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Career Information in the Classroom.

Career Information in the Classroom

Recently, Mike Stanton, the Quarterly's staff writer, and I met with several groups of counselors and career aides to learn how the Quarterly and the Occupational Outlook Hndbook could be improved. Several people said they would like more information on using the Handbook in the classroom, a subject about which we knew very little. As luck would have it, however, a very useful guide to this subject was about to be published. This new publication, called Career Information in the Classroom: Workshop Guide for Infusing the Occupational Outlook Handbook, produced by the National Center for Research in Vocational Education is the result of a 2-year project funded by the National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (NOICC) and the former U.S. Office of Career Education. The workshops, designed for teachers in grades K through 12, cover both occupational exploration in general and the Handbook in particular. Although the Guide was listed under Counseling Aids in the Winter 1985 Quarterly, we thought you might like a fuller description because of the interest expressed at the meetings.

The Guide provides detailed information on conducting workshops that will increase a teacher's ability to make career exploration part of the curiculum. It contains suggested lectures, workshop activities, sample lesson plans, lists of resources, masters for transparencies, and samples of handouts and worksheets that are available separately.

The Guide--a 512-page looseleaf binder--has six chapters or modules:

* Basic Principles of Career Development

* How To Develop Infused Activities

* The OOH and Occupational Information

* Understanding the Labor Market

* Understanding the Economy

* Exploring Careers

All the modules have a similar format. The first page states the purpose of the module, the key concepts it addresses, and the teacher competencies it reinforces. This is followed by one or more very detailed plans for a workshop, or learning experience, in the Guide's terminology. For each workshop, the Guide specifies the key concepts, competencies, and objectives covered, and also gives pertinent instructor's information, such as instructional time, resources, and methods. A detailed instructor's outline, masters for suggested transparencies, samples of worksheets and handouts, abstracts of related teaching activities, and annotated bibliographies provide almost all the information needed by the person leading the training session. The full series of 15 workshops would take approximately 17 hours to complete, but the workshop leader has considerable flexibility in deciding what topics to cover and how long to spend on each.

The range of material available in the Guide can best be indicated by pointing out highlights from each of its chapters.

"Module I: Basic Principles of Career Development" concerns the relationship of an individual's career development to basic career development principles and the relationship of career development concepts to a curriculum. Among the activities are a quiz on work and workers, practice vocational interviews, and an "X Y Z Choice" activity that enables the group to learn the principles of decisionmaking.

"X Y Z Choice" is a copyrighted activity drawn from Decisions and Outcomes: A Leader's Guide, by H.B. Gelatt and others (New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1973). Participants make a series of six decisions in order to show that they follow some strategy in making them, whether consciously or not. The exercise also demonstrates that knowledge of each of the aspects of decisionmaking--alternatives, outcomes, probability, and desirability--is essential.

Also included is a sample of a 20-page handout, "Career Development Theories: A Beginner's Overview." The handout discusses about a dozen theories of career development, such as Holland's typological approach and more recent theories concerning development over a lifetime. Bibliographies follow each brief discussion of a theory.

"Module II: How To Develop Infused Activities" mixes quizzes, discussions, and small-group activities. The third workshop in this module is called "How to Infuse." Participants are given examples of noninfused and infused lessons and work in small, homogeneous groups to develop their own lesson plans. Support materials include four sample lessons plans for various grade levels and subjects.

"Module III: The OOH and Occupational Information" has as its key concepts the ideas that the Handbook contains information that can be incorporated into the curriculum and that students should receive occupational information. Two workshop activities are described: How the OOH is Organized and Importance of Occupational Information. The purpose of the first workshop experience is to increase the participants' awareness of the content and organization of the Handbook. The instructor presents the major sections of the Handbook; then, participants locate information in it. A handout on questions for the book is included along with a suggested transparency on the major components of the OOH and three pages of lecture notes and sample questions. for the second learning experience, participants break into small groups and suggest examples of how the information contained in the Handbook can be used in the classroom.

"Module IV: Understanding the Labor Market" concerns such subjects as the relationship of supply and demand to the labor market, the classification of industries and occupations, the infusion of occupational classification activities into the curriculum, and the relative importance of job openings due to employment growth and replacement needs. One of the group activities suggested is to write a lesson plan, following, if the participants wish, some of the lesson plans provided. handouts include information for short lectures on the topics covered, Role Worker Cards for use in a role-playing activity, and such suggested school activities as having first grade students sort pictures from magazines according to whether they depict goods or services.

"Module ": Understanding the Economy" points out that a local economy is conditioned by the nature of its population, climate, location, resources, industries, and public policies. Similarly, the Nation's economic condition constantly changes because of decisions made by businesses, consumers, and governments. Factors that affect national and local economies include changing technologies, business conditions, population patterns, consumer preferences, and cost of resources. One workshop deals specifically with the implications of changing technology on workers and the economy.

The first workshop exercise has to do with comparisons of different cities. Participants are given some information about each and then discuss the probability of one city having more or less of some good or service. One exercise requires participants to select three national economic events, such as oil embargoes, and describe their effect on hometown businesses. A sample lesson plan suggests that students in a 12th grade social studies class could debate such issues as deregulation of the trucking industry, public-supported health care for all citizens, and mandatory wage and price controls.

"Module VI: Exploring Careers" contains two workshops, one on personal attributes and one on occupational characteristics. One sample handout lists nine interests, such as doing creative work, and nine abilities, such as perceiving details. As an introduction to the process of exploring personal attributes, students are asked to rate their interest or ability on a scale of three for each.

In another exercise, sets of cards with various interests, abilities, values, experience, and training are distributed to participants who then try to determine appropriate occupations. An annotated bibliography describes some of the published resources that can assist students in exploring careers.

Workshops on the use of the Handbook and other career information in the classroom should result in numerous fruitful ideas for teachers and counselors. We would be happy to report on the suggested activities in future issues of the Quarterly. Send your suggestions to the Occupational Outlook Quarterly, PH 4000, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C. 20212.

Career Information in the Classroom: Workshop Guide for Infusing the Occupational Outlook Handbook is published by the Meridian Education Corporation, 205 East Locust Street, Bloomington, Illinois 61701. Prices depend on the number of copies ordered: 1 to 9 copies $49.00 each 10 to 49 copies 44.00 each 50 to 249 copies 39.50 each 250 to 2999 copies 34.50 each 1000 or more copies 29.50 each

The 150-page set of handouts (samples of which are included in the Guide) are also priced according to the number ordered: 1 to 9 copies $12.95 each 10 to 49 copies 11.65 each 50 to 249 copies 10.36 each 250 to 999 copies 9.07 each 1000 or more copies 7.77 eac
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Author:Baxter, Neale
Publication:Occupational Outlook Quarterly
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Jun 22, 1986
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