Social justice: do Canadian school counsellors play a role

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Skelton, Shelley
McBride, Dawn L.
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Alberta Teachers' Association
It is our purpose to report the results of a nationwide survey of school counsellors regarding their current level of understanding of social justice, perceptions of marginalization in Canadian schools and different forms of advocacy within this profession. The role of school counsellors in Canada continues to evolve as school counselling becomes more professionalized. Advocating for marginalized student populations often falls under the unofficial responsibilities and ethical role of the school counsellor. This study found that the majority of school counsellors engage in a number of different forms of social justice. However, their conceptualizations of social justice and marginalization as well as their level of engagement in social justice vary considerably. The prevailing goal of school counsellors is “to have a positive impact on schools and communities” (Ockerman and Mason 2012, 7). One way to generate such an impact is through promoting social justice. However, no research has reported Canadian school counsellors’ descriptions of their roles and responsibilities with respect to social justice activities. To address this gap, we undertook a national survey to determine if and how school counsellors in Canada are involved in social justice issues. In this paper, we define social justice and describe the skills necessary to promote it, describe the survey methodology and results, and discuss the implications of this research.
Permission to archive final published version granted by publisher.
School counsellors , Marginalization , Social justice activities , Marginalized students , Social justice initiatives
Skelton, S., & McBride, D. L. (2016). Social justice: Do Canadian school counsellors play a role? Canadian School Counselling Review, 1(1), 20-28