Cross-cultural counselling and assessment : a survey of current policies, practices and training needs in Saskatchewan
The policies, practices and training needs of Saskatchewan guidance counsellors and educational psychologists with respect to cross-cultural counselling and assessment were investigated. The response rate to a mailed questionnaire was 55% (n 53) for counsellors and 48% (n = 22) for educational psychologists. The data were analyzed via a series of frequency counts and parametric statistics. In the absence of provincial guidelines, ethnic minority students are administered the same standardized intelligence tests as majority students, no modifications are made to compensate for cultural differences, but cautionary notes regarding the precision of scores are included in the final report. The classroom teacher is responsible for many aspects of the testing, assessment and placement procedures, and the parents are consulted throughout the process. Counsellors and educational psychologists have positive opinions towards cultural pluralism and recognize that ethnic minority students have unique problems and special counselling needs in adjusting to the present education system. They feel, however, inadequately prepared to help these students. The vast majority of counsellors and educational psychologists are interested in receiving cross-cultural training. Their preference for training is in the form of in-service workshops sponsored by their provincial professional associations (SGCA and SEPA) and by their local school as inadequate in the nine competency areas identified by the American Psychological Association as being important for pupil support personnel working with ethnic minority students and believe the post-secondary institutions must affirm their responsibility in the field of multicultural education by ensuring that counselling and educational psychology trainees acquire the knowledge, skills and practical training required to function effectively in a multicultural society. Recommendations for action and suggestions for future research are presented.
Multicultural education, Guidance counselling, Ethnic minorities
Master of Education (M.Ed.)