Teacher Approaches in Career Guidance Programmes in Singapore High Schools: A Qualitative Study

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Teacher Approaches in Career Guidance Programmes in Singapore High Schools: A Qualitative Study
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Jia Wen He, Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore


Career guidance and skills development have received renewed attention since the turn of the century. Dramatic shifts in the global economy has led to the call to infuse career-related elements in education systems to address challenges such as youth unemployment and skills mismatch. Singapore, which has enacted career education in schools since its independence in 1965, currently foregrounds a whole-school approach where teachers are expected to deliver career guidance programmes. However, internationally, very little research to date has focused on the perspectives of teachers who deliver such programmes. This paper seeks to respond to this situation by examining two questions: What are teachers’ aims in conducting career guidance programmes? What strategies do teachers use when conducting these programmes? 15 teachers in 3 elite high schools in Singapore were interviewed on their perspectives of school-based career guidance programmes for Grade 11 and Grade 12 students (17 and 18 year old). The study was conducted from an interpretivist approach. Respondents were selected via purposive sampling and semi-structured interviews were used to glean data. The main research findings revealed three common approaches teacher took when providing career guidance: sharing of stories, customizing programmes to students, and encouraging reflection in career decision-making. Recommendations emerging from the results will be relevant for policy makers, curriculum designers, school leaders and educators.

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