The International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) has just released an interesting new statement on Social Justice in Educational and Career Guidance and Counselling. It is well worth reading and argues that increasing equality of outcomes for all groups in society should be a core professional value of career counsellors.
I think that this is a useful debate to have, but I also think that we should be more ambitious. The IAEVG’s statement is essentially a plea for a meritocratic society in which individuals’ place in the hierachy is not determined by their birth. I think that we should be also challenging the hierachy to try and make the world more equal. In fact I think that it is only by changing some of the social structures that the aspiration of equality of outcome can be achieved. In effect this means thinking about how career guidance can contribute to both social mobility and to social change.
Tony Watts talked about this distinction in his article Socio-political ideologies in guidance (which I’ve written about before). In it he distinguishes between progressive guidance (which is essentially what the IAEVG is arguing for e.g. social justice and social mobility) and radical guidance (which seeks a more fundamental change to society). In this I’m lining up with the radical position, although I welcome IAEVGs move towards the progressive position nonetheless.
What do others think of this statement?