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

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Provides a step-by-step process for conducting practitioner inquiry projects by collecting, analyzing, and using data, and offers guidelines for developing counselors' advocacy, leadership, and collaboration skills.

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Editorial Reviews

Ruth Shagoury
"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 whatis 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."
Peggy Hines
"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."
Chris Jensen
"Kudos to Brooks-Mc Namara 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."
Nancy G. Nagel
"Provides a much needed resource and guide for those in the midst of school reform. Brooks-Mc Namara 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."
Todd E. Ryan
"Provides a practical and valuable tool for all school counseling professionals trying to align their school counseling program with the ASCA standards."
Stephanie A. Bierman
"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."
Angie Stansell
"Like the little train that said 'I think I can, I think I can,' thisbook 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."
The Bookwatch
"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."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412951098
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/18/2007
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicki Brooks-Mc Namara received her Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Wyoming. She taught all K-12 levels before becoming a school counselor and counselor educator. Under Vicki’s leadership, the school counseling program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon transformed into a premier program preparing school counselors to be leaders and advocates who are guided by data to facilitate systemic change.

Vicki currently is a Senior Consultant with The Education Trust. She coordinates and facilitates district and state-wide school counseling workshops to assist practitioners in essential skill development necessary in today’s school reform. She is on the editorial board of the Profession School Counseling journal and a Senior Fulbright Recipient. Additionally, she is a consultant and advisory member for The College Board’s National Office of School Counselor Advocacy. Vicki resides in Portland with her husband Mike.

Danielle Torres earned a B.A. and M.A. from Pepperdine University, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon. She is currently a faculty member of the School Counseling Program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Her teaching includes courses in action research, diversity issues in education, and the professional development of school counselors. She has experience as a counselor in schools at all grade levels and with various school-based research projects. Dr. Torres resides in Portland, Oregon.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
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
The Block
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?

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