Supporting career-related learning
Meaningful and effective education prepares students for academic success AND for life. Thus, schools in Oregon are required to deliver career and life role education as part of their curriculum. Career and life role education helps prepare your children for the six roles of adulthood - that of the individual, the learner, the producer, the consumer, the family member, and the citizen. It helps your children connect the personal side of their lives to their education and their future. They learn to live, learn to learn, and learn to work.
Career-related learning spans a wide array of formal learning activities and projects. Your children may take part in a career day or an internship, create a career portfolio, complete a senior project, write their resume, take an interest inventory, and visit colleges or industry sites as part of their school day. These types of activities are part of the school's comprehensive guidance program. They help your children develop self-knowledge, explore their options for work and learning, and develop plans to succeed after graduation.
Oregon school districts are creating career programs that best fit their students and their communities. Each district, however, must insure that their graduating seniors have:
- Developed an education plan and build an education profile.
- Demonstrated extended application of their knowledge and skills through a collection of evidence.
- Demonstrated career-related knowledge and skills in these six areas: personal management, teamwork, communication, problem solving, employment foundations, and career development
- Participated in career-related learning experiences as outlined in their education plans.
Parents and communities are critical to the success of career-related learning.
Elementary school career-related learningIn grade school, career-related learning expands awareness of oneself and the world of work. It helps connect school to real life. You might remember a visit to the neighborhood fire station from your own elementary years. Most elementary teachers imbed career awareness into their curriculum on a regular basis. Their academic goals often include learning about the community and roles in society. Real life examples, through classroom trips, presentations, or projects, are stimulating learning experiences for young children.
You can support career-related learning at your children's elementary school by:
- Finding out about the career-related learning goals and program at the school.
- Talking about the career events and activities with your children.
- Helping your children reflect on what they learned from these events and activities - what interested or did not interest them, and how that relates to who they are.
- Participating in career events and activities as a volunteer.
- Talking to your employer and other acquaintances when the school needs the larger community to participate in an event.
Career-related learning in the early years is building the foundation for the upper grades. These activities are not meant in any way to track your children or predict their paths. They are important in setting the stage by stimulating curiosity, making connections, and building a sense of community.