I’ve just been reading Tony Watts’ chapter on ‘Socio-political ideologies in guidance’ in Rethinking Career Education and Guidance. In this article Watts sets out a typology of guidance ideologies that I found extremely useful. Watts sets up two axes based on where the focus of the intervention is.
|Focus on society||Focus on the individual|
|Change||Radical (social change)||Progressive (individual change)|
|Status quo||Conservative (social control)||Liberal (non-directive)|
So approaches to guidance can be divided up by whether you are focused on the social context or the individual and on whether you want to change the thing that you are focused on. So in detail this leaves you with the following categories.
- Liberal: Guidance that is focused on the individual and pursues a non-directive approach. Individuals are supported to make decisions, but their decision making is not challenged.
- Conservative: Guidance that serves the current needs of society e.g. matching the labour force to capitals needs. The process of guidance is about steering people into places that they can be socially and economically useful.
- Progressive: Guidance that encourages and supports individuals to exceed the role that they and those around them might have imagined. This might involve challenging their sense of what they are good at or fit for.
- Radical: Guidance that encourages individuals to challenge the social and economic conditions that are constraining their choice. This might move people beyond thinking about what they can do and get them thinking about why they and those like them can’t do other things.
I think that I’ll save my thoughts on where I sit and what I think guidance’s role should be for another post. I found this a very useful conceptualisation of the possible roles. Does it work for everyone else?
Where would you put yourself?