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Ellen M. Regan and John A. Ross
Toronto, OISE Press, 1991. 157pp, paper, $27.00
ISBN 0-7744-0376-4. CIP


Reviewed by Gail K. Lennon

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Professional Development Activities for the Reflective Consultant:: A Manual defeats its own purpose in its very title. How can one produce a "manual" for responding to the identified needs of a school or school board? At its best, this response should be a personal and individual pursuit.

The book provides a very structured "Consultant Profile Fold Out," which it then proceeds to ignore completely in its presenta­tion of lock-step professional development activities for the consultant. One of the earliest activities, "The Consultant Time Use Survey," requires the consultant to spend 30 to 60 minutes laboriously poring over a series of thirty questions, checking off six columns per question for the simple purpose of deciding "how do I spend the majority of my time?" and "what things do I consider most important in my job?" Wouldn't the mere posing of these two questions accomplish the same task?

In its defense, the book does present some interesting scenarios of interactions with various school personnel. These might serve the consultant in looking at avenues from which he or she receives requests and how best to deal with each.

The activities planned by the manual for use of these materials are, once again, contrived and time consuming. While the posed philosophy of reflection-practice-reflection is a worthy one, the manner in which the material is proffered (in manual form) detracts from the consultant's role in responding to identified needs on an individual basis.

The advertising promotion accompanying this book promises that "the materials will be valuable to the consultant with school or district-wide curriculum responsibilities." While they may be of interest for background reading by a novice consultant, I hardly think the materials and activities will prove either practical or worthy of reflection. As a "how to" handbook for aspiring consultants, this book simply misses the mark.

Gail K. Lennon, Walkerton District Secondary School, Walkerton, Ont.

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