updated 16th November 2010
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THE MUSIC ROOM - PROTEST SONGS ARE HARD WORK From folk-song, through jazz, to rap - songs-of-protest are a work-and-citizen thing. In current political-&-economic conditions aspirations, hopes and life chances are being eroded. Whatever the rights-and-wrongs of this, we should expect protest. Protest lyrics demand a great deal of their creators - unsettling wit, compelling image, thoughtful insight. Plenty of that kind of creativity on these pages - all interwoven with stories of the experience that lies beneath. It is where life chances, citizenship and culture meet. It can take a good teacher to where she can engage her students in calling up their own voice - on how things are, and what can be done about them. It is also an art-form.
NEW THINKING - BUILDING ON WHAT WE KNOW A priority for careers work is about using groundbreaking research to deepen and widen our understanding of career management. But, no less, it is about finding the links between that research and what people actually do. We need both to expand our expertise, and to align it with people’s experience. And the experience also changes: it is in the way that pressure on work-life is intensifying & in how people are revising their attitudes to work. Change for them means change for us. This Café menu lists material which updates community-interaction & career-learning theory, and it realigns it to contemporary work-life. It examines the original papers. It probes their application to a global economy and to the commercial use of information technology. And it develops new ideas for careers-work action - enabling people to find out what is going on, and figure out what they will do about it.
CAREER LEARNING FOR CONTEMPORARY WORKING LIFE Career-learning theory sets out the dynamics of learning for career management. The basics may not change that much, but the settings in which they are applied are constantly changing. This monograph realigns career-learning to contemporary realities. It shows how people need our understanding of purposeful questioning. It points to the usefulness of that to life-long & life-wide experience. It relates all of this to current research & development on 'critical thinking' and 'mindfulness'. It questions whether information-advice-and-guidance and careers education are well-enough placed to carry these developments. It proposes a wider range of innovative partnerships. And it includes handout material on innovative questioning.
CAREER LEARNING ON THE NET - THE ARGUMENT We have, until now, used the net as a vehicle for the information-bases and learning-processes we habitually use. That is to try to colonise the net; and the net is a post-colonial reality. This monograph argues that we should take part on the net alongside our clients & and students. That means drawing on their expertise with the technology. It also means using our expertise in how to interrogate sources for their useful credibility. It works on a partnership with students and clients, which offers what we do best, to help them with what they do best. This is to inhabit rather than to colonise the net.
CAREER LEARNING ON THE NET - THE INFORMATION This supports the ‘on the net’ argument, with research-&-development information. It describes what careers work has been doing. It points to how people's use of the net can help enable career management. It finds evidence that their use of the net can hinder career management. It finds uses of the net which draw on the sort of critical thinking which probes for what is usefully credible. And it offers examples of how inhabiting the net can creatively extend our repertoires for action.
THE ORIGINAL CAREER-LEARNING THEORY ARTICLE This is a reprint of the original article. The text is exactly as originally published - but it is set out in a more accessible monograph format.
WRITING AS A TRANSFORMATIVE TOOL This is a monograph - Narratives at Work - by Reinekke Lengelle and Frans Meijers. It uses case-study material to illustrate how writing reflects the stage-by-stage learning suggested by career-learning thinking. The authors show how a person represents and deals with the experience of career change - the enjoyment, the loss, the hope & the meaning.
STORYBOARDING STOCKROOM Storyboarding is a narrative technique, useful in both face-to-face work and curriculum. The material-design and learning-process are fuller and more dynamic than a worksheet. It engages students and clients in a thought-and-feeling, words-and-pictures, socially-set portrayal of life’s turning-points. This is a reflective technique, drawing on a carefully-constructed questioning of the narrative. It moves into an understanding of how a person can move-on - on the basis of this kind of reflection. This is the central source for all-things-storyboarding.
WHY STORYBOARDING WORKS This includes a collection of worked examples of how students and clients use storyboarding. It sets out evidence that storyboarding works in both practice and research. It explains why we cannot afford to ignore the uses of narrative - we have evolved to understand things in narrative terms, and our culture makes stories a dominant means of communication.
STORYBOARDING IN CURRICULUM This section contains what you need to track how storyboarding works in curriculum. It points to timetable links. It sets out why curriculum is important. It includes a scheme-of-work to help grasp the essentials. And it includes a system for developing further schemes-of-work - in a way which can lead to on-going curriculum development.
NARRATIVE-BASED WEBSITES This gives links to on-line labour-market experience, in narrative form. It also briefly raises issues for what narrative can and can't do. It suggesrts how to develop what narrative does best - and identfies how narrative can do what labour-market information can't.
