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School to Work and Career: Preparation, Transition, Integration Mike Nakkula University of Pennsylvania.

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Presentation on theme: "School to Work and Career: Preparation, Transition, Integration Mike Nakkula University of Pennsylvania."— Presentation transcript:

1 School to Work and Career: Preparation, Transition, Integration Mike Nakkula University of Pennsylvania

2 A Working Identity The developmental role of work in adolescence and emerging adulthood – Competence, Confidence, Contribution – Halpern: Neurological readiness, societal need How do work skills relate to school skills? – Theory to practice, real-time decision-making How do work skills relate to career skills? – Assessing fit, role of planning, capacity to commit

3 The Impact of Transitions What are the major life transitions? – What’s learned from them? – What’s risked? – How are they (un)supported? What’s unique about the school to work and career transition?

4 Social Class What roles does social class play in the transition from school to career? – Nature and meaning of work What traditions get ritualized? – Graduations, paychecks, security What gets assumed? – Who pays? What’s owed? How can we/should we help?

5 “Not working is not an option.” The necessity of work in the lives of many poor and working-class youth – To contribute to the family (instrumental assistance) – Moral need to work, “be responsible” or “help out”: “Wouldn’t be right for me to go to college only, while my mom works two jobs…” – To pursue higher-education or advanced training goals necessitates working to pay

6 Integrations of Learning and Work Learning to Work – Skills, Commitment, Balance Working to Learn – Relevance, Direction, “Reality” Learning at Work – Application, Negotiation, Decision-Making Working toward a Career – Gratification, Fit, Trajectory

7 Learning to Work: Balance “I was working two jobs while I was in high school and I cheered and I was doing college courses and my high school work, so I learned how to balance a lot of things. So when I got here (college)…I have been involved in about three organizations and I had three jobs and I was fine because of that preparation. And it was necessary because I needed the funds to keep me here, and I needed the activities to keep me interested - instead of just constantly doing schoolwork. Yeah, I’m pretty happy.” - DECA Student in her last semester of college

8 Work and Survival “I had a lot of personal things going on with family, so I ended up I guess you would consider it homeless…finding a place to stay, working a ton of jobs. I sacrificed a lot of schoolwork so that I could survive personally. That wasn’t the best decision that I made. Don’t get me wrong, to get to the place that I am now, I would redo everything again. Going through that, growing spiritually, growing physically, mentally and emotionally, all of that, you learn a lot about yourself when you’re at the bottom, I guess. - JC, DECA Grad, Part 1

9 From Survival to Renewal “Then learning who I was academically or restoring who I was academically, a lot of times you can lose yourself when you’re becoming an adult. Not lose yourself as sacrificing standards, but for me I was working four jobs. Yeah, it was a lot. I would leave one job, go to the other. It took a lot out of me. I was really drained…I cut back…I started regaining my strength, regaining my health and ultimately, I ended up graduating.” -JC, DECA Grad, Part 2

10 Hard Lessons, Big Gains “There was a time when I literally fell asleep peeing because I was so tired. I woke up just in time to go to another job. That’s how bad it was…I got really sick and Ms. B told me I needed to see a primary care physician because I was still going to my pediatrician. She referred me to Dr. Cheryl and that woman has been, man, a great influence for me. She pretty much was very forward and I appreciated that. She told me that I was sacrificing my health in order to just stay afloat and that wasn’t what I was called to do.” --JC, DECA Grad, Part 3

11 Beyond School and Work Mentoring and Mentoring Readiness – JC now has her bachelor’s degree in biology, is completing a masters in Public Health and applying to med school – Influenced by her pediatrician and primary care physician – Positioned through work, school, and life’s lessons to receive their support

12 Deepening Exposure, Gaining Experience Effective career development in adolescence begins with exposure – through contact with others – through abstract learning about careers – through direct involvement Work and apprentices deepen exposure through real-world experience – Allows for more realistic, grounded decision-making – Assessments of likes and dislikes, fit & non-fit

13 From Garbage Man to Apprentice Health Inspector Andrew’s story – “I wanted to be a part-time garbage man because my dad had a friend who made more money doing that than my dad made full time on his job.” – “I’m going into engineering because I got tested and I’m really good in math” (10 th -grade) – “I got a part-time job and we got shut down by the health inspector…good thing, cuz the restaurant was unsanitary.” – “I’m an apprentice health inspector in Portland, OR.”

14 Wrapping Up Our Work Day: It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere Work is developmentally critical to grounded learning and life planning in adolescence and emerging adulthood (Halpern and others) Work teaches us what we need to learn Work teaches us what we know and don’t know Good work can inspire deeper formal and informal learning “Bad work” helps set new directions

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