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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26408

Title: Workplace Learning in Secondary Schools: An Examination of Ontario's Venture into Formal Career Education
Authors: Antonelli, Fabrizio
Advisor: Livingstone, David W.
Department: Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Keywords: career education
secondary schools
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2011
Abstract: Employing Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, this study will examine the origins, creation, and implementation of Ontario’s Career Studies course as it relates to existing economic and workplace practices. Specifically, two broad aspects of the course will be addressed. First, the expectations for the course will be examined to determine the general approach to workplace education as outlined in course curriculum documents and approved-for-use textbooks. Also included in this analysis will be the ways Career Studies teachers interpret and deliver course material. Secondly, this study will uncover the opportunities students have to control and empower themselves in their career development. This includes an exploration of the alternatives to current workplace and economic practices as presented in the course materials, as well as the strategies emphasized for students to adopt in their career planning. At the moment Career Studies, like other career education and guidance programs in Canada, presents current neo-liberal market and labour trends as permanent and outside the control of human agency. In response to these trends, students are expected to improve their marketability for employment through individual and competitive career-development practices, in effect distancing themselves from others through formal credential attainment and attitudinal adjustments that best suit employers. Opportunities for students to experience collective empowerment through alternative workplace and economic practices are noticeably absent from the course. This study wishes to shed light on some of the shortcomings of career education in Ontario and to propose recommendations that truly situate students as architects of their career planning. Employing Hyslop-Margison and Graham’s (2003) Principles for Democratic Learning (PDL), this study concludes that opportunities for students to critically examine and question current workplace practices, explore alternatives to the status quo, and, most importantly, understand the social elements behind current workplace and economic conditions, will better position students to control their future work lives.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26408
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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