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Cutting Class in High School: Counsellor-Student Interactions and Negotiations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 February 2016

Angela Nyawira Khaminwa*
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts Boston
R. Kirk Fallis*
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts Boston
Susan Opotow*
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts Boston
*
University of Massachusetts, Boston Boston, MA 02135 -3393, USA
University of Massachusetts, Boston Boston, MA 02135 -3393, USA
University of Massachusetts, Boston Boston, MA 02135 -3393, USA

Abstract

This paper reports findings from a qualitative study conducted with public high school students and guidance counsellors in the north eastern United States of America to examine how class cutting is understood and addressed. Our findings indicate that interactions between students and guidance counsellors are similar to negotiations. These negotiations, however, are implicit rather than explicit. Explicit negotiations offer guidance counsellors a valuable tool for collaboratively exploring cutting with all relevant parties, including students, teachers, administrators, and parents. Explicit negotiations can examine underlying issues and conflicts precipitating cutting, the social meaning that cutting has for this student, desired outcomes, impediments to these outcomes, and the negotiation process itself. Not only can explicit negotiations aid guidance counsellors learning about and responding to cutting more effectively, but they also can model effective, collaborative problem solving for students and the larger school community.

Type
Interventions
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1999

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