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: 9781412951104
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/18/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,250,949
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (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

Acknowledgments     vii
About the Authors     ix
Introduction     xi
School Counselors Collaborating for High Student Achievement     xi
School Culture in the Time of School Reform     xii
Tips for Using the Book     xiii
Launching Inquiry: Developing Your Question     1
How We Arrived at This Point     1
Moving Into Inquiry     3
Data Sources     5
Thinking About Thinking     7
Formulating Questions     7
Exploring Your Question     8
Strategies for Success     11
Meet Dianne: An Ongoing Case Study     12
Discovering the Territory: Exploring Others' Expertise     15
Why Gather Supporting Information?     15
Exploring Others' Expertise     16
Keeping It Simple     16
Components of the Summary     28
Dianne's Journey Begins     30
Getting It Together: Gathering Your Data     33
Ethical Considerations     34
What Data Is Needed?     36
Avenues for Gathering Data     38
School Artifacts     45
The Last Tip: How to Navigate Dead Ends     47
Dianne'sHunch Pays Off     50
Sorting It Out: Making Sense of Your Data     53
Descriptive Data as a Powerful Tool     53
Ways to Look at Data     54
Dianne Makes Sense of It All     73
Stepping Up: Sharing What You Now Know     75
The Fundamentals     75
Know Your Audience     79
Know Your End Product     80
Inquiry Support Groups     80
Routines     81
The Block     81
Deadlines     83
It's All in the Details     83
Dianne Seeks Support From Key People     88
Building Your Learning Community   Laura Pedersen     91
Learning Communities     92
Practitioner Inquiry Support Team     95
Dianne Brings Parents Into the Learning Community     98
Review and Can-Do: Putting It All Together     101
Where's Dianne Now?     103
References     105
Index     109
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