Educational guidance is a process of assisting the individual student to reach optimum educational development. It is a sort of guidance that is only rendered to the student community.
Educational Guidance helps the students to make right choices, as well as make adjustments in relation to schools, curriculum, courses and school life which is contribute to the all-round development.
Educational guidance, in short, answers the following questions:
What is a student best suited for?
What type of education will reveal his inborn capacities and help him to develop them?
What is the purpose of his learning and study?
Definitions of Educational Guidance
In the words of Brewer, “Educational guidance is a Conscious effort to assist in the intellectual growth of an individual.”
Arthur A. Jones defined Educational Guidance “as the assistance given to pupils in their choices and adjustment with relation to schools, curriculum, courses and school life.”
Ruth Strang regards Educational Guidance “as something intended to aid the individual in choosing an appropriate program and in making progress in it.”
According to Myers, “Educational Guidance is a process concerned with bringing about between a pupil with his distinctive characteristics on the one hand, and different opportunities and requirements on the other, a favourable setting for the pupil’s development or education.”
For Dunsmoor and Miller, Educational Guidance is primarily concerned with the student’s success in his educational career. It relates to the student’s adjustment to school and to the preparation and carrying out of suitable educational plans in keeping with his educational needs, abilities and career interests.”
Need of Educational Guidance
The need of educational guidance can be properly discussed in the light of above discussion. However, we can summarize the reasons for the justification of such guidance at the present juncture in the following way:
1. Individual Differences. Had there been no individual differences among the students, the need of guidance services would have never arisen. Guidance is needed because of individuals differ in intellectual abilities, interests, motivation and also in their levels of aspirations. To cater to the needs of individual students, educational guidance is needed to be imparted in schools.
2. Need of Checking the Wastage and Stagnation in Education: We find that there is a huge wastage and stagnation in education. Many students fail repeatedly and remain in the same class for a number of years. They feel difficulty in learning or acquiring some or the other piece of knowledge and skill. It leads to the wastage of human as well as national resources. Such wastage and stagnation can only be checked through a suitable program of educational guidance.
3. The Need of Making Right Educational Choices: Almost every system of education is based on two assumptions. The first is that every student should strive for maximum self-development and the other is that every student should make his place in the society as its useful member. These two assumptions imply that the school and community activities of a child should be based on some definite pattern. Educational guidance services must assist the child to achieve this end by way of making correct choices. The students, while taking education, are, often, confronted with the problem of making selection or choice. There are diversified courses where they have to make selection of the subjects or activities. The wrong choice of a subject or activity may doom their career and future. Therefore, they should be helped by guidance in making right choice with regard to subjects or courses of study, co-curricular activities, methods of learning style of speaking, writing and reading and books and other literature for study etc.
4. The Need of Proper Educational Adjustment: Adjustment to prevailing educational environment is essential for the proper educational growth and well being of children. The child enters the school directly from his home environment. Here he finds a formal environment of education and gets experiences that are quite novel and strange to him. He needs to be adjusted to these educational situations and environmental conditions. He has to read, write, speak and participate in the learning process-Drill work and home assignments have to be completed. Participation in co-curricular activities is required. Regularity and punctuality in educational process is to be observed. Sometimes he has to derive benefit from the new techniques and devices of teaching. He has to prepare himself for the desired tests and evaluation. In this way the child faces so many adjustment problems with regard to his educational environment and therefore needs proper educational guidance.
5. Decision of Further Education: Students in the present system of education rush to colleges or universities for high education irrespective of their aptitude for higher studies. Many of them do so because they do not have appropriate knowledge of other professional courses or trainings. There is a great need to provide proper guidance with regards to the suitability of the individual to pursue higher education.
6. Making the Grade. Another important area where educational guidance is needed is the area of giving students help to progress satisfactorily in the course chosen. In our country, a large number of student fail in schools, colleges and universities because of lack of educational guidance.
7. Education of Exceptional Children. Generally in our schools, the teacher proceeds with the average student in mind with the result that gifted, slow learner, deaf and mentally and physically handicapped, are not benefitted by classroom teaching. Educational guidance is most essential for different categories of exceptional children, if we are interested in the welfare of the individual and society.
How to Impart Educational Guidance to Pupils
The guidance worker by means of the various tests, personal interviews etc., tries to find out the students mental capacities, interests aptitudes, etc., and thus suggest courses that he or she is capable of pursuing. The process of educational guidance, like the general pattern of guidance process, involves three important phases:
a) Collecting Information or Data: In the first phase it is required to collect the full information or data regarding the people. The information like the following can be collected for this purpose:
Details concerning his health and physique
His intelligence and other cognitive abilities
Details concerning his scholastic attainments
His interests, aptitudes, attitudes and other personality characteristics
Family history and background
Details regarding his social and emotional development
Details regarding the previous school attended.
Details regarding his company and friendships.
Various techniques like personality tests, achievement tests, intelligence tests, aptitude tests, attitude scales, interviews, questionnaires, rating scales, inventories, observations etc. can be employed for collecting these information or data.
b) Rendering Guidance: The next phase concerns with the work of actual guidance imparted to the needed one. It is rather a difficult task. It requires the complete analysis of the information gathered about an individual. On these bases certain conclusions are derived about his personality makeup and adjustment. These conclusions further provide a base for making decisions about the nature of guidance to be given to the individual in question. For example he is guided to select a course on a method of learning or a mode of study that suits his individuality as well as his peculiar environment.
c) Follow up Program: The work of guidance worker does not stop with the rendering of guidance but it requires some more efforts on his part in the form of some follow-up program. Under this program the progress made by the child is evaluated. On this basis, required steps if necessary are taken for giving him any further guidance or necessary changes are introduced in the previous guidance program. Under every situation, it is to be seen that the child becomes able to solve his educational problem-development or adjustment. It happens, then and only then we can think about the success of a guidance program.