Research Output

Supporting school career education with an online community.

  This thesisi s an analysisi f a participatory action researchp roject, involving
several interventions with school students in a series of iterative stages, exploring
ways to take school student career education out of the confines of the schools
themselvesa nd into the wider community; to introducep ersonc enterednesas s a
core value in careere ducation;a nd to explore the effectivenesso f using online
social and community networks to support career education generally.
A software probe was developed consisting of a series of career education web
pages linked to asynchronous online discussion. In the final data gathering trial,
40 people (including 30 school students from two Edinburgh schools and 10 adult
`community' participants) contributed to a six week career education programme
involving. cycles of face to face classroom work followed by pseudonymous,
asynchronous, online discussion between the school students and the community
The data analysis shows that despite the open and relatively unconstrained format
of the discussion, topics normally covered in mainstream career education classes
were covered spontaneously by the participants. In addition, however, discussion
ranged more widely, taking a more holistic perspective in some cases and
following the personal interests and issues of concern of the participants (such as
balancing occupational and family concerns). The participants went further,
problematisingm any of the discourseso f conventionalc areere ducationa nd
explicitly challenging received wisdom about the value of early occupational
choice and the rational decision making process. The conventional career
education curriculum was both extended and contested.
There is analysis of the benefits of pseudonymity, the role of the adult
contributors, the online forum, and the experience of the student participants.
Ultimately the thesis raises questions about the humanist values underpinning
careere ducation( such as person-centredneshs,o lism and emancipation)a rguing
that Career Education and Guidance can be about value creation as much as
transmission of dominant values.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 June 2006

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD Industries. Land use. Labor

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    331 Labor economics


Jeffery, G. Supporting school career education with an online community. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



career guidance; online communities; social networks; occupational choice; school students;

Available Documents