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Introduction to career-related learning

Career-related learning (C-RL) can take place anywhere: on the street, in homes, on the shopfloor, in the boardroom, in cafes and in classrooms. This is also true to an extent of more formalised programmes of C-RL. These are, however, perhaps most commonly to be found in schools, colleges, universities, workplace and community contexts. Such programmes will provide a focus for the module and we will turn to them in more detail shortly. In broad terms, by the end of this module, we aim to have supported you in creatively designing, assessing and negotiating a programme of C-RL for a context of your choice.

A note on vocabulary
We have used the phrase 'career-related learning' as it encompasses both formal and informal learning. There are a wide variety of different terms in common use including: career education; careers education; work-related learning; work experience; employability; entrepreneurship; talent management; staff development and so on. This can be a little confusing and so do feel free to discuss with the tutors and in class if so. In a nutshell, we are interested in any designed programme of activities geared to enhancing career development.

A return to triangulation
The term triangulation was introduced in this course at the start of the Career Development Theories module. It is adapted from navigation where it refers to determining an unknown point by taking readings from two known points and thereby finding location. In dealing with people, triangulation is generally used in a less literal sense to mean viewing things from different angles. By viewing a social experience, such as career-related learning, from different perspectives we can develop a more holistic and rounded view than if we relied on one perspective alone. Triangulation can therefore avoiding one-sidedness and inappropriate certainty. In summary, it can help us develop a better understanding of people and situations by seeing things from different angles. Here, we will attempt the design of C-RL from different angles.

There are different forms of triangulation and, as in the Career Development Theories module, we will use theoretical triangulation to help with the design of individual C-RL sessions. Please note that in doing this, we are recognising that there are hundreds of learning theories and that other people would inevitably have made a different selection. We are also recognising that you will have your own views about learning and seek to incorporate this in your practice.

Modelling and models
The literature is full of career education models and we will discuss some of these as we go. Rather than dictate a model, we will model the design of C-RL and draw from a range of perspectives. We will propose using these perspectives as tools for thinking rather than absolute truths. Here, we recognise that there are many competing views and it is not possible to arrive at a perfect answer to the complex question of how people learn. Through modelling, our intention is to help you creatively design a C-RL programme, implement it and assess the value of your work and others.


Introductory forum activity: Memories of career-related learning
Following the points made above about informal and formal career-related learning, you are invited to participate in the following short activity.

1/ Informal career-related learning
What can you remember learning about career from outside formal learning and training environments (e.g. family, friends, community, interests)?

2/ Formal career-related learning
What formal career-related learning can you remember e.g. in school, college, university, employment? Consider learning about career in subject classes (e.g. geography, English, science, religious studies etc.). Consider learning about career through other activities (e.g. careers days, visits, interviews, classroom activities, training, work conversations).

Once you have done this, please select one experience you would be happy to share for each of the two categories above and then introduce yourself on the forum using the Introductions thread. The experiences selected can be positive, negative or neither. Please make a post before the workshop on 28th November 2014. We have posted to get us started. Please comment on these and the postings of others.