The pastoral role of the lecturer in colleges of education.
This study investigated the nature and extent of the pastoral role of lecturers at two colleges of education in KwaZulu-Natal. A questionnaire was constructed based on the published findings of Easton and Van Laar (1995) and of Hart (1996). The sample comprised 32 lecturers at College 1 and 42 at College 2. This was a response rate of 62 per cent. The following issues were investigated: the perception of lecturers of the importance of and need for providing pastoral care to students, the types of problems on which students have been counselled by lecturers, their confidence in dealing with particular problems, the importance they attach to certain helping skills, and their use of counselling skills. The data was analysed statistically and a comparison made between College 1, College 2 and the published findings of Easton and Van Laar (1995) and Hart (1996) where applicable, using appropriate methods. All of the respondents stated that during the previous year they had "counselled" students on problems, the most frequently encountered being financial and health problems, examination anxiety and lack of confidence. More than 70 per cent of the respondents considered helping students with problems to be an important and valuable part of their work, but more than 75 per cent were dissatisfied with the help they gave and less than 20 per cent were very confident in dealing with problems. The need for trained counsellors was expressed as well as for training in counselling skills to be given to lecturers. Given that the pastoral role of the lecturer has been neglected, recommendations for further research were made.