NCGE Resources

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

The Youth Guarantee and Lifelong Guidance

High levels of youth unemployment, under-employment, early school-leaving and social/economic inactivity of young Europeans have developed into a deep and burning issue during the last five years. This provides a strong challenge to the European social values which underpin the European Social Model and cohesion policies. The political leaders of the European Union have accordingly agreed a new European initiative for young people known as the Youth Guarantee Initiative (YGI). From October 2013 and into the first months of 2014 all European Union member states are building or further developing their national Youth Guarantee action plans. Using the open method of co-ordination (OMC) mechanism, the European Commission and member-state representatives (Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council of the European Union) are calling for action at European and also at member-state levels.

This European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) Concept Note is designed to support the national administrations’ work in the development and review of their responses to the challenges set by the YGI. The paper contends that successful and sustainable implementation of the Initiative can only be secured through effective integration of lifelong guidance practice into national programmes. Lifelong guidance refers to a range of activities that enables citizens to identify their capacities, competencies and interests and to make career decisions that enable them to manage their own life paths in learning, work and other settings.

The paper collates existing good practices that describe a range of ways in which national governments can integrate their existing lifelong guidance provision with the demands of the YGI. It describes activities that provide focal points for young people so that they know where and how to find support, outreach strategies for those that are not engaging with services, personalised approaches, support into a range of second-chance learning opportunities to improve skills, programmes to support entrepreneurship, targeted and well-designed wage and recruitment subsidies, and programmes that promote and support youth mobility.

Publication reproduced with the kind permission of the ELGPN and the authors.

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Planning the School Guidance Programme

I am very pleased to present this publication Planning the School Guidance Programme which has been prepared in the light of the requirements of sections 9 (c) and 21 of the Education Act 1998. The publication will assist schools greatly in developing their guidance plan as part of the overall School Plan. The writing of Planning the School Guidance Programme was co-ordinated by the National Centre for Guidance in Education, with inputs from the relevant stakeholders. I am most grateful to all who contributed to this work for their effort and commitment to the task. Guidance planning is a whole-school activity and is an integral part of the School Development Plan. The guidance plan offers both a challenge and an opportunity for schools to develop programmes that ensure all students have access to appropriate guidance. As these programmes require regular review and updating to ensure continued relevance to the ever-changing needs of the students in the school, the guidance plan is always a work in progress. As this document demonstrates, guidance planning draws not only on the expertise of the guidance counsellor but it also involves school management, staff, parents and students. I am certain that this document will be a valuable resource for all involved in guidance planning in schools. It will also assist in the implementation of improved guidance programmes to assist all students in their transitions as they progress from primary to second level and on to further study and employment. I would like to congratulate the National Centre for Guidance in Education on the publication of Planning the School Guidance Programme.

Noel Dempsey, T.D. Minister for Education and Science

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students: The role of Guidance Counsellors

Guidance Counsellors play a key role in supporting students who may be going through a difficult time. Many LGBT young people ‘come out’ when they are at school and having a supportive adult is often very critical to this being a positive experience for them. The resource offers advice to guidance counsellors as they support LGBT students; address homophobic bullying and name-calling and contribute to creating and maintaining schools as safe, supportive and affirming places for all students regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The resource is in the process of being updated following the publication of the Department of education and Skills 2013 Anti-Bullying Procedures. A revised resource should be available in the first quarter of 2014.

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Towards a more playful and politicized practice of guidance counselling

This paper is in the form of a short narrative trail through my developing ideas about identity and my increasing understanding of the power of discourse and language in constructing what we take to be real. It is part of a larger study which began with a curiosity about how young people in ‘late adolescence’ construct their identities (O’ Grady, 2012). I draw on some of that work in this article to provide a rationale for the need to develop a politicized practice of guidance counselling. A creative approach to research and counselling encourages the expression of multiple truths exposing knowledge as socially constructed (Eisner, 1988) and therefore open to reconstruction. In this way the approach is both playful and political. The second part of the paper attempts to offer some assistance in applying a critical psychology that is artful and politicized to the practice of guidance counselling.

