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Title: Professional identity of school counsellors in Hong Kong primary schools
Author: Shek, Mabel
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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Listening to a school counsellor's story of how she decided to leave the profession stimulated the author to embark on a process of narrative inquiry in order to understand the experience of school counsellors in a changing educational landscape. The research investigates how experienced primary school counsellors in Hong Kong have constructed and reconstructed their professional identities within this historical, social and cultural context. It aims to engender critical discussion of the complexities of educational reform and the influence of embedded Chinese cultural values on the development of professional identity and interaction with other professionals. The similar but unique stories of four participants, collected from individual narrative interviews and a reflecting team process (RTP), are re-presented within different themes to show how a common context emerges. This study found that the participants went through a cyclical process with four stages: conceptualisation, internalisation, clarification and renewal to develop their professional identity. The embedded Chinese values of harmony, superior-subordinate relationship and high power distance affected the participants' self-defined professional role, perception of professional autonomy and decision and practice in the educational reform context. In addition, the author scrutinises her own assumptions and beliefs and intertwines her reflective stories to add a voice that makes the journey of this research more transparent to the reader. In doing so she invites readers to recall and reflect on their own experiences, as resonated by the text, to form a polyphony of voices. In concluding this study, the author reflects on her journey through narrative inquiry, the trajectory of professional identity development and the contextual influences on this process. This increased understanding has enhanced her awareness of her own assumptions and beliefs, and contributed to changes in her pedagogical approach to the counselling training programme. This journey offers a space for methodological development of narrative inquiry in the local context as well as significant insights into the implementation of educational reform and the deliberation of how culture and counselling may interact in future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available