A Match Made in Heaven? Career Development Theories and the School-to-Work Transition

By Blustein, David L. | Career Development Quarterly, June 1999 | Go to article overview

A Match Made in Heaven? Career Development Theories and the School-to-Work Transition


Blustein, David L., Career Development Quarterly


This article discusses the major contributions (Krumboltz & Worthington, 1999; Lent, Hackett, & Brown, 1999; Savickas, 1999; Swanson & Fouad, 1999) to this special issue of The Career Development Quarterly on the application of career development theories to the school-to-work transition. Common thematic elements in these 4 articles include a focus on the individual who faces the transition from high school to work and an emphasis on the developmental aspects of the transition. The article concludes with a cautionary recommendation that theory-building efforts derived from the individual experiences of work-bound youth ought to be included in theoretical and intervention initiatives to facilitate the school-to-work transition.

The four articles in this special issue reflect sophisticated thinking by some of the leading scholars in our field. One might suggest that the synthesis of the major theoretical perspectives in career development with the challenges of the school-to-work movement is a match made in heaven. As a whole, the articles by Savickas ( 1999), Krumboltz and Worthington (1999), Swanson and Fouad (1999), and Lent, Hackett, and Brown ( 1999) are thoughtfully written, innovative, and far-reaching in their implications. In fact, a significant part of my reaction to these papers affirms the belief that a careful integration of the school-to-work transition with the four bodies of theory detailed in these articles represents a great opportunity for both work-bound youth and for the continued vitality of the theoretical foundation of our discipline. However, when I consider these articles in light of the knowledge I have gained in my recent research into the school-to-work transition (Blustein, Phillips, JobinDavis, Finkelberg, & Roarke, 1997), my reactions become more complex and equivocal. In this discussion, I seek to reconcile these views to create space for applications of existing theories as well as new perspectives derived from the contemporary experiences of work-bound youth.

COMMON THEMATIC ELEMENTS

Much of the school-to-work literature, although rich with ideas from sociology, economics, and education, tends to downplay the experience of the individual (Worthington & Juntunen, 1997). The advantage of the articles in this issue, however, is that, taken together, they emphasize the psychological experiences of youth who are making the transition from high school to work.

In contrast to the human capital theory assumptions that underlie many of the policy-based initiatives undertaken in this decade (Sweetland, 1996), career development theory emphasizes that individuals have the potential to exercise some agency in the school-to-work transition, assuming that certain psychological and social factors are in place (Krumboltz & Worthington, 1999; Lent et al., 1999; Savickas, 1999; Swanson & Fouad, 1999). The explicit application of existing career development theories, therefore, provides scholars with the conceptual tools they need to understand more fully the antecedents and consequences of an active and involved approach to the school-to-work transition.

In each of these articles, the focus on the individual reveals important insights about how work-bound youth can optimize their influence in a process that is very much dominated by broader social and economic forces. Savickas's (1999) thoughtful conclusions about the importance of awareness, information, and planning are generally consistent with a growing body of literature on the school-to-work transition that has emerged from other scholarly arenas, such as sociological analyses and narrative studies of working-class youth (Borman, 1991; Evans & Heinz, 1994). Swanson and Fouad ( 1999) present an excellent synthesis of the challenges of the school-towork transition from the perspective of person-environment (PE) fit theories. In contrast to the evident focus on the environment in current discourse on the school-to-work transition (Worthington & Juntunen, 1997), both the developmental and PE Fit theories encourage balanced perspectives that focus on the space between the individual and the context. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Match Made in Heaven? Career Development Theories and the School-to-Work Transition
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.