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Supporting student transitions via the construction of ‘career’ narratives Ricky Gee and Phil Mignot, School of Social Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting student transitions via the construction of ‘career’ narratives Ricky Gee and Phil Mignot, School of Social Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting student transitions via the construction of ‘career’ narratives Ricky Gee and Phil Mignot, School of Social Sciences

2 What is ‘career’? Central concept of the Level 3 Transition and Learning Skills module - BA Youth Studies Reflexive and theoretical exploration of the undergraduate ‘career’ Contemplation of anticipated ‘career’ trajectory Many perspectives of ‘career’ explored - including broad approaches incorporating social strands (Goffman 1961) and social roles (Super 1996) Exploration of work ‘strand’ and/or ‘role’ yet not dominated by this

3 Narrativisation Module evokes a comprehension of how narrativisation of ‘career’ occurs in time and space A range of social theory utilised to inform narrative Individual strategies of career navigation emerge – loosening the ‘dogmatic image of thought’ *All student extracts have gained willing consent from the students for use

4 Reflexive contemplation of learning “Before entering into the journey guided by my Transition and Learning Skills module, I had never become conscious of how my past experiences, roles, values and learning had influenced my career trajectory as well as my personal growth and identity. I have now become conscious of how social, societal and organisational factors have formed a relationship with how I act, think and reflect upon my self-concept, narrative and identity.” Student J

5 Fateful moments “Shortly after starting the course I experienced my most influential fateful moment, my eldest brother was diagnosed with a severe mental health problem; I immediately took a counsellor role and learnt everything I could about his mental health problem. …Despite the negativity of this fateful moment on my brother’s well- being, it was one which gave me clarification on an area of previous uncertainty; I now knew that I wanted to help young people with mental health problems.” Student K

6 Contemplation of future trajectory “I wish to specialise in cognitive behaviour therapy to help young people and young offenders establish and overcome issues with mental health. I can combine my own experiences, my traits and skills, and desire to help others in a role which I will find challenging and fulfilling. Following my completion of the youth studies degree I will continue onto a psychology course which will enable me into the field of work I aspire to.” Student K

7 Looking forward – more than ‘employability’ “…the philosophical way of considering varied dimensions has become prominent within my learning particularly on this module. Consequently, further reading after the course will be utilised as an ‘interest’ rather than a ‘chore’ as theory becomes much more understandable and resourceful when used in practice.” Student L

8 Personalisation as opposed to calibration Exploration of CDT allows students time and space to utilise theory to contemplate career narrative. Such stories become coloured, textual, nuanced yet coherent. They acknowledge the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for employment whilst also allowing an understanding of personal development to ensue. Employability becomes placed within the narrative as opposed to the focal point of the narrative.

9 Theory in this room Savickas’ Life-Theme approach to ‘career’: ‘People organize their lives around a problem that preoccupies them and a solution that occupies them.’ (Savickas, 1995, p.195) According to Savickas (ibid), solutions to a preoccupying problem can be objectified and portrayed in the form of role models

10 Establishing a Life-theme: 1.Identify something that preoccupies you – this can be achieved by identifying some of your key interests 2. Identify the ways in which your interests occupy your time 3. Identify the presence and influence of role models that have helped you to pursue your interests

11 For example…. Interests: ‘I’m interested in people’ Preoccupation: ‘I want to make a difference to people’s lives’ Occupation: ‘I’m raising funds for our World Challenge project’ Role Models: ‘My geography teacher told us stories about her VSO’

12 References Goffman (1961) Asylums, Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other inmates Savickas, M.L. (1995a). Examining the personal meaning of inventoried interests during career counselling, Journal of Career Assessment, Vol 3, No.2, Super, D (1996) Life career roles: self-realization in work and leisure. In D. T. Hall and Associates, career development in Organizations, San Francisco, Jossey Brass, pp


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