Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling
For a Special Issue on
Praxis in guidance and counselling: new frontiers
31 October 2023
Special Issue Editor(s)
iCeGS, University of Derby, UK
University of Warwick, IER, UK
Dublin City University, Ireland
Maynooth University, Ireland
Praxis in guidance and counselling: new frontiers
Decades of scholarship, research, and practice have positioned the field of guidance and counselling to continue exploring differing theoretical and cultural world views. Guidance and counselling approaches are configured in complementary ways. They each embrace theoretical, ideological, and methodological perspectives in a move towards newly evolving discourse that often critiques and challenges the ‘status quo’. While academics are frequently engaged in research activities and subsequent dissemination of results through publication, all too often they occur without student and/or practitioner involvement. Contemporary expectations suggest that practitioners will be active contributors to their discipline’s evidence base, but many find it difficult to prioritise research involvement given the gap between day-to-day service delivery and notions of scholarly pursuit. In this Special Issue, we are keen to explore the problem of the “praxis gap,” which can be understood as the epistemological space between academic and practitioner discourses.
Praxis is a philosophical concept in which learning is realised through the process of action, reflection, and change. The word praxis is Greek for “practice,” “action,” or “doing.” It was first described by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who considered it one of the three basic attributes of humans. New and emerging concepts help to theorise how professional guidance and counselling can contribute to practice change, by fostering praxis and critical praxis, and gaining a better understanding of how system frameworks operate in differing parts of the world. The scholar Paulo Freire noted it is not enough for people to come together in dialogue to gain knowledge of their social reality. Instead, they must act together upon their environment in order critically to reflect upon their reality and so transform it through further action and reflexive practice (Cunliffe, 2016). In essence, the process is dialectical - moving from action to reflection and from reflection to new action.
Guidance and counselling theories provide an opportunity for reflection so that the students, practitioners, managers, and leaders can associate their actual work activities with the concepts formulated in the field. This gives meaning to the actions and to the evaluation of the practice. Understanding the potential of the theoretical support provided by the theories offers opportunities for didactic scenarios and to use its transformation power in subsequent practice-based actions. Praxis can (and should) become a practical process and that, when applied to guidance and counselling, this changes, reshapes and allows individuals and groups to work together and discover new meanings (or assert existing understandings). Theoretically influenced by the work of scholars who advocate for co-construction of meaning (inter alia; Mc Leod, 2017; Savickas, 2016; Hermans & Hermans-Jansen, 1995; McMahon & Patton, 2018) we wish to encourage greater efforts between academics and practitioners to co-create new frontiers of knowledge in guidance and counselling.
As we begin to question the scientifically driven epistemologies as the grounding for guidance and counselling, we can also consider the pursuit of more participatory, action-driven, feminist, multicultural, socio-ecological, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (LGTB+), political perspectives. We have become acutely aware of the praxis gap and how it is impacted by, and impacts on, the ways in which academic and practitioner communities define and approach their work, including the co-production of academic publications. By putting the spotlight on praxis this can strengthen both academic inquiry and professional practice in the supervision and learning to mentor sphere.
Clearly there are many different forms, understandings, and applications of the term praxis. This Special Issue will examine some of the tensions and the nexus that exist in this regard. The aim is to contribute to address gaps that exists within different discourses of research and practice in guidance and counselling.
We welcome proposals for innovative co-construction of knowledge between academics and practitioners. Typical questions requiring answers are the following:
- How can contemporary guidance and counselling theory and praxis help promote wellbeing?
- How can guidance and counselling be reconfigured to contribute to success in addressing inequality?
- How can practitioners be nurtured and supported to develop evidence-based approaches in their work?
- How can obvious gaps in theory and practice be addressed through co-construction of meaning?
- How has technology positively contributed to facilitating building effective practitioner client relationships?
- How has the pandemic contributed to the evolution of guidance and counselling?
We thus look forward to receiving thought-provoking, constructive contributions that extend across the spectrum of research methodologies – manuscripts that deal with theoretical and practical issues and that report on research from a quantitative, a qualitative, a mixed-methods, or an integrated qualitative and quantitative perspective.
Manuscript proposals should include the manuscript title, an abstract comprising 300-400 words, authors’ full names and affiliations, as well as the corresponding author’s contact details and should be submitted through ScholarOne by 31st October 2023. Please select 'Praxis in guidance and counselling: new frontiers' when submitting your paper.
Once a proposal has been considered, the guest editor will e-mail you the BJGC guidelines document as well as other relevant details. Submitted manuscripts will undergo a formal peer review process. The anticipated publication date of this Special Issue is February 2024.