STORYBOARDING MATERIAL This links to all the graphics you need for storyboarding. They download as jpgs, and can be adapted and resized in your print menu or your graphics software. There are four sections: 1. ‘making your story interesting’; 2. ‘remembering what matters’; 3. ‘showing so that people understand’; and 4. 'futuring that makes things happen’.
LOW-CARBON CAREERS Suppose impartial information is not that impartial? Labour-market information does not speak of everything that today's working people need to know. Work has a carbon footprint. This is a review of Ken Webster's Sense and Sustainability - which signposts what we now need urgently to build into our work. Impartiality may or may not be a possibility - but we should be aiming for credibility in a changing world.
REFORMING LEADERSHIP We are over-loaded with directives and under-supplied with explanations. We have the evidence to develop those explanations, but it has been neglected. And, anyway, evidence needs a broader framework That is a framework which can position community influences on career, and one which is useful to both research & development. Community-interaction theory does this for social communities; in the contemporary world it must now do it for virtual communities. Careers work trades in hope - and all hope needs sustainable reform. But effective change does not depend or how our leaders reform us, it depends on for how we reform our leaders.
COMMUNITY INTERACTION AND ITS IMPORTANCE FOR CAREERS WORK An update of a long-standing article about how people work with, for, and in response to others. These are community interactions, and they lie outside anything that psychological matching will find. Career is not managed in a social vacuum. And that means that whatever we say and do with our expertise is understood by our students and clients in terms of what others say and do with their experience. Community-interactive influence is informal, but its implications for practice are radical. This reprint of Bill’s original article has a new commentary - because, these days, we need also to learn to work with virtual community interaction.
IMAGES, IDEAS AND REALITY This monograph probes branding, its impact on research and its consequences for our inventiveness. The two most persistent metaphors for career-management are 'positioning', as though people are in a race and 'travelling', as though they are on a journey. Images like these frame our thinking, shape our programmes - and can either expand or limit our horizons for future development
CAREERS TALK ON THE NET A film series of Bill talking about issues for the future of careers work - four short films about labour-market experience, learning-to-learn, narratives-on-the-net, filmic techniques and the value of a café culture - free of convention.
A FAIR CHANCE IN LIFE A new cabinet-office report - Unleashing Aspirations - is commissioned by Gordon Brown. It sets out the unfairness in Britain’s opportunity structure. Careers workers have a natural interest in supporting fairness. But, if we are serious about this, we must re-think the models we use. This article examines why, how the report helps, and what you can do about it.
LOW-CARBON CAREERS Suppose impartial information is not that impartial, and urgently needs its perspectives reframed to become more useful to contemporary living? Would that make your programmes more credible and win a broader base of support for your work? Bill reviews Ken Webster's Sense and Sustainability - an important new book signposting much of what careers workers now need most urgently to build into our work.
MENTORING - AN UNFULFILLED PROMISE Frans Meijers carefully pulls together the findings from evaluations of mentoring in Dutch technical schools. His findings are based on what students, teachers, mentors, and programme managers say. Frans finds a lack of coherent thinking on the purposes and possibilities for this work. He also finds a lack of any attempt on the part of management to engage with on-the-ground people concerning the issues it raises. There is no reason to suppose that is a Dutch, and not also a British, problem. But Frans knows how to learn from bad news, and his report sets out the terms on which a useful planning programme can be set up - posing six well-aimed questions.
THE CAREERS-WORK CRUNCH - THE ABUSE OF NARRATIVE AND SLOW-BURN CREATIVITY careers work is well placed to enable people to deal with the uncertainties stemming from credit-crunch economics. But their flexibility needs the support of our expanded expertise. And this is the biggest challenge to our creativity that we have ever faced. It will take us way beyond current thinking and practice.
USING STORYBOARDS - NARRATIVES FOR LEARNING AND RESEARCH sets out the group work and individual process of learning from narrative. This is a practical manual giving the formats and describing the method. It incorporates twelve worked examples showing you and your students-and-clients how it works and why it is useful. It also points to uses in evaluation and research.
PARTNERSHIPS FOR LEARNING IN THE NEW CURRICULUM supports coordinators for one of the biggest challenges in a generation to face careers work and pshe. This is good news - reform is long overdue; and the well-being agenda puts careers work at the heart of it. The agenda for reform has been signposted in the revised National Curriculum, in the new diplomas, and in Youth Matters. The issues are demanding: ‘what do we need students to be able to learn in the new curriculum?’, ‘how can anyone know whether students have, in any useful way, taken that learning on board?’, and ‘what sort of partnerships-for-learning are now needed to make this work?’. The usual interest groups are, again, coming up with what we always know they will always say. But this is going to need new thinking. Most of all we need teachers in command of their material and ready for a challenge - to show us how this will be made to work.
