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The general performance of culturally diverse students is usually low. In this context, school counselors are required to address this phenomenon with precision and articulacy required. However, triumph in the use of counselors to address this issue depends on their cultural competence.
This paper is based on a study that focused on the effects of advanced intervention sessions on schools composed of students from diverse cultures. The results that the study found revealed partiality on the part of counselors. It also provided a way of engaging counselors in discussions addressing viable intervention strategies. Concurrently, this paper includes areas that need more studies. This incorporates intervention methods that counselors employ.
US society has become more culturally diverse and this has influenced the cultural diversity of most schools. Thus, training and involvement of supervisors is necessary. These counselors must be culturally competent (Sue, 2010). It has been noted that culturally diverse students perform poorly compared to others.
In this regard, school counselors must address this problem (underachievement of the culturally diverse students in academics) with precision and due competence (Erford, 2004). However, a considerable challenge is that many school counselors are not competent enough to effectively tackle the problem.
The belief is that these counselors may simply act as gate keepers thus prevent the culturally diverse students from attaining the best academically. It is crucial to execute multicultural supervision for school counselors in order to enhance their competence in handling culturally diverse students. This is a critical provision when considered critically in the context of cultural diversity.
However, due to the increasing cultural diversity in schools, teachers must be ready for confrontation with culturally diverse classrooms. In the last 10 years, the number of colored children in the public schools has increased. They currently constitute one third of the total number of students in the public schools.
It is estimated that the number of the colored children in the public schools will constitute 40% of the total number of children in the public schools by 2020. Due to these observations and projections, teachers must be thoroughly prepared and trained on how to handle culturally diverse classrooms. This provision will enhance their competency as indicated earlier.
Evidently, diversity hardly entails racial implications alone. Composition of families, social and economic statuses of the students, religion and ethnicity of communities, and other considerable factors contribute to the diversity and alleged racial composition. These also influence the expectations of the society and the competence required among teachers.
The other observation is that teachers still reflect majority culture even though students continue to be culturally diverse (Marín & Horn, 2008). This has the effect of the teachers’ culture contrasting that of the students that they teach. This observation is very important since the thoughts and beliefs of the students are mainly shaped by the teachers and thus can easily become impaired.
A teacher’s cultural beliefs might influence his teaching methods and his understanding of multiculturalism. The objective of this paper is to show the link between multicultural supervision training sessions and improvement in performance of the culturally diverse students. The paper mainly focuses on the importance of the teachers becoming aware of partialities and their implication on the performance of students.
Employment of professional development and continuous supervision methods can enable school counselors to become culturally competent. This can then enable them to become advocates for the development and utilization of curriculum and practices that are culturally responsive (Strous, 2003).
Supervisors can increase the benefits of cross-cultural and multicultural supervision by discussing openly their culture and how it influences their beliefs and views of the world (Komives & Woodard, 2003). This is a critical provision in the context of multiculturalism.
The other way of increasing the benefit is through exploration of cultural transference issues. Additionally, they can achieve this through the provision of a safe environment for the development of racial and ethnic identity. This will tame racial differences among the culturally distinct students.
It has been found that supervisors who have attended multicultural supervision and training (thus have multicultural competence) are usually successful in training students who end up working with culturally diverse comrades (Constantine & Sue 2005). There are various supervision models developed. One model instructs supervisors to the supervisors to investigate and respond to the interpretations of experiences of the supervisee.
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This is to be done during the sessions that they have. This model relies on the interpersonal process recall and suggests that multicultural issues that the supervisee has can become evident during the sessions. This can happen when the supervisor critically analyses the perception of the supervisee about the clients and what he thinks the client think about him as a counselor. It also focuses on the perception of the supervisee’s view of the client responses and there rationale.
The other models of cultural supervision are the development interpersonal model, descriptive model, and the empowerment model. All these models found that supervisees advised to consider multicultural issues in their client understanding were better equipped in comprehending multicultural issues than those who never received such pieces of advice. This means that culture centered case conceptualization is related positively to affirmative results (Komives & Woodard, 2003).
On the other hand, poor conceptualization of the cases is related to cultural distress for the culturally diverse clients and early termination of supervision sessions (Hawkins & Shohet, 2006). Generally, there is agreement that attention to culture must be integrated in the supervision experiences. This is a critical provision when considered critically in the context of cultural diversity and counseling supervision as indicated earlier.
School Counselors and Cultural Competence
Increasing diversity in schools poses difficulties in providing counseling services. Some counselors are not well trained to handle cultural diversity that exists in the schools. Some hardly participate in supervision sessions hence incompetent. Additionally, the workload that school counselors have is overwhelming.
The other challenge they have is that their jobs are not secure. These challenges have the effect of preventing the school counselor from developing cultural competence (Rose, 2012). The main reason for poor result is the inconsistency in supervision training the school counselors have. In addition to the challenges mentioned above, school counselors have other hindrances in their work.
Counselors are expected to assist students develop socially and emotionally. This should also consider training in the administration of exams (Strous, 2003). The counselors usually find it difficult to fulfill all these expectations especially when the student to teacher ratio is taken in to consideration.
This paper proposes that further research is needed in the practices that can effectively respond to the needs culturally diverse students. The research should focus on practices that counselors can adopt and the methods they can use to achieve their goals with respect to counseling. Additionally, the research should focus on necessary resources required by counselors. Additionally, further studies could be on the cultural conceptualization capabilities of the counselors with culturally diverse students.
The performance of culturally diverse students has been pitiable. The poor performance of these culturally diverse students is related to the disproportionate placement of students. This regards students from low-income families, those who require special education, and those who require behavioral remedies. Culturally diverse students mostly affected include African-Americans and the Latinos. African-American students are the ones mostly referred for behavioral remedies and punishments (Cartledge, 2002).
The dropout rates have been high among the Latino students than that of other cultures (Dahir & Stone, 2012). This paper found that the implementation of regular multicultural supervision is beneficial to the culturally diverse students. This is possible by enabling counselors to be culturally competent hence able to address issues affecting culturally diverse students. It is the responsibility of counselors to improve the performance of culturally diverse students.
This phenomenon requires a cultural competence among the concerned counselors. It is suggestible that counselors should undergo proper training and attend multicultural supervision provisions. This will properly equip them with the necessary skills to effectively perform their work.
In this context, more work should be done to improve the US society in the realms of cultural diversity (since it is culturally diverse). Counselors must be competent and should attend multicultural sessions regularly so as to effectively assist students improve their performances for a better future and productive citizenship.
Cartledge, G. (2002). Culturally and linguistically diverse students with behavioral disorders. Arlington, VA: Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.
Constantine, M. & Sue, D. (2005). Strategies for building multicultural competence in mental health and educational settings. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
Dahir, C. & Stone, C. (2012). The transformed school counselor. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
Erford, B. (2004). Professional school counseling: A handbook of theories, programs & practices. Austin, TX: CAPS Press.
Hawkins, P. & Shohet, R. (2006). Supervision in the helping professions. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Komives, S. & Woodard, D. (2003). Student services: A handbook for the profession. Chichester, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Marín, P. & Horn, C. (2008). Realizing Bakke’s legacy: Affirmative action, equal opportunity, and access to higher education. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub.
Rose, P. (2012). Cultural competency for the health professional. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Strous, M. (2003). Racial sensitivity and multicultural training. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Sue, D. (2010). Microaggressions and marginality: Manifestation, dynamics, and impact. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.