School counsellors’ beliefs regarding collaboration with parents of students with special educational needs in Flanders: Parents as partners or opposites?

School counsellors’ beliefs regarding collaboration with parents of students with special... The literature shows that a good collaboration between the school and parents of students with special educational needs (SEN) is not always present. However, school counsellors must collaborate with SEN students’ parents to organise guidance trajectories for their child. This article examines school counsellors’ experiences when collaborating with parents of SEN students and the factors they perceive as contributing to good or difficult collaboration. Four focus groups in mainstream education (N = 50) and one focus group in special education (N = 14) were conducted in Flanders. A thematic analysis indicated that school counsellors generally find it difficult to collaborate with parents of SEN students and that an expert attitude can emerge. The role of these parents is described as limited, which is even preferred by some school counsellors. A deficit view is recognised and the reasons for poor collaboration are mainly situated on the parents’ side, such as parents that need more processing time to accept the SEN of their child and that show distrust towards the school. School counsellors spontaneously referred to parents’ low socioeconomic and ethnic minority status as complicating factors for collaboration. They seem to feel incompetent to overcome these collaboration difficulties. Various recommendations for schools are formulated. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Educational Research Journal Wiley

School counsellors’ beliefs regarding collaboration with parents of students with special educational needs in Flanders: Parents as partners or opposites?

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 British Educational Research Association
ISSN
0141-1926
eISSN
1469-3518
D.O.I.
10.1002/berj.3333
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The literature shows that a good collaboration between the school and parents of students with special educational needs (SEN) is not always present. However, school counsellors must collaborate with SEN students’ parents to organise guidance trajectories for their child. This article examines school counsellors’ experiences when collaborating with parents of SEN students and the factors they perceive as contributing to good or difficult collaboration. Four focus groups in mainstream education (N = 50) and one focus group in special education (N = 14) were conducted in Flanders. A thematic analysis indicated that school counsellors generally find it difficult to collaborate with parents of SEN students and that an expert attitude can emerge. The role of these parents is described as limited, which is even preferred by some school counsellors. A deficit view is recognised and the reasons for poor collaboration are mainly situated on the parents’ side, such as parents that need more processing time to accept the SEN of their child and that show distrust towards the school. School counsellors spontaneously referred to parents’ low socioeconomic and ethnic minority status as complicating factors for collaboration. They seem to feel incompetent to overcome these collaboration difficulties. Various recommendations for schools are formulated.

Journal

British Educational Research JournalWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ;

References

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