As I've been completing the units and working through the questions in the learning journal, my lack of knowledge of my (previous) students' career aspirations has become embarrassingly obvious! Admittedly, I have only recently complete my teaching degree so I have limited classroom experience to draw upon. However, I have only just finished a 10 week internship teaching students from Years 7 - 11 and I'm still struggling to answer questions about my students' aspirations for higher education. Am I the only one who is feeling this?
It got me thinking about what I could have done differently during that term. Perhaps I could have surveyed students to find out what their career aspirations were and entered the data into a spreadsheet. Although, it seems inefficient for every teacher to be doing that--not to mention the administrative burden it would heap on already time-poor teachers.
Here's an idea: What if all students completed a survey each year that measured their aspirations for higher education? It could be organised and administered centrally (perhaps by careers advisors in schools?) and teachers could access the data for the students they teach. It would show them what their students' aspirations are, and importantly--how they might have changed over time. This might provide teachers and schools an indication of students who, say, for instance, have compromised on their career aspirations because they lack the social/cultural/economic capital to feel comfortable in that field, or because they don't have sources of 'hot knowledge' or 'map knowledge' in their lives that would help them navigate the pathway towards higher education.
This kind of data and reporting could not only assist all teachers to connect their lessons to students' aspirations, but also provide a mechanism to notify teachers/schools if/when students' aspirations change so that they may be able to intervene in cases where students have compromised because of social/economic/cultural factors that are outside of their control.