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Principal and School Counselor Collaboration Toward More Socially Just Schools

Abstract

Greater efforts are needed from educational stakeholders to recognize and disrupt educational inequities. Educators engaged in social justice-oriented practices seek to increase opportunity and achievement for all students, taking into account subgroup identities, such as race, gender, sexuality, ability, language, religion, and immigrant status. Collaboration between social justice-oriented school principals and school counselors has potential toward these ends due to the unique role of the school counselor. The school counselor is positioned to engage with students and families, address systemic inequities, and lend their expertise to school-wide decision-making teams. However, it is important that the school principal effectively communicate, collaborate, and create structures for the counselor’s work in this regard. When done effectively, this collaboration supports comprehensive school counseling. Through their collaboration toward social justice, principals and school counselors seek to eliminate systemic barriers to rigorous educational experiences for all students.

This chapter provides an overview of social justice leadership, and then is divided into six related sections. The discussion of principal–counselor collaboration for social justice is framed by critical theory. First, barriers that may inhibit collaboration between principals and counselors who promote social justice in schools are presented. Barriers to the school counselor’s ability to carry out student-centered and standards-based duties are largely due to a lack of principal knowledge about counselor roles, role diffusion which leads to ambiguity about the role of the counselor, and ineffective or absent communication between principals and school counselors. Second and third, an overview of the important roles held by principals and school counselors are explained. Fourth, key concepts for principal and counselor collaboration are explored. Opportunities for collaboration include developing and working out of a social justice identity, resource alignment to support the counselor role, principal–counselor communication about roles and meetings to discuss progress, counselor communication with staff about their role, and participation in school-wide leadership teams involved in data-based decision-making. Fifth, a discussion of the collaboration of principals and counselors for social justice in international contexts is interwoven throughout. The sixth section provides an alignment of the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) standards for educational leaders and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) standards as a basis for the collaborative work between principals and school counselors. The chapter ends with implications for research and practitioners.

Keywords

  • Principal–school counselor collaboration
  • Critical theory
  • Comprehensive school counseling
  • Social justice advocacy
  • Global awareness

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Correspondence to Kendra Lowery .

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Lowery, K., Boyland, L.G., Geesa, R.L., Kim, J., Quick, M.M., McDonald, K.M. (2019). Principal and School Counselor Collaboration Toward More Socially Just Schools. In: Papa, R. (eds) Handbook on Promoting Social Justice in Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74078-2_145-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74078-2_145-1

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-74078-2

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Chapter History

  1. Latest

    Principal and School Counselor Collaboration Toward More Socially Just Schools
    Published:
    22 May 2019

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74078-2_145-2

  2. Original

    Principal and School Counselor Collaboration Toward More Socially Just Schools
    Published:
    25 April 2019

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74078-2_145-1