NATIONAL GUIDANCE RESEARCH FORUM
one of his last contributions to our work part of a long
list of valuable work the deeply-missed John Killeen observes...
little has been done in the UK to deepen our understanding of clients,
either from a demographic and life situation perspective or from
a career decision-making perspective. These kinds of knowledge undoubtedly
exist, in an untested manner, as the more-or-less tacit professional
knowledge of practitioners, but the mechanisms which might articulate
them into systematic research are lacking in the UK
Killeen, and others,
Career Planning and Career Guidance: Mapping the Research Base.
Cambridge: National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling,
forthcoming National Guidance Research Forum - and, in particular,
its website - is where we will soon be able to make a start on the
overdue task of articulating practitioner knowledge to systematic
article outlines the main features of the site. It also addresses
issues that it raises for the relationship between research and
National Guidance Research Forum
runs it and what is it for?
National Guidance Research Forum is a government-funded network
operated by a consortium comprising...
The Warwick Institute for Employment Research;
> The Institute of Career Guidance;
> The Guidance Council;
> The Centre for Guidance Studies;
> The National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling.
is not indefinite, and - at some point - the forum will need to
be able financially to sustain itself. Its purposes are to:
identify gaps in current knowledge;
> identify keys areas for enquiry;
> formulate ways of investigating them.
is called a research forum; and the consortium acknowledges
that research effectiveness will be better served by bringing it
closer to practice.
are the aims and who is it for?
website, currently in development, will support an on-line community.
It is being designed to identify, explore and attempt to tackle
the core problems and growing complexity of guidance practice. It
means to do so by developing a learning base which is shared between
practice, research and policy. The community is, then, a way of
keeping each in touch with all.
The site will be open to anyone with an interest in guidance. The
sponsors use the term guidance in a broad sense; so
it covers much of the ground indicated by The Cafés
use of the term careers work.
The site is being designed specifically to be useful and usable
> policy makers;
> students and trainees;
> tutors and trainers.
In taking part, visitors will make contacts with colleagues and
partners - from across this expanding field of activity.
will it work?
The site will give voice to a range of different sorts of contribution:
sharing experience, expressing views, arguing issues, and bringing
in useful information.
Six focuses for these discussions are in development:
> the role of guidance in life-long learning,
> international comparisons,
> quality assurance, performance management and impact analysis,
> learning styles for lifelong learning,
> equal opportunities.
the issues so-far used in testing the Forums interactive potential,
are the following...
guidance practitioners need to wake up to the idea that people will
seek guidance from a range of different sources, both informal and
formal: and may well make very effective decisions without ever
darkening the door of a professional careers guidance worker?
Recent documents have criticised guidance for being biased
and suggest that it could, and should, be used to combat occupational
stereotyping and address skills shortages in the labour market (e.g.
getting girls and women into education and training for non-traditional
occupational areas like science engineering and technology).
What relationship, if any, is there between quality assurance
and quality assurance systems, and performance management and impact
Once individuals understand how they learn most effectively,
this can be a turning point in their confidence and willingness
to engage in lifelong learning. Through playing to their strengths
and developing weaker areas people are able to move far closer to
fulfilling their true potential - not only in learning, but in life.
Student Services Guidance keep sending the wrong students,
students who dont really understand what the course is all
about and students who are not particularly up to it; no wonder
there are so many dropping out.
are also areas of the site where visitors will be able to start
new lines of discussion, make contributions, put up articles and
pose further questions.
Discussions are monitored, and if things go quiet - NGRF
animators will occasionally step in with provocative ideas. Where
any discussion offers some degree of resolution, it is edited into
a coherent and compacted form. It then becomes part of growing collection
of accounts of key issues and concerns for practice and research.
The site is, in this and other ways, developing an up-datable resource.
There are also resources on occupational trends and a data-base
of available research.
for Practice and Research
There is an issue about what distinctive authority practitioners
can bring to the research discourse. In order to see what sort of
authority that might be, it helps to review research in terms of
its inputs, processes and outcomes. We may, then, be able to see
where practitioners have useful things to say about research.