Starting to work with employers
Ten years ago, the respected educationalist Guy Claxton said that, for young people, school education can be:
‘… an eleven year experience … whose net effect has been to leave many of them with a smattering of certificates, and a strong feeling of not having been adequately prepared for the rigours and complexities of real life.’ (‘What’s the point of school?’ Claxton, 2008)
How many times have you heard a child ask why they should learn a particular topic or when they will ever make use of a piece of curriculum knowledge? ‘What’s the point?’ is their question, which might be expressed in behaviour rather than words.
Embedding employer input within curriculum learning presents the opportunity to both help young people learn about what work is like and to bring an academic topic ‘to life’ at the same time.
In the previous step, Andy gave two examples of student interactions with employers. One was a site visit, the other a classroom activity. These were arranged with STEM Ambassadors, a UK-wide network of STEM industry professionals that can bring a great source of experience into your teaching. This network taps into local connections, and can often be an easy first step to bringing careers to life.
As you work through the rest of this week, you’ll consider the role of employers as part of careers learning. We provide further guidance in step 3.8 about finding employers, particularly if you are in rural areas.
What are the challenges in getting the most out of student interactions with employers or site visits?
© National STEM Learning Centre