Magazine article Techniques

The Role of Interest in Education

Magazine article Techniques

The Role of Interest in Education

Article excerpt

"WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO AFTER YOU GRADUATE?" THIS IS A GREAT QUESTION FOR STUDENTS in middle and high school. But how can career and technical educators help answer this question in a logical and thoughtful way? Help students investigate opportunities based on their actual interests. Implementation of a process that helps student recognize their interests and abilities will help them to become more engaged and keep them motivated to learn. Too often students just accept the assumption that they will go on to college without any idea of a career goal in mind. They are not even aware of the possibilities beyond high school. Students tend to look at just what they feel is expected of them.

Students should be encouraged to seek out careers they enjoy; that will enable them to be productive members of society; and that will provide a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. Career and technical education (CTE) in high school is designed to expose students to the world of work and prepare them for careers so they might begin to explore what they really want to do.

Hands-on Career Exploration

Help your students succeed by facilitating a career exploration process that begins with their interests, offers real-world experience and relates to job-specific skills to encourage engagement. A student will become more invested in learning if they are truly interested. Establishing a process such as this will allow you, working along with your students, to complete a career portfolio that outlines skills and interests, a plan to develop the additional skills, and postsecondary options.

Students respond to how they feel at the moment. They can easily become discouraged by the current situation, and often don't know how to set short-term goals, much less plans for the future. They need direction from invested educators, like you, to begin exploring careers they might enjoy.

Process

At The Conover Company, we have been providing systems to help districts implement career exploration processes for over 35 years. As part of the Conover Online system, MECA identifies interests, allows students to explore career areas using hands-on activities, assesses basic academic skills competencies needed and provides occupational information. …

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