Key Words: Politicized, playful, pluralism, discourse

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Positive Psychology in Guidance Counselling

Positive psychology is a scientific study aiming to promote optimal functioning (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). It is a rapidly developing field that provides empirical research in areas such as character strengths, resilience, mindsets, life meaning and positive emotions. The purpose of the article is to identify how rigorously-evaluated positive psychology interventions can be used by Guidance Counsellors to enhance students’ well-being, reduce depression and improve their school performance. Whilst positive psychology interventions have been extensively used in clinical and educational settings (Seligman, Rashid & Parks, 2006; Freres et al, 2002), they have only recently been applied to the work of Guidance Counsellors. In the US and UK educational policies have changed and programmes such as Penn Resiliency (University of Pennsylvania) has been introduced in hundreds of schools. They use positive psychology interventions to enhance students’ post traumatic growth, reduce their depression and suicide rates, which is particularly relevant in view of the Mental Health Guidelines recently launched in Ireland (Grogan et al., 2013). Research shows that positive psychology interventions may be more effective in fighting depression than traditional approaches (Seligman, Rashid & Parks, 2006) and are particularly beneficial for young people (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009) This ground-breaking article introduces some of the most effective Interventions Guidance Counsellors can use to supplement their work with students. It demonstrates how rigorously-evaluated PPIs can enhance the work of Guidance Counsellors in Ireland and it recommends further developments necessary to effectively integrate Positive Psychology into Irish schools.

Key words

Positive psychology, well-being, schools, resilience, character strengths

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Video Role Play: The Accomplishment Interview

The Guidance Counsellor often plays a central role in supporting students in exploring and identifying skill sets. The Accomplishment Interview provides an opportunity to observe Kai Helmichk and Dr. Spencer Niles modelling this process. In the role play, Kai recounts a recent life event of which he was particularly proud while Dr. Niles’ guides the discussion through identifying and making overt the skills Kai has demonstrated as a result of this event. Throughout the video, Dr. Nile’s notes that Kai has demonstrated self-reflection, self-assessment, research, resilience, communication, persistence, motivation and problem solving skills.

Click below to view the video.
You can dowload the accompanying article HERE and at the end of this page
Further Recommended Viewing

Action-oriented Hope-centered Career Development by Spencer Niles can be viewed in conjunction with this video. It can be found here.

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Supporting Refugee Students Transition to and Progress in Post-primary School

Newly-arrived refugee students come from various education backgrounds with different profiles and different cultural expectations of schooling. Upon arrival they must quickly adapt to a new school system and education culture which may challenge their expectations. They require specific guidance in order to help them settle in to post-primary school, and furthermore advice on school programmes and subject choices, and progression opportunities available to them. This article explores the various issues which affect Separated Children when they move into an Irish post-primary school and the strategies that schools can employ to help students overcome these barriers. Among them school induction, a buddy system and promotion of first language to assist in the learning process.

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Youth Unemployment: A Crisis in Our Midst

The global youth unemployment rate has proved sticky, and remained close to its crisis peak. At 12.6 per cent in 2011 and projected 12.7 per cent in 2012, the global youth unemployment rate remains at least a full percentage above its level in 2007. Youth unemployment and situations in which young people work in poor conditions incur social as well as economic costs’ (ILO, 2012, p.12). This concept note addresses five key questions: (1) What are the current trends and challenges facing young people and policy-makers across Europe? (2) What policies, including good and interesting practices, are emerging in differing European Union (EU) Member-States in response to youth unemployment? (3) What more can be done to address youth unemployment, drawing on lifelong guidance policies and practices? (4) How can policies for responsive lifelong guidance services make a positive contribution to new and emerging government delivery plans within and across Member-States? (5) What are the key questions to inform the EU’s and Member-States’ education, training, employment and social inclusion priorities? 

Publication reproduced with the kind permission of the ELGPN and the authors.
Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Helping students to concentrate while studying

Concentration, or the ability to focus effectively on the task at hand while ignoring distractions, is vital for success in all areas of life – whether on the sports field or in the classroom. Unfortunately, as focusing techniques are not normally taught in school, many students lack insight into the strengths and limitations of their concentration systems. Against this background, the purpose of the present article is to explore what we know about concentration from recent research on ‘cognitive psychology’ or the scientific study of mental processes such as thinking, paying attention and remembering. In particular, this article will address three main questions. Firstly, what exactly is ‘concentration’? Secondly, how does our concentration system work? Finally, what practical techniques can help students to concentrate more effectively when studying?

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 17:16

Ethical Research in Guidance Counselling

The increasing need for evidence-based research to inform career guidance practice is now prevalent in national and international guidance policy discourse. This article discusses the complexities involved in carrying out ethically sound research within the guidance counselling profession in Ireland. Whilst it focuses specifically on research activities within the post-primary sector the fundamental principles apply across all jurisdictions of guidance provision, and will be of value to practitioners involved in various types of empirical and practitioner-based research. The over-riding principle involved is the professional responsibility we have as practitioner-researchers to protect the dignity and wellbeing of our research participants at all times.