Personal and Group Professional Identity in the 21st Century Case Study: The School Counseling Profession
- Einat Heled
- Nitza Davidovitch
The current study focuses on the concept of professional identity in the school counseling profession, its definition and measurement. According to the definition in this study, the concept of “professional identity” is divided in two: personal professional identity, which is the practitioner’s sense of belonging to and solidarity with the profession, and group professional identity, which includes the features attributed to the profession, both by those who belong to it and by those who do not practice it, and makes it possible to discern between professions.
The school counseling profession, occupied mainly by women, is contending with a lack of clarity regarding its role definition, role boundaries, and demands. Therefore, despite the change in the status of the profession in recent years, various issues impede the group professional identity of school counseling and the personal profession identity of its practitioners. This study is the first to examine the professional identity of school counselors on two levels: personal and group, among school counselors in Israel.
The study included 174 school counselors who completed two professional identity scales constructed for the purpose of the study. Each scale underwent factor analysis, and a significant association was found between the two scales and the factors they comprised. The research findings indicate that the personal professional identity of school counselors is affected by their group professional identity, and vice versa.
The research findings indicate the need to distinguish in future studies between personal and group professional identity, both in the school counseling profession and in other professions, particularly in a world characterized by professional mobility where current professions will become irrelevant while others will be in demand and there may be a need to define the personal and group professional identity of workers.
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- Grace LinEditorial Assistant