Career Education: Pedagogical Approaches within the Context of Alberta

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  • Contemplating a career is an important life decision that teens and adults think about during high school or post-secondary education. This personal decision is often difficult and can be based on a number of factors such as one’s interests, life experiences, skills, knowledge, aptitudes or influences Savickas (2011b). Specific influences on an individual’s career choice may include family, friends, teachers, school counsellors, professionals in the field or individuals in a community. Because there are a large number of factors and influences that a person takes into consideration when making the ‘right choice’, the need for career education and counselling is particularly important as their chosen profession may serve the individual for the rest of their life. The research encapsulated within this paper addresses how school administrators, counsellors and teachers can pedagogically approach career education so it is effective and meaningful for high school students. A literature review is undertaken with varying themes to inform schools and professional and includes: various influences on student’s occupational choices; the role of the school counsellor and teacher in assisting with career selection; ways in which technology can help with recommendations; how schools can support special needs students; and, other considerations related to career education. Based on the literature, a discussion is provided along with recommendations and approaches for high schools as it pertains to an Alberta perspective to inform best practices. The project culminates with the introduction, function and rationale of the “Careers Subway Map” which was created as a tool to be used in conjunction with the research in this project. The subway map is a visual of occupations that correspond to specific high school subjects or Career and Technology (CTS) clusters. Each stop or destination along a particular subject line is represented by a specific career with a symbol to represent the type of education required and is situated within various zones to represent the number of years for post-secondary or training required. The “Careers Subway Map” is to create a visual that is interesting to view and to engage students regarding possible occupations based on subject interest. The intent is that this research and visual map will provide guidance for schools to help inform their pedagogical practices towards career education and guidance.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International