groups (children with normal concerns or deeper problems),
availability of children for balanced counseling groups.
Recommendations. Ratings to include the strengths and weaknesses of the program. Special
emphasis on suggestions for improvement.
Plan of Action. All steps that are necessary for continued improvement (For example, a
workshop to increase group counseling skills for counselors.)
All aspects of the program may be evaluated using a plan similar to the one presented here.
A final step in evaluation is the determination of who will review the data gathered in the
evaluation process. Obviously, all counselors and the director of guidance will want to review the
findings. In some cases, it may be useful to have other professionals, such as teachers, review the
findings and provide additional input. The school district administration or perhaps the building
administrator are also likely recipients of evaluation studies.
It is worth repeating that the purpose of evaluation is for program im provement. Counselors who
plan, organize, and implement a comprehensive program of guidance have little to fear from
evaluations. In fact, most will probably enjoy learning that their efforts are generally perceived as
being useful to guidance consumers. In reviewing data gathered for evaluations, counselors should
focus on what they are doing well and then review the areas that need improvement.
One theme among authors who have developed comprehensive guid ance programs is that new
or expanding programs must not be considered as a group of loosely related adjunct services. In
addition, there appears to be a high degree of consensus about how a new program or a revised one
should proceed in making changes. For example, Jeanne Collet, writing in an ERIC/CAPS Fact
Sheet (1983), proposes the following five guidelines for new comprehensive programs:
1. Build on existing programs. Evolution is not as costly as complete renovation.
2. Use teamwork Parents, teachers, administrators, and members of the community all have skills
and insights to offer guidance.
3. Determine outcomes. Counselors need to determine what are desirable student outcomes. Once a list
of these has been developed, different guidance consumer groups (parents, teachers,
administrators) should review it. Plans for priority outcomes may then be determined, and
counselors will have valuable input data to determine priority outcomes.
4. Program activities should be designed around desired student outcomes. For each desired student
outcome, counselors should design a model of the stages through which students must progress in
order to reach the final outcome stage. The counselor should develop activities to help students reach
that stage and include evidence that the students are mastering the skills and concepts inherent in
these activities
5. Develop an ongoing evaluation system. Evaluation is an ongoing process. (pp. 1, 2)

For the reader who may just be entering the counseling profession, the logic of Gysbers,
Henderson, Collet, Hargens, the Texas Education Agency. and others may seem obvious.
Neophytes may wonder how else a compre hensive program could be organized. Readers
should be aware, however, that the ideas these authors are expressing represent an evolution
from what was considered sound elementary guidance in the 1960s. During the 1960s and
previously, very little was written about guidance curriculum, and indi vidual planning was not
suggested as part of the counselor's work in the ele mentary school (Muro, 1968; Faust, 1968;
Hatch & Costar, 1961). Under the original 'Three C" model for elementary and middle school
guidance (counselors as consultants, coordinators, and counselors), most counselor func tions
were in the guidance component now called the responsive mode, pri marily in the area of
individual problem-centered counseling. While a modicum of systems support was generally
provided by counselors, it was generally approached from the perspective of one problem or
another in the lives of children. .
Perhaps the greatest departure from the earlier elementary and middle school guidance
programs is in the area of a guidance curriculum. As au thors and writers began to embrace a
developmental philosophy for elementary school, they began to conceptualize ways that would
involve more adults in the guidance program. Dinkmever's Developing Understanding of Self and
Others (DUSO and DUSO II) (Dinkrneyer, 1970, 1973) and Glasserian classroom meetings
(Glasser, 1968) are examples of the movement to expand guidance beyond the counselor's
office. New and improved materials are still very much a part of the modem guidance
curriculum. Grow with Guidance (Radd, 1990) is an example of sequenced, prepared guidance
One problem for counselors with limited budgets, however, is that much of the
commercially produced material may be beyond the financial re sources available to the
school. In addition, some counselors prefer to create materials that focus on locally relevant
issues or significant events. For example, Kline and Vernon (1986) suggested that
commercially produced materials may not be useful for children in a given locale. A plant
closing where parents of children lose jobs is an example of an event that will require the
development of local materials.
Kline and Vernon (1986) outlined a six-step model for the creation of lo cally produced
activities. Their plan involves developing, experiencing, pub lishing, processing, generalizing,
and applying specific objectives.
For each activity counselors develop, they first should attempt to deter mine exactly what
students are expected to learn from the experience. They list these outcomes in the form of
behavioral objectives. If, for example, the activity deals with feelings, counselors may want to
specify that students engaged in the activity will learn five new feeling words. For each twenty to
forty minute activity, counselors should have two objectives.
Once the objectives have been determined, counselors move on to the experiencing stage.
Children participate in activities that stimulate ideas re lated to the objective. Continuing the
example above, the counselor would design activities that would help children explore ideas
related to feelings. Role playing, reflection, and problem-solving and decision-making activities
could be used to facilitate their experiences.
The publication phase has the goal of "bringing to the surface, thoughts, feelings, and behavioral
reactions, about the experiencing phase" (Kline & Vernon, 1986, p. 24). This phase should also

reflect the objectives of the exercise. At this point counselors ask appropriate questions, such as,
"What were your feelings when you were playing the role of the teacher?" Part of this process is
determining whether the reactions meet the objectives. There are a number of ways to determine
this by written or oral responses or responses to specific items on an inventory. The counselor
designs the activity so that all participants get the opportunity to display their ideas.
The next two steps involve process and generalization. In the process phase, the counselors may
choose to summarize the responses and identify themes, particularly those that reflect
universalization mechanisms in the group. Counselors-may-then ask additional questions to help
students draw their own conclusions about the material.
The generalization phase includes counselor efforts to present concepts that will help students
organize and understand the experiences. Themes about common experiences are also useful at
this juncture. The counselor will summarize and cap discussion themes to bring about better
self-understanding, awareness of more thoughts and feelings, and the learning of behavioral
In the final or application phase, students practice skills and learn how to apply these skills to
individual situations. An example of a counselor inter vention in this phase may be to ask, "How
would you express your feelings if you were angry at a friend?" (Kline & Vernon, 1986, p. 26).
The range and scope of locally developed guidance activities are limited only by the imagination
of the counselor. For illustrations of counselor-developed activities, see Appendix I.