Counselors and teachers know that elementary/ middle school development is important. Schooling is a time of transition, a threshold to the student's future, and a bridge into the student's destiny. In elementary/ middle school, career development is a time to build career awareness, not a time for premature career choices or career preparations.
Career development is an ongoing lifelong process. During the career development process, students remain open to new career ideas and possibilities. Counselors and teachers build readiness for future career planning. Students build visions of what they desire to do in their lives as they contribute to society.
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Need for Elementary/ Middle school Career Development
Since most elementary and middle school students have a limited understanding of how school relates to work, students use the career development curriculum to build a foundation and the connection between career development, Twenty-First Century Skills, school academic subjects, potential careers, and future training options. As a result, students build self-awareness, possess intrinsic motivation, build a positive self-concept, and begin problem solving about career choices.
Benefits of Elementary/ Middle School Career Development
Elementary/ middle school career awareness lays the groundwork for future career exploration by helping students achieve the following goals:
- Knowledge of personal characteristics, interests, aptitudes, and skills
- Awareness of and respect for the diversity of the world of work
- Understanding of the relationship between school performance and future choices
- Development of a positive attitude toward work
Students who complete career development activities have the following positive outcomes:
- Expanded understanding of the world of work leading to an openness to an increased number of potential careers
- Improved skills to make informed decisions and complex career information problem solving
- Enhanced academic, personal, and teamwork skill development
- Amplified career awareness, self-esteem, sense of direction, motivation to persist, clearly defined goals