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Article Review Essay

The article, School Counseling Outcome: A Meta-Analytic Explanation of Interventions, written by Whiston, S., Tai, W., Rahardja, D., and Eder, K. is research done to show if certain interventions and techniques used by school counselors are effective. The article discussed two types of studies, one with controlled comparisons and another involving pre and posttest differences. The article began with the history of counseling and the model counselors are using. Campbell and Dahir’s (as cited in Whiston, Tai, Rahardja, & Eder, 2011), “specified that school counselors should coordinate a program that facilitates academic, career, and personal social development”. Many schools and counselors have been following Gysber’s and Henderson’s model which has four program components supported by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

They include guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support. There has been limited research done on these components to conclude if the interventions are effective. “A major problem with the reviews of school counseling is that they are not able to indicate the degree to which school counseling interventions influence student outcome” (Whiston, Tai, Rahardja, & Eder (2011). In the article there were some major strengths and gains. There was evidence that specific interventions work with certain groups. The research also supports the need for school counselor to be more involved with all students, since there is a positive effect when students have been working with a guidance counselor. Yet, we still need more research in the elementary level to see how we can support the younger students more effectively. There were also some major limitations noted about the study.

This included not having enough supported information on how the interventions or treatments were conducted, missing valuable information, not having reliable standardized assessments, not following up to see how the interventions helped, and the study was done with only specific interventions. They also concluded that there were specific gains in certain areas, but could not identify how they got those results. The conclusions of the studies indicate that students who receive services from a counselor scored higher on standardized test. Counseling also helped with discipline, problem solving, and career knowledge compared to students not receiving any interventions.

This shows the importance of having a school counselor and the role they play in making a difference in the lives they touch. Both studies indicated the “effectiveness of a balance approach to school counseling that provides a guidance curriculum to all students and responsive services that respond to students’ issues” (Whiston, Tai, Rahardja, & Eder, 2011). In this study we can see how important a school counselor is to students facing difficult issues. It is noted how some interventions can help a student be successful with academics, social interactions, and behavior.

After reading this article I can see how effective counseling can be for all students. As an elementary teacher I will try to use a strategic comprehensive guidance program and data to guide my instruction. Using information from teachers, parents and administration I can plan my lessons to better meet the needs of students. Following up with students and keeping data on interventions will be a priority.

Whiston, S. C., Tai, W., Rahardja, D., & Eder, K. (2011). School counseling outcome: A meta‐analytic examination of interventions. Journal Of Counseling & Development, 89(1), 37-55. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2011.tb00059.x

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