Thursday, 29 October 2009

University as vocational education: ...

working-class students’ expectations for university

an article by Wolfgang Lehmann (The University of Western Ontario, Canada) published in
British Journal of Sociology of Education Volume 30 Issue 2 (March 2009)


Labour market conditions, a pervasive public discourse about the benefits of higher education, and parental hopes push many young working-class people into university. The institutional culture and demands of university, however, often remain elusive and fraught with uncertainty. In this paper, I draw on qualitative interviews with first-generation, working-class students at a Canadian university to analyse the ways in which these students discuss their reasons to attend and their expectations for university, and the implications of their attitudes for their future success at university. Analysis of the interview data shows how the relatively high and risky investment of working-class youth in education leads to strong utilitarian and vocational orientations toward university. Although a narrow focus on the career potential of university is generally perceived as problematic, I argue that it may also help working-class students in their transition to university. Nonetheless, a critical educational process is necessary that not only helps working-class students achieve their educational and occupational goals, but also understand their unique status in a social institution that they entered as outsiders.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Happenstance Learning Theory

an article by John D Krumboltz (Stanford University) published in Journal of Career Assessment Volume 17 Number 2 (2009)


What-you-should-be-when-you-grow-up need not and should not be planned in advance. Instead career counsellors should teach their clients the importance of engaging in a variety of interesting and beneficial activities, ascertaining their reactions, remaining alert to alternative opportunities, and learning skills for succeeding in each new activity.

Four propositions:

  1. The goal of career counselling is to help clients learn to take actions to achieve more satisfying career and personal lives – not to make a single career decision.
  2. Assessments are used to stimulate learning, not to match personal characteristics with occupational characteristics.
  3. Clients learn to engage in exploratory actions as a way of generating beneficial unplanned events.
  4. The success of counseling is assessed by what the client accomplishes in the real world outside the counselling session.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Tax Credits: help us to help you get it right

A new 4-page (A5) leaflet (WTC10) from HMRC explaining that you have to tell HMRC when your circumstances change or you may build up an over/under-payment.

Friday, 2 October 2009

QCF readiness support programme opportunities

via LSIS September e-Newsletter (30 September)

Is your organisation ready for the QCF?
All vocational qualifications will be accredited in the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) by the end of December 2010 and in preparation the QCF Readiness Support Programme is hosting two pan-regional QCF readiness conferences and has launched a new QCF Champions' Training Programme.

Career learning for the 21st century

via LSIS September e-Newsletter (30 September)

LSIS has published a series of projects on Career Learning, Information, Advice and Guidance (CLIAG) for young people in FE for DCSF.

It became clear that how organisations deliver CLIAG effectively for young people and their organisation is an issue sector leaders need to address.

Read more

European Social Fund (ESF)

Received from LSC this morning.

The LSC funds and manages programmes and contracts funded in part by the European Social Fund (ESF).

A consultation about the future direction of ESF is now open until 4 November 2009.

Below are some examples of how people have benefited from these programmes:
Creches for the community
Micah Gains Skills for Life
Totally Inclusive Education project