Career Exploration Framework
Longfellow Career Exploration Academy students graduate with career options they’ve learned about, received hands-on experience with, met a professional in the career, and have practiced skills needed in that career.
By using the RIASEC model to determine employment personalities, Longfellow Career Exploration Academy not only gives every student a chance to learn about many careers, but also helps every student determine which career best fits their personality, strengths, skills, and values. Students at Longfellow will not only know the how and what, but they will understand the why to everything they are learning. With each lesson they have at Longfellow, students will see how the everyday content relates to a new field and why it is important to learn those skills and values.
The RIASEC model is the number one predictor of happiness in a career and breaks down career options into 6 personality traits: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. RIASEC is based on the Holland Occupational Codes, a theory of careers and vocational choice, based upon personality types, initially developed by American psychologist John L. Holland. The Holland Codes serve as a component of the Strong Interest Inventory and is used by the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration through the O*NET (Occupational Information Network) since the late 1990s.
The basic premise is that one’s occupational preferences were expressions of underlying character. The correlation shown between the categories is seen in its presentation as a hexagonal model. Preferences, strengths, and interests vary between strong and weak in all six categories for a given person, so it is possible to see 720 variations of RIASEC personality patterns.
Profession John Johnson of Penn State connected the six types to ancient social roles: hunters (Realistic), shamans (Investigative), artisticans (Artistics), healers (Social), leaders (Enterprising), and lorekeepers (Conventional).
Holland’s research shows that personalities seek out and flourish in career environments they fit and that jobs and career environments are classifiable by the personalities that flourish in them.
Academic & Career Journey
In the Academic Foundation & Career classes, subjects are interwoven with activities that revolve around different careers. For example, as they study about becoming an engineer, students learn the math, science, writing, comprehension, problem-solving, collaboration, and other skills required for the career.
Each unit of study includes a highlighted career or field where exposure and learning happens through a four step process.
Exploration - Students hear about the career field. They learn how the skills and knowledge found in each subject are used in that career field. Through physical and digital resources, they learn about the job or industry, exploring details of a career they may never thought of or known about before.
Students will explore at least once one job or industry per unit, per subject during Step 1.
Simulation - Students engage in hands-on experience in activities related to the job or industry they learned about during Exploration, building on the knowledge gained previously to obtain skills and values necessary to be successful in the field.
Students will complete at least one hands-on experience per job or industry they learn about during Step 2.
Meet a Pro - Students and teachers join in on Meet A Pro chats, which might be a virtual tour or field trip, where multiple classrooms can experience meeting an industry professional. During these live chats, a pro can give students real life context and application for what they are learning.
Students will Meet A Pro at least once per semester, per subject during Step 3.
Practice - Once to step 4, students are ready to practice the career they have been learning about. Students use the connections they made to their own world through steps 1-3 to practice what they have learned through their play, school projects, homework, time with friends and family, volunteer work, and much more.
Students will create at least one portfolio-level project per subject, per semester based on Step 4.
Planning & Guidance
All subjects, Academic Foundation or Career Exploration, will identify the planned careers to be explored within their syllabus and coordinated across contents and grades to ensure maximum spectrum of opportunities. parents and community members are invited to be partners and volunteers during each step of the exploration cycle. Teachers will follow the inquiry-learning cycle below to decide which careers will be explored in which class and which unit. Where possible, exploring similar careers and industries across multiple content areas at the same time maximizes the holistic approach to education Longfellow follows.
Wonder & Investigate
With their content expertise and with evidence of student interest/questioning, teachers work collaboratively to decide on the per unit list of careers to be explored.
Discover & Record
Teachers interpret choices, look for exemplars and resources, and document plans for career exploration. Teachers invite relevant community partners and parents to participate.
Try & Reflect
Teachers work with colleagues to refine plans and then implement 4-Step Career Exploration in their classroom noting successes and opportunities for future.