Thursday, April 9, 2009

Australian career education project calls for greater career awareness for young children

A recent top news story in the Australian press reports on Principals Australia, a career education project sponsored by the federal department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations which calls for career development concepts to be included in a new national school curriculum in that country. The article termed this "career counselling" and this led to an outcry from various sources calling the idea presented by the project "crazy stuff", among other very negative comments.

The projects sponsors countered by citing research showing that children as young as six can identify what they thought they wanted to be upon growing up. Since children identify with their parents and their parents' careers at young ages, the sponsors feel that explicit exposure to career developments ideas, etc, would be helpful to encourage children to see that there is a wide range of careers out there, beyond what their parents do.

As an educator and a career coach, this is far from "crazy stuff"...in fact, I recently served on a committee that awarded mini grants to teachers teaching at as young as the kindergarten level to fund career exploration projects. It is never too early to gain more knowledge about the world of future..especially about the world of future careers, and that indeed applies to all ages.

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