Title

Teachers’ attitudes about career education in middle grades in context of Northern Sindh, Pakistan

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Career education (CE) consists of school and classroom based efforts to prepare students for career-related developmental tasks including curricular and career choices. The purpose of this study was to seek teachers’ perspectives about integrating CE in middle grades, to what extent career-related activities (CRAs) existed in school for middle grades and to explore school leaders’ suggestions on how CE could be integrated in middle grades. Under mixed method research approach, quantitative cross-sectional survey and qualitative case study designs were followed. CareerStart Teachers Perspectives survey was adapted for quantitative data collection. Government schools (n=6) were randomly selected in District Sukkur, Sindh in which all middle grade teachers (n=112) were recruited. Moreover, a school was purposively selected as a case where head-teacher (n=1), school manager (n=1) and teachers (n=4) were interviewed and supporting documents (i.e., co-curricular book and middle grade textbooks) were collected for data triangulation. Descriptive results in survey showed that majority of teachers were in favor of providing CE in middle grades. However, they showed less agreement on integrating CE ‘at classroom level’ than ‘at school level’. Similarly, more teachers agreed on integrating CE to guide middle grade students ‘for further studies’ than ‘for future jobs’. Thematic analysis of interviews, along with document analysis, revealed that CRAs exist at school and classroom level, albeit in informal ways. At school level, CRAs are reflected through assembly practices, extra-curricular programs (i.e., speech competition) and so forth. Classroom level CRAs are reflected through textbook lessons, teachers’ discussion and classroom activities. Moreover, the existing CRAs also show possibilities for integrating CE with little but systematic efforts. The interview results further suggests context-relevant ways for integrating CE in middle grades. Based on the results, this study suggests implications for policy makers, school leaders and middle grade teachers. Educational policies need to be analyzed with the lens of CE. The professional development of teachers must cognize them about importance of career guidance in middle grades. Moreover, in educational policies and professional development of teachers, the concept of CE should also be signified as mainstream school education.

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