Daniela Sauer

Parent-teacher counseling

On ‘blind spots’ and didactic perspectives. A qualitative-reconstructive study on teachers’ counseling responsibilities

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART102914

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Since the early 1970s, counseling parents has been considered to be among the areas of responsibility for teachers in Germany (Baumert & Kunter, 2006; Deutscher Bildungsrat, 1972; Kultusministerkonferenz [KMK], 2004). Following the discourse on professional theory, parent-teacher counseling is regarded to be a type of professional consultation based on different competencies, attitudes, and specialist knowledge (Grewe, 2005; Hertel, 2009; Schnebel, 2012; Strasser & Gruber, 2003; among others). While a considerable range of aspects of teachers’ counseling competence has already been the object of research (e.g., Hertel, 2009; Kluge, Bruder, Keller, & Schmitz, 2012), studies devoted to the nature of teachers’ implicit knowledge and its significance for counseling in the context of the school system are rare (Fives & Buehl, 2012). This study intends to reduce that research gap. Based on a qualitative-reconstructive research design, 13 teachers from different types of schools were questioned in semi-structured interviews. These interviews were then evaluated using the documentary method (Nohl, 2012; Bohnsack, 2008). In total, three different concepts of parent-teacher counseling were reconstructed from the data. Teachers of type A-1 understand counseling to be responsive support, teachers of type B-1 understand counseling to be feedback prompted by the teacher, and teachers of type B-2 understand counseling to be stressful conflict. These reconstructed concepts of counseling heighten awareness of ‘blind spots’ in the professionalism of teachers by shedding light on the need to qualify teachers: the empirical findings can serve as a basis for discussing the didactics of parent-teacher counseling in the context of specialist training for teachers.

Counseling; Documentary method; Teachers as counselors; Teacher training; Professionalism in teachers; Qualitative-reconstructive social research