Career-Life Exploration in Secondary Schools in BC: An Analysis of the Career Education Documents for Grades 10, 11 and 12




Fallahi, Sara

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Excellent career education that guides young people to align their talents and competencies with their life-path, positively influences job satisfaction, individual’s mental wellness, resilience against stress, and overall life satisfaction, which in turn, affects the contributions that those individuals may make to society. A key component in helping young people forge a meaningful life-path is the direction and guidance that they receive in secondary school via the career education curriculum. In this study, I used critical discourse analysis to examine the British Columbia (B.C.) Ministry of Education’s Career-Life Education (CLE) curriculum for grades 10 and 11, and the Career-Life Connection (CLC) curriculum for grade 12, and additional supplementary documents that were available. While research and reports about high school career education was found, after an extensive review of literature, no published academic research directly linked to the provincial curriculum was evident. Therefore, the aim of my research was to uncover the nature of the B.C. Ministry of Education curriculum by exposing the pedagogical and theoretical frameworks underpinning it. In addition, I sought to query the intention of the career education curriculum and to identify the opportunities, strategies, and activities used to discover all students’ skills, interests, and strengths. I also examined if and how the curriculum discovered and responded to the needs of culturally, socially, and linguistically diverse students. The findings suggest that the curriculum is robust and coherent; however, there is a lack of cohesiveness and in-depth discussion of practical implications and applications of this curriculum in the classroom, school, and community. In addition, findings showed that while learning activities, strategies, and opportunities are clearly articulated in the curriculum, there is insufficient emphasis on an exploration of students’ unique talents. The findings also show a gap in addressing the need for differentiated support for learners of socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This study contributes to the field of research on career guidance and exploration of life-path for young people in that it is the first study of the B.C. career education curriculum, and it points to the merits and shortcomings of this curriculum for exploring one’s life-path.



career education, curriculum analysis, policy analysis, critical discourse analysis