Learning While Participating in a Malaysian School Community: Development of Counsellor Trainees
The purpose of this study was to understand learning experience encountered by counsellor trainees while participating in a Malaysian school community, particularly the development process. Qualitative methods involving a series of semi-structured interviews, journal writing, observation and review of related documents were employed with ten participants. The findings of the study revealed that perceptions and motivation as key issues in the development experienced by the counsellor trainees. The trainees indicated that they started their counselling practicum with different perceptions on new roles, new tasks and other people. There were negative and positive perceptions. Some trainees only had negative perceptions, other trainees had positive perceptions, however another group of trainees had positive and negative perceptions. Perception is very subjective. The trainees are unique. Despite this, the trainees’ main motives were to fulfil the university requirements. Performing the counselling practicum and being in the schools changed their perceptions and motivation because their strong concerns were to fulfil the university requirements. Being able to fulfil the required tasks contributed to their learning experience and promoted their development as school counsellors. However, learning experience of the counsellor trainees are very subjective. The way in which they experience the development through the learning experience is partly related to their understanding of their own perceptions and motivation.
Keywords: Learning through Participation, Malaysian Schools
Dr. Ruhani Mat Min
Senior Lecturer, Psychology and Counselling, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu