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An exploration of the guidance counsellor’s perspective of smartphone usage amongst adolescents in post-primary schools
Howley, Úna
The overall aim of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of Guidance Counsellors on smartphone usage amongst adolescents in post-primary schools. In particular this study focuses on the perceived effects of smartphone usage in adolescence and investigates these effects and consequences of smartphone usage for this cohort. The researcher considers that a gap for such interpretivist research exists as there appears to be limited research on smartphone usage in adolescence thus far in post-primary education. The topic is important to understand in order to support the wellbeing of young people in this proverbial global village. This study explores the prevalent issues in post-primary secondary schools concerning smartphones and how their use may be impacting both the school teaching environment and the work of the guidance counsellor (Bimrose et al. 2015; Cotter and McGilloway 2011; Ging and O’Higgins Norman 2016). An interpretive paradigm was employed using semi-structured interviews to collect the information on the perceptions of seven qualified professionals working in the post-primary sector. A thematic approach identified, analysed and reported patterns within the data collected (Braun and Clarke, 2006). The research findings identify the possible negative effects on the students’ wellbeing and learning. They also highlight that increased investment is necessary in training of safe smartphone practices and cybersafety for all stakeholders, including students, staff and parents. More concrete opportunities to continuous professional development (CPD) in digital literacy is required. The findings also identify the need to move learning beyond the physical classroom and into the global digital classroom. The research findings conclude that parents should consider setting stricter boundaries around time limits and privacy controls on smartphone devices. Finally, a number of recommendations are put forward to inform policy, practice and research.
Keyword(s): smartphone; guidance counselllors; parents; adolescents; post-primary school
Publication Date:
Type: Master thesis (research)
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Publisher(s): University of Limerick
Supervisor(s): Hearne, Lucy
First Indexed: 2018-01-25 06:48:40 Last Updated: 2018-01-25 06:48:40