12ReferencesBaggerly J. & Jenkins, W. (2009). The effectiveness of child-centred play therapy on developmental and diagnostic factors in children who are homeless. International Journal of Play Therapy.*Bennathan M. and Boxall, M (1998). The Boxall profile: a guide to effective intervention in the education of pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties: handbook for teachers. Association of workers for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. Jenkins, W. (2007). Evaluation of Nana's Program 2006-07. Agency Report.Jenkins, W. W, Ruter, E.F., Rock, P, (2008). Exploring structured supervision in prescriptive play therapy. Manuscript Submitted for publication, Nana's Children MHF, Phoenix, Arizona. Sutton, A. (2007). Play therapy and children who are homeless. Play Therapy, 3(4), 12-13.Schafer, C. & Drewes (2010), A School Based Play Therapy (second edition). Wiley and Sons. PrimaryPlay Therapy - A Proven Support continuedNCGE NEWS Winter 2011Nana's Model was founded by Ana Maria Sutton, MA, Founder and Director of Clinical Services of Nana's Children MHF, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, please refer to www.nanaschildren.orgFollowing ten years of delivery of play therapy services in schools, Nana's is seeking to become a licensed Mental Health Provider, nationally in the US, and within the State of Arizona. Ana will present once again at an international Play Therapy conference in Dublin in June, 2012. Find out more by visiting http://www.childrenstherapycentre.ie/ and http://www.playingitbetter.com/CLICK toLINKCLICK toLINKAuthorAna Sutton, Director, Nana's Children MHF
13NCGE NEWS Winter 2011Post PrimaryAction Research - Why Bother?'In their daily work guidance counsellors find themselves dealing with a myriad of issues encapsulating the personal, vocational and educational aspects of students' lives. This broad exposure and involvement places guidance professionals and their expertise in a unique position where they are involved in a spectrum of activities and tasks such as:. Counselling and supporting students. Conducting career interviews. Facilitating subject choice and change of subjects. Guidance classes. Organising and bringing students to career events. Liaising with staff, management and parents. Learning support for students. The provision of pastoral care. Organising work experience. Assessment and aptitude testsIf in all of this activity, you as a guidance counsellor have at times paused and asked 'What am I doing and I wonder if I could do it better?' then action research is a methodology which will help you to not only answer this question but in so doing will help to improve your practice. Let me try to explain using an example.Action research addresses a concern you may have so let's say you have previously taken students to careers exhibitions or open days and you now wonder or question if there are ways in which the experience might be improved upon so as to maximise the benefit or learning students obtain from attending these events. Posing such a question is in essence asking a research question and is the start of action research. The next step is to find out your students' views on the events to see if they correspond to yours and if they have any suggestions as to how to improve the experience. This could be done by either directly asking students or giving them a short questionnaire. On the basis of these findings you might decide to change what you have been doing in the past; you might give or amend a worksheet for students to complete, spend more or less time at the event, help them to prepare in a more focused manner or ask them to convey back to their classmates what they learned from the event.The very title and the words 'action research' may already be enough to have you skipping to the next piece or page of NCGE News thinking why bother reading this but if you have persisted this far then Peter Hyde encourages you to read a little further. Try not to be dissuaded by any less-than-positive connotations you may have around the words 'action research', 'whole-school' and 'guidance planning'. As a guidance counsellor his practice has benefited from understanding and using action research. In this article, he contends that not only is action research of practical use but also affords a way of strengthening the professionalism, contribution and expertise of guidance counsellors.