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- Volume 23, Issue 3, 2009
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 23, Issue 3, 2009
Volumes & issues
Volume 23, Issue 3, 2009
Negotiating 21st century challenges in career counselling at South African institutions of higher education : can this be done and, if so, how? : editorialSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 429 –435 (2009)More Less
The third issue of the SAJHE for 2009 deals with the challenges facing career counselling at South African institutions of higher education in the 21st century. The interested reader will encounter an absorbing compilation of national, international, transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary contributions. Individually, these contributions represent the fruits of months, if not years, of dedication and application in different research contexts. Collectively, they provide an imposing collage of perspectives on 21st century career counselling. Crafting their distinctive contributions with enthusiasm and sensitivity, and locating themselves in a predominantly qualitative research tradition, the authors have produced a set of discussions (and follow-up discussions) that help us understand and appreciate postmodern career counselling at South African institutions of higher education. The authors focus on a number of pressing contemporary research developments in the field that span the spectrum of psychological investigation.
Career counselling in the 21st century : South African institutions of higher education at the crossroadsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 436 –458 (2009)More Less
The current state of career counselling in South African institutions of higher education in the 21st century is explored in this article in an attempt to locate current work in the field of career counselling in South Africa in the light of global trends (academic and economic) and in terms of local history and current economic climate. The article is based largely on an examination of factors that have contributed collectively and individually to the current state of affairs in career counselling in South Africa (with particular emphasis on institutions of higher education). The key aim is to create a deeper understanding of what can be done to help millions of young people in South Africa (including those who are currently excluded from sought-after fields of study and training institutions) access those opportunities that are available and, in the process, to promote equity, access and redress. Some salient aspects of 21st century career counselling, including the history of career counselling in South Africa and elsewhere, the need for a changed approach to career counselling at all levels, and the interplay between the different waves in psychology are explicated. Helping models in career counselling, the narrative approach, the global economy and the impact of global developments on career counselling are considered. It is endeavoured to deconstruct and explain the impact of these factors on what is currently happening in South Africa and determine whether South Africa has kept abreast of contemporary developments historically, epistemologically and at a more practical level.
Author P.J. HartungSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 459 –469 (2009)More Less
South African institutions of higher education seek to innovate their practices to more inclusively, effectively, and justly serve the needs of a diverse student population. Career counselling shares in this aim in an age of ever-widening globalization and burgeoning information technology. Counsellors around the globe must increasingly move to adapt career development paradigms and practices to better account for and assist people to navigate the complexities of work and a work world in seemingly constant flux. Four strategies offer an organizing framework for envisioning career counselling's future both globally and locally within the context of South African higher education. These strategies concern (1) reunifying around the theme of empowering workers to adapt; (2) renovating career counselling's foundations in individual differences and development; (3) renewing attention to social class and culture; and (4) reconciling positivist and constructivist perspectives on career to situate work and career concerns within the contexts of people's developing life stories. Moving toward unity and relevance in career counselling will require a sustained and substantial effort on the part of all who hold stake in higher education.
Career counselling in South African higher education : moving forward systemically and qualitativelySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 470 –481 (2009)More Less
In the context of a rapidly transforming society, the present article discusses issues facing career counselling in higher education in South Africa. Using the Systems Theory Framework of career development, the article considers the multi-levelled and multi-layered national and international context in which the challenges facing career counselling are located. Through a case study of a Black South African higher education student, an application of a qualitative career assessment approach is described as one practical response to these challenges. The opportunity for career counsellors to respond proactively by coordinating a systemic response to the limitations of their discipline in higher education in South Africa is proposed.
Author J.C. PerrySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 482 –504 (2009)More Less
In the midst of an information age and a global economy, people around the world continue to face significant inequities at school and in the workforce. Career counselling thus finds itself in a paradigm shift that increasingly stresses the influences of culture and sociopolitical context. One area in which the profession can advance a social justice agenda is through the school-to-work movement. In this article, directions for theory, research, and practice with secondary school-aged youth are discussed using a psychology of working perspective. Specifically, the roles of self-determination theory, critical consciousness, and social support are presented as synergistic mechanisms for fostering school engagement and preventing school dropout. To this end, higher education is viewed as a key institutional partner with programmes based inside and outside of the school.
