Social and Cultural Issues in School Counseling

Social and Cultural diversity is constantly increasing throughout the United States. Along with an increasingly diverse population comes a need for diversification in the methods and practices of school counselors and educators in general.

Traditionally, school counselors as well as other educators have addressed student issues and problems as if the student is the origin of the issue and therefore needs to learn to cope and adapt to establish practices. However, it is now coming to the attention of educators that our educational system has created school counseling programs that do not account for non-western traditions.

The current academic thought on this issue is that counselors need to be aware of varying codes of ethics and different cultural contexts existing in schools today.

In order to best reach all students enrolled in our public educational system, school counselors need to have a more extensive list of techniques in order to accomodate all the cultures represented in our schools.

In addition, school counselors’ duties should change within the school system. In the future, counselors should be charged with the task of educating staff and the outside community with information about (and techniques to deal with) social and cultural issues of a culturally diverse population.

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Social and Cultural Issues for School Counselors

  • Counselors need to learn how to identify stigma and general assumptions that are associated with different cultures.
  • School Counselors should learn to be aware of how counseling traditions and one’s own views may be based on culturally biased concepts.
  • Counseling techniques need to be changed to adapt to the different cultures represented in our schools today.
    No longer should students and families from other cultures be forced to assimilate a western culture to be able to benefit from counseling practices in public education.

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