EXPERIENTIAL HIGH SCHOOL CAREER EDUCATION: RELATION TO SELF-EFFICACY AND MOTIVATION
Career education has become an integral part of high school programming in Canada (Gibbons, Borders, Wiles, Stephan & Davis, 2006). Research on school-based career interventions is on the rise throughout North America (Hiebert, 2010; Roest & Magnusson, 2005). The current study is intended to contribute to this growing area by examining the impact of an elective career education class offered in Saskatchewan public schools called Career and Work Exploration 30 (CWE30). CWE30 combines experiential classroom activities and work placements. Experiential learning has long been regarded as an effective way of increasing self-efficacy, as described in Social Cognitive Theory (SCT; e.g., Bandura, 1977), a factor shown to play a role in encouraging career exploration and confident career-related decision-making (e.g., Blustein, 1989). Another contributor to active career exploration is intrinsic motivation, described in Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as the innate desire to seek out knowledge and growth and to therefore engage in activities that foster this development (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Given the complex and relatively nascent nature of research in this area, the chosen methodology was a case study (Yin, 2014). Multiple types of data were collected. Fourteen grade 11 and 12 high school students from Saskatchewan completed the Career Decision-Making Self-Efficacy Scale - Short Form (CDMES-SF; Taylor & Betz, 1983) and a motivation questionnaire (adapted from Kerner et al., 2012) at the beginning and end of the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year. Two students and one teacher were interviewed. Further, the class curriculum, student attendance, blank copies of in-class activities, and homework that was assigned were collected. Results included significant differences in scores on the CDMSE-SF from pre to post testing and common themes on the qualitative measures such as frustration with assignments and placement time commitments; excitement about experiential learning; fears and uncertainties related to career decision-making; and suggestions for improvements emerged. Course documents provided further evidence as to the implementation of the CWE30 curriculum and the inclusion of factors thought to promote intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy as described in SDT and SCT respectively. Implications within the current literature as well as for future research are discussed.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
SupervisorNicol, Jennifer A.
CommitteeMartin, Stephanie; McVittie, Janet
Copyright DateOctober 2014
social cognitive theory
career decision-making self-efficacy
high school career education