Introduction to Career Education
A person’s career is considered their “journey” through life, and the Career Education curriculum offers students the opportunity to pursue this journey in personally meaningful and goal-oriented ways. Career-life development with intent is the ongoing process of self-discovery, growth in competence, and learning from experiences in educational, work-related, and personal life contexts.
The Career Education curriculum supports students in becoming successful, educated citizens by helping them learn how to effectively manage their life journey toward preferred future possibilities. This area of learning requires students to identify and develop their personal interests, passions, and competencies. Students reflect on learning experiences in school and community, build confidence through their contributions, and explore multiple career-life roles and choices. The curriculum fosters lifelong learning, beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through to graduation and beyond.
Features of the Career Education curriculum
The Career Education curriculum:
- promotes a holistic view of the student, providing opportunities to explore identity, purpose, and well-being in diverse learning contexts and related to multiple life roles
- recognizes the value of experiential learning, community connections, and reflection in advancing career-life development
- is organized in three Content areas that foster purposeful career-life development: personal development, community connections, and planning
- includes consistent and gradual growth in the Curricular Competencies to support specific learning in career-life development as well as learning across disciplines
- is structured to facilitate integration across multiple areas of learning
Flexible teaching and learning
The language and design of the Career Education curriculum promotes flexibility for teachers in pursuing career-life development with students. This flexibility accommodates the range of student interests, needs, and goals, as well as the diversity of school and community contexts.
The Career Education curriculum consists of three major phases: Developing Foundations, Exploring Possibilities, and Pursuing Preferred Futures. The connection between grade levels and phases is one of emphasis: many high school students will still need to focus on developing foundations, for example. Students will transition through each phase based on their personal development, community context, and emerging career-life opportunities.
K-5: Developing Foundations in Career-Life Development
In Kindergarten to Grade 5, career-life development is largely about the expanding sense of self, positive community engagement, and reflection on learning and goal-setting. Students develop an awareness of their personal interests and strengths, and the roles and responsibilities of family, school, and community in supporting their lifelong learning journey.
Grades 6-9: Exploring Possibilities in Career-Life Development
In Grades 6-9, students continue to reflect on, self-assess, and set goals in personal competency development and determine their strengths and preferences as they explore career-life concepts such as identity, leadership, personal planning, and transferable skills. Students are introduced to increasingly diverse experiential learning opportunities and ways in which family, mentors, and community networks support their continued career-life development.
Grades 10-12: Pursuing Preferred Futures in Career-Life Development
In Grades 10-12, students further refine personal career-life development goals through experiential learning, cultivating community connections, gathering authentic evidence of learning, and reflecting on competency development. They explore post-graduation possibilities in diverse educational, work, and personal life contexts and build the personal career-life management skills needed to effectively pursue who and how they want to be in the world. Career-Life Education (CLE) and Career-Life Connections (CLC) are part of the graduation requirements, and Career-Life Connections includes a career-life exploration component and a capstone.
For many students, contemplating career-life possibilities becomes prominent for the first time during grades 10-12. Curriculum that provides an intentionally aligned learning progression encourages students to move from exploring various career-life possibilities and practicing employability skills to applying their refined self-knowledge and career-life strategies as they move forward in advancing preferred future possibilities.
Design of the Career Education curriculum
The Big Ideas represent what students are expected to understand as a result of their learning – the “Understand” component of B.C.’s learning model. Collectively, the Big Ideas progress in both sophistication and degree of connection with the lives of students throughout the curriculum. The examples below show how the Big Ideas about personal development as lifelong learners and connections to community advance as students progress through the curriculum.
|Learning is a lifelong enterprise.||Exploring our strengths and abilities can help us identify our goals.||Leadership represents good planning, goal-setting, and collaboration.||Reflecting on our preferences and skills helps us identify the steps we need to take to achieve our career goals.||Career-life choices are made in a recurring cycle of planning, reflecting, adapting, and deciding.||Lifelong learning and active citizenship foster career-life opportunities for people and communities.|
|Strong communities are the result of being connected to family and community and working together toward common goals.||Family and community relationships can be a source of support and guidance when solving problems and making decisions.||Our attitudes toward careers are influenced by our view of ourselves as well as by our friends, family, and community.||The value of work in our lives, communities, and society can be viewed from diverse perspectives.||Cultivating networks and reciprocal relationships can support and broaden career-life awareness and options.||Engaging in networks and reciprocal relationships can guide and broaden career-life awareness and options.|