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Future-focused and personalised

Constantly changing patterns of work and education worldwide make it essential that every school student has access to career education and guidance that is future-focused and personalised. This has immediate and long-term benefits for individuals and for New Zealand.

Students need to learn strategies that will equip them to plan and manage their learning and career pathways at and beyond school. This learning will contribute to them gaining the qualities, competencies, and values at the heart of The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

How schools help

Career education and guidance is an inherent element of every school’s provision of a rich and balanced education. It assists students to make decisions at key transition points and supports their successful transition from school to further education or work. It also aims to develop the career management competencies that will equip students to manage their career pathways and opportunities throughout their lives.

Recent experience in New Zealand schools demonstrates the school-wide impact of effective career education strategies. There is clear evidence that students who understand the relevance of school to their future lives and careers feel more motivated about school.

Pastoral care systems that mentor students and personalise learning and career planning make more meaningful connections with students, their families and whānau. Teachers who are aware of their students’ potential career pathways approach classroom teaching with an enhanced awareness of their students’ future needs and of the relationship between the school-based curriculum and the world beyond the school.

Supporting education goals

Career education and guidance in schools directly addresses New Zealand’s National Education Goals (NEGs):

  • to "enable all students to realise their full potential as individuals, and to develop the values needed to become full members of New Zealand's society" (NEG 1)
  • to develop "the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed by New Zealanders to compete successfully in the modern, ever-changing world" (NEG 3).

The National Administration Guidelines support these goals. They require each school board of trustees, through the principal and staff, “to provide appropriate career education and guidance for all students in year 7 and above, with a particular emphasis on specific career guidance for those students who have been identified by the school as being at risk of leaving school unprepared for the transition to the workplace or further education/training” (NAG 1 vi).

Career education and guidance is an ideal context for recognising the particular role and aspirations of Māori communities. Māori students need to be well-informed and supported to make effective transitions to tertiary education and successfully pursue their own lifelong learning pathways.

Career development is a lifelong process of skill acquisition and building through a continuum of learning, development and mastery. This process enables people to be in charge of their own career, with enough focus and direction for stability and enough flexibility and adaptability for change along the way.

(Phillip S. Jarvis, 2003, p7)

Published on: 04 Aug 2009