Students' concerns, their causes, and school guidance : students' and teachers' perceptions
This research investigated the perceptions which Hong Kong Chinese teachers and students have of students' concerns and adjustment, causes of their difficulties, and consequent views on school guidance. A two phase study was conducted. In Phase One, Preliminary Study One identified schools according to their guidance focus, thus determining the school sample for the Main Study. Preliminary Study Two, consisted of in-depth interviews with teachers and students on the research areas: students' concerns and difficulties and their causes, and consequent views on the whole area of guidance. The data obtained formed the basis for constructing the survey questionnaires. Phase Two, the Main Study, consisted of a survey followed by interviews with teachers and students on student adjustment and maladjustment. 2103 secondary students in Years I to 3, and 267 teachers, from ten secondary schools, took part in the survey. Seventeen focused group interviews with students and individual interviews with 24 teachers were conducted in another two schools. Findings revealed that both students and teachers had similar systems of belief about students' concerns and adjustment, causes of difficulties, and school guidance. The individual beliefs Of students and teachers reflected the shared beliefs of the school and society to which they belonged. Mismatch between students' and teachers' perceptions was more of a divergence of views than a disparity, due in some measure to students' and teachers' different social identities and to their protection of group self-esteem. Furthermore, significant gender, age and school banding effects on students' perception were found, whereas teachers' perception was less influenced by their personal and school background. Moscovici's theory of social representation was employed as a framework in discussing the findings. Theoretical and practical implications of this research are discussed.