Problem Statement: Comprehensive, developmental guidance and counseling programs are vital to the achievement of excellence in education for all students. The purpose of the guidance curriculum is to help all students develop basic life skills in the areas of personal/social, career planning, and academic development. Although the counselors’ responsibilities include organizing and implementing the guidance curriculum, the teachers who are supported by the school counselors are responsible for implementing the guidance curriculum within their classrooms. In Turkey, however, lack of appropriate training and lack of teachers’ knowledge were adressed as important problems in the field of guidance and counseling.
Purpose of Study: This study aims to examine the views of teachers working in primary schools and high schools on classroom guidance programs.
Method: The sample of the study included 209 teachers (130 female and 79 male) in primary and high schools in İzmir, Turkey. A qualitative study was conducted by interviewing Turkish primary and high school teachers about their involvement in guidance and counseling, their opinions about the effectiveness of guidance programs and having difficulties. A semi-structured interview was used with pre-designed questions posed to all interviewees as probing questions during the interview for clarification and elaboration. Content analysis was used to analyze the data.
Findings and Results: Fifty-three percent of the primary school teachers were willing to engage in classroom guidance activities. However, the majority of high school teachers (84.3%) were not willing to engage in classroom guidance activities, yet 85.6% of primary school teachers and 82.9% of high school teachers reported that classroom guidance activities are important for students. Also, the majority of both primary school teachers (72.7%) and high school teachers (84.3%) reported that they seek help from school counselors regarding classroom guidance activities. The most important help topics were program implementation and evaluation. Moreover, half of the primary school teachers (49.6%) reported that they need additional help with implementation of classroom guidance programs. This rate was higher for high school teachers (74.3%).
Conclusion and Recommendations: As a result, teachers have some difficulties when they are preparing and implementing classroom guidance programs. It is recommended that school counselors should conduct consultations with teachers on classroom guidance teaching, emphasizing the positive effects of teachers on student development, and in-service training sould be planned for teachers on the implementation and evaluation of classroom guidance programs.
Key words: Comprehensive developmental guidance program, teachers, guidance lesson, primary school, high school.