University of Limerick
Holmes_2020__Investigation_dual_role.pdf (493.86 kB)

An investigation into the challenges associated with the dual role of guidance counsellor and subject teacher in the post-primary setting, and how these may impact on the identity and wellbeing of the individual in the role.

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posted on 2021-01-25, 15:40 authored by Sinead Holmes
The main aim of this research was to investigate how working in the dual role of subject specific classroom teacher and guidance counsellor impacts on the identity and the wellbeing of the individual in that role. This research focus’ specifically on the challenges faced and the supports available to those who work in this role. This research used an interpretivist paradigm to undertake this qualitative research. A convenience sample of six semi-structured interviews, with fully qualified teachers and guidance counsellors, currently working in the dual role were undertaken as the method of data collection. Data was analysed and synthesised using the constant comparative method followed by theme mapping. The findings of this research suggest that there are many challenges faced by the professionals working in this dual role in post-primary school in Ireland. The everyday challenges encountered in the dual role include time constraints, timetabling difficulties, and relationships with students and staff alike. The access of the individuals to well-being and self-care supports emerged as an ongoing issue for those in the role. The findings show that the impacts of the removal of the ex-quota status of guidance counsellors in post-primary allocation (DES 2012) are still being felt in practice today. This research concludes that the dual role is creating undeniable challenges for those working in it, and in turn, is having a notable impact on the identity and wellbeing of these individuals. There are certainly steps which need to be taken in both policy and practice with an aim of negating these impacting factors as experienced by the participants in this research study.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

McCormack, Orla





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