The counselling practicum is a twelve week practical placement that needs to be completed by the counsellor trainees prior to completion of their training programme. This practicum is a learning journey because the trainees are learning to become school counselors. They are learning to apply their theoretical knowledge with actual clients. The trainees perform their counselling practicum in schools, which have their own established system. Ten counsellor trainees were involved in this study. In trying to capture the trainees’ experiences, a series of interviews is conducted during the twelve weeks, at the beginning, middle and at the end of the practicum. Weekly journal writings were also used to record their experiences. The observation of the researcher and a review of related documents are parts of the data gathering process. The trainees reveal that their experiences are affected by the school ethos. Their stories reveal a sense of struggle alongside a sense of achievement. Their stories highlighted differences in school ethos which affected the way in which school counselling and counsellor trainees were accepted or rejected. Their ability to learn during their learning journey through the practicum was affected by the extent to which the school embraced them as developing professionals in a community of practice.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology and Counselling, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
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