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Face-to-face and at a distance: the mediation of guidance and counselling through the new technologies

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The hitherto widely-held assumption that the counselling interaction should be conducted face-to-face, while other activities within the overall guidance process could be supported by computer, is re-examined. Recent computer-mediated information and communications technologies are reviewed, and their implications for guidance and counselling as a whole are explored. While fears are still current that human relations will be mechanised through the use of the information and communications technologies, it is contended that human relations will be changed but not necessarily diminished. Comparisons are drawn with the ways in which open and distance learning have brought a re-examination of what is understood to be a â–˜realâ–™ teaching interaction. It is suggested that practitioners in the fields of guidance and counselling must similarly be prepared to manage radical change.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Education, Open University in East Anglian Region, Cintra House, 12 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1PF, UK

Publication date: 1999-02-01

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