CHANGING METAPHORS FOR CAREERS WORK shows how we use metaphors more than we know - especially when we run out of direct observations, but still need to make deeper sense of working life. And, when it comes to metaphors, there is always a choice. But we should be careful about the ones we choose. You’ll find two in this article - career as a ‘race’ and as a ‘journey’. Does one work better than the other? And would that be the one that is becoming more dominant? Or the one that is more basic? Metaphors are not just word play. You'll see that the way we use them shapes what we do - and how we do it.
NARRATIVES FOR WELL-BEING is a handbook telling of both how we can use stories, and why we should. It updates the Café’s work on storyboarding and illustrates, with examples, several practical refinements. You’ll find greater emphasis on the key features of narrative - ‘sequence’, ‘points-of-view’, ‘turning-points’ and ‘change-of-mind’. There is now also a range of ways in which students can usefully reflect on their own experience. The new material is carefully signposted so that you can find your way about - in your own order. There are continuing updates on useful narrative thinking. This handbook now replaces Career-learning narratives - telling showing and mapping.
CAREERS EDUCATION AND GUIDANCE - OUT OF THE BOX wonders whether we could be boxed in by our own mindsets. And if we were, how would we know? Try the self analysis to find out more. The discussion links stories of the conflicts and commitments of contemporary work-life to some of our most valued beliefs and hopes for our work. It wonders whether beliefs and hopes may be cramping our style. And it sets out a strategy for finding more elbow room.
RELOCATING CAREERS WORK IN CURRICULUM argues that some of the most pressing issues for contemporary careers can only be enabled by using well-managed schemes of work in a well-positioned curriculum. There was never a time when people needed more to know what is going on in working life - locally and globally. And there was never a time when they more needed to be able to work out what to do about it. Furthermore, careers work can least-of-all afford to ignore the way in which these changing realities are penalising people from some backgrounds more deeply and more unfairly than ever. All of this means that our clients and students need to be able to take command of their own learning. That means being self-propelled in finding out, checking out and working out what to do for a useful, worthwhile and sustainable life. And they need to go on doing that - life-long and life-wide. We can't help them enough with this through tick-box help and cut-and-paste learning. So how do we put ourselves in a position to help them more?
CPI - A COVERAGE-PROCESSES-INFLUENCES MODEL FOR CONTEMPORARY CAREERS WORK is a DOTS-extension model. It is designed to take account of career development in today’s world. People are changing the way in which they manage contemporary career. And we are changing the way in which we help them. But our professional models do not accommodate what we do and how we think and plan for it. This one-page pdf introduces CPI coverage of how people balance work roles with other roles, how they process that learning into a basis for sustainable action, and what social-and emotional influences they need to negotiate.
WHY CAREERS WORKERS NEED THREE BRAINS - and why brain #3 urges 'use more stories!’ - argues that our field is best organised around three brain-buzzing tasks: (1) finding out what is going on: (2) drawing out what people make of those events and pressures; and (3) working out what we can best to do to help. That’s why you need three brains. It’s also why you get so tired. Bill tracks some of the paths – one in particular leading to more use of narrative in how we help.
CAREERS EDUCATION – THIRTY YEARS, THIRTY ISSUES, THREE QUESTIONS sets out serious concerns for young people and for how schooling tries to help them. Some of it is written by Gordon Brown and some by David Cameron. David Dimbleby, John Humphrys, Anita Roddick get a look in. As do David Starkey and Jacqueline Wilson. Not to forget the usual suspects: an archbishop, a baroness, a professor of education, a clinical psychologist, a government adviser, a head of service. And, of course, research institutes and quangos. You may be relieved to hear that you’ll hear, as well, from parents, teachers, students and former students. Not a bad line-up – with quite a lot of agreement about what we should now be doing – much of it resonating with the LiRRiC proposals (see below).
IS LIFE-ROLE RELEVANCE IN CURRICULUM and the background for this monograph, in the moving-on section, is an on-going policy rethink on the
11-19 curriculum. A magazine article links the LiRRiC proposals to recent media headlines concerned for young people and what we do to help them. The proposals have been well received in QCA and seem likely to be represented in its forthcoming proposals for psd in the curriculum. A magazine feature looks at the implications for careers education. But the implications are wide-ranging - for citizenship, personal-social-and-health education, the work-related curriculum and education-for-enterprise.
They are set out fully in the monograph. LiRRiC integrates all of this
into a coherent whole, and make that whole integral to
the overall curriculum. A PowerPoint summarising the main points is in the magazine section.
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