Adolescents' perceived career challenges and needs in a disadvantaged context in South Africa from a social cognitive career theoretical perspectiveSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 505 –520 (2009)More Less
The study sought to understand adolescents' perceived career challenges and needs in a disadvantaged context using the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). A qualitative research design based on semi-structured interviews was conducted with 12 Grade 9 and Grade 10 learners from a disadvantaged background. The results of the study indicated a strong reciprocal relationship between adolescents' social environment, their cognitive processes such as self-efficacy beliefs and their career development. Many of the learners' career challenges were contextually based, and their career needs were a response to their career challenges, which corresponds with the theoretical underpinnings of the SCCT. It was therefore thought that a career intervention based on the tenets of the SCCT would be appropriate for this study.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 521 –536 (2009)More Less
The significance of both higher education and career counselling is outlined. The predominant matching paradigm for career development service delivery is described. Its implications for reinforcing the status quo in the South African community are identified and questioned. The Chaos Theory of Careers (CTC) is suggested as an alternative theoretical perspective which incorporates both stability and change using convergent and emergent perspectives. The counselling implications of the CTC are adumbrated in terms of confronting uncertainty by moving from closed to open systems thinking; accepting risk; not fearing failure and; negotiating uncertainty through shiftwork paradigms. An example of the application of the provision of career development services to a disadvantaged group is also described. It is concluded that a changed theoretical framework for the provision of career development services can provide a map and a strategy for incorporating stability and change as a basis for social reform and good hope for the nation's future through higher education.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 537 –560 (2009)More Less
This exploratory and descriptive study investigated the use of the asset-based approach in career facilitation in South Africa. Five adolescents (3 females and 2 males) aged 16 to 18 years participated. An intervention study following a qualitative approach was conducted. We developed and implemented an asset-based career facilitation intervention that included psychometric and post-modern career activities. We used multiple data collection strategies (observation, unstructured interviews, intervention activities, visual data and participant reflections), which we documented in various ways (field notes, researcher diaries, photocopies of intervention artefacts and participant reflective diaries). Our thematic analysis of the data revealed three main themes. Firstly, in terms of the client-partner relationship, the study indicated the significance of personality traits, age, family dynamics, career interest profiles and previous career assessment experiences when using asset-based strategies. Secondly, the challenging role of the asset-based career facilitator was emphasised. Thirdly, results suggested that traditional career guidance paradigms meant that client-partners expected the career facilitator to function as expert, and accordingly resisted the shared responsibility of partnership. Subsequently, we identified indicators and contra-indicators for using asset-based career facilitation.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 561 –574 (2009)More Less
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recently commissioned a review of the career development field in South Africa. The review was designed to clarify what SAQA's role might be in assisting learners throughout life to navigate their ways through the complex array of education, training and work opportunities (including, but not confined to, those within higher education). This article situates the initiative historically and, in particular, in relation to the experiences in the late 1970s and 1980s of the first community-based non-governmental career development organisation, the Careers Research and Information Centre (CRIC). It also locates it in relation to policy developments internationally. It argues that the time is ripe for a high-level national career development initiative in South Africa that could act as a catalyst for career development services across all education, training and work sectors, both public and private, within a lifelong learning philosophy and approach.
Analysing career counselling in a South African setting : exploring the utility of a model from Activity TheorySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 575 –589 (2009)More Less
This article integrates previous research findings and theory to reflect on the limitations of traditional career counselling for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It highlights the many challenges faced by students as they adjust to the university environment, and proposes a constructivist approach as more appropriate for career counsellors. It illustrates the use of a model from Activity Theory to analyse the provision of career counselling at a student counselling centre, compared to that embedded in an access programme on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu Natal. Students' responses to the interventions are included and the utility of a developmental contextual career group process is described. The Activity Theory model is proposed as a conceptual tool to evaluate career counselling from a constructivist perspective.
Career counselling an African immigrant student in a USA school setting : merging transition theory with a narrative approachSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 590 –607 (2009)More Less
A global professional discourse has emerged among career specialists inviting a critical examination of conventional career theory and calling for innovative, postmodern approaches that capture the complex, unique and evolving needs of diverse and disadvantaged students. Using a narrative case study the authors evaluate and describe the application of Schlossberg's Transitional Theory to the career development of an African immigrant, high school student in the United States. Transitional Theory posits that throughout their lives, people experience transition requiring an alteration in patterns of behavior and thinking and necessitating new coping strategies (Schlossberg and Leibowitz 1980, 205). The transitional, narrative data were gathered over time using interviews, head notes, observations, and assessment reports (Creswell 2007, 73). Contextual influences and themes that shaped the student's 'storied life' are described in light of Schlossberg's theory constructs of situation, self, support and strategies for meaning-making and career growth.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 23, pp 608 –623 (2009)More Less
The taking of a 'gap year', immediately after completing their secondary school education, to explore life before embarking on formal studies or starting their career, is a growing phenomenon among young people in South Africa. This research study explores the experiences of three young people who engaged in a gap year and focuses on the influence that gap year had on their individual career decision-making process.