FutureSelves has successfully trialled a classroom based career and personal planning resource for Year 7 and 8 students. Brigid Conaglen, Co-Principal, Clifton Terrace Model School of Wellington took students in Years 5/6 and Years 7/8 through the new product. It has also been trialled successfully in other schools, some with low decile ratings.
The resource includes a workbook l for students and a guide for teachers. It uses the possible selves concept, and teaches awareness of personal strengths, interests, goal setting, study skills and the importance of planning. It is closely aligned with inquiry based learning where students have ownership of their learning. The FutureSelves programme provides opportunities for students to gain new knowledge, form new insights, research further and think critically. It provides a forum where students are able to foster their natural curiosity about themselves and the world of work. There is a strong focus within the FutureSelves programme on developing the whole student this enables alignment with the Health and Social Sciences curriculum areas.
Benefits reported from the trial included greater self awareness, particularly in terms of their skills and strengths. Brigid says:
“Prior to doing FutureSelves there was little or no understanding of these. Students learnt to think about these things in more structured and effective ways”
Students have both a realistic and exciting way to look at their future lives within the context of a classroom programme. One student said “I could be a Graphic Artist because I am
good at drawing”. His peers and Teacher agreed that this could be possible. This student could
see that his interest or passion could shape his future and he now has a plan to achieve this.
The FutureSelves unit has as Brigid believes the Key Competencies of Thinking, Managing self, Relating to others, Participating and contributing and Using language and symbols at the heart of skill development within the programme. She also notes that it has provided a clear structure for thinking and planning in the key Competencies within the new curriculum. It has made the competencies more real and tangible by showing what they might mean in practice, why they are important, and how to teach them.
“FutureSelves offers a comprehensive unit that gives students a great un
derstanding of what skills they possess. It supports them to develop their thinking about who they are, what they want for themselves and their futures and a way of moving towards that future”.
Year 8’s found that going through the FutureSelves career planning resource gave them a more personalised reason to be engaged in school. Brigid saw an improved interest around particular subject areas related to their future fields of interest. Their thinking had been sharpened as to what subjects they could take at secondary school or university to fulfil their interests and passion.
Student Quote: “I could take drama at High School because I want to be an actor”.
“I want to work at Parliament so I need to be good at arguing. I need to do English, writing and debating”.
“Students feel like their futures are being taken seriously as the teachers are taking them seriously”.
Teachers and school administrators find it helps meet regulatory requirements. Brigid, wearing her co- principal hat says:
“FutureSelves is a quality resource that helps me to fulfil the NAG’s (National Administrative Guidelines)”
FS is important because what you present them with now in terms of thinking and preparation skills will have early impacts on their futures. For example, identifying and clarifying subjects that could be taken at secondary school.
Irene Anderson, Teacher, South Westland Area School says:
“The spread of activities allowed students to participate in some of the things they will learn more about to prepare them for the world of work.”
Students at South Westland Area School say:
What was the most interesting part of doing FutureSelves? “finding the right job for me so I have an idea of what job I want”
“I didn’t know what (job) to do before I did this work sheet (FutureSelves)”
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