Extra Credit Assignment



Elementary Career

Curriculum Development

Jennifer R. Curry, Ph.D., Professor, LSU

Grade Level Career Content Knowledge Pre-K & Kindergarten

Community Helpers, Helper Vehicles, Career Play

1st Grade

Tools of the Trade, Clothing of the Trade, Career Vocabulary

2 nd


Career Vocabulary, Career Clusters, Typical Day on the Job

3 rd


Career Pathways, Relating Work and School

4 th


Post-Secondary Life, Career Pathways, Relating Work and School, Technology and Career Exploration

5th Grade

Post-Secondary Life, Exploring all Aspects of a Career, Salary, Typical Day on the Job, Related Careers, Training Required





P-12 College and Career Readiness Skills

Career Exploration Skills

Cognitive Skills

Financial literacy Skills

Self-Regulatory Skills

Employability Skills

Communication skills

PreK-1: Core Counseling Curriculum

By the end of 1st grade, students should be able to:

1. Recognize careers and how they are different from jobs

2. Identify community helpers

3. Use career language

4. Demonstrate positive attitudes towards self, others, school opportunities, and feelings of competence

5. Articulate likes and dislikes





By the End of 1st Grade…

Students can understand that people

• use different tools to accomplish goals

• work occurs in a variety of locations, and

• various types of occupations require different clothes, vehicles, and training

School counselors should be able to assess student learning outcomes in career development

Another Assessment





PreK-1: Importance of Stakeholders

Stopping the Dream Squasher Expanding Career Language Working with Teachers to Integrate Career and College Information in Classroom Curriculum Parent Engagement Activities

Workshops on financial literacy, career and college information, STEM, etc.

Place children in the position of “expert” as often as possible

Give parents examples as well

PreK-1: Core Counseling Curriculum

By the end of 1st grade, students should be able to:

1. Recognize careers and how they are different from jobs

2. Identify community helpers

3. Use career language

4. Demonstrate positive attitudes towards self, others, school opportunities, and feelings of competence

5. Articulate likes and dislikes





PreK-1: Sample Activities

Innovation-teach Design Model Processing (Jackson & Tarhini, 2015) beginning early and let kids experiment

Step One: Empathize

Step Two: Define the Problem

Step Three: Ideate

Step Four: Prototype

Step Five: Test

Tie to literacy and have kids act out stories with bodies or puppets (book list)-Demonstration

Consistently tie to curriculum and teach faculty how to do so

Make careers FUN!!!!! (e.g., sculpting tools with playdoh)-Demonstration

Give a child a title…Today would you like to be a …








Don’t REWARD children with ice cream…reward them with experiences

Teach parents to become skillful interviewers…

At the library, restaurants, bakery, grocery store, getting an oil change…and everywhere…ASK:

What do you like most about your work?

What subject(s) did you like in school?

What is the hardest thing about your work?

If someone was interested in your type of work, what skills might they need to develop?

What is something that you have to do everyday that might surprise people?

What is something you didn’t do well at first that you are really good at now?

(Curry, 2017)





2nd & 3rd Grade: Cognitive Development – Piaget

Transitioning to Concrete Operations stage and may still exhibit egocentrism and may continue to display thought that is largely influenced by fantasy and magical thinking

Concrete thinking begins to emerge as children develop a more realistic understanding of the world

Reversibility: an understanding that the stages of the problem solving process can be worked backward, or in the opposite direction

Decenter: focus on the whole picture and multiple aspects of a problem, rather than focusing on one small detail at a time

Class inclusion: the ability to understand that a category can include multiple subcategories

Seriation: the ability to group objects based on some type of principle or characteristic (example: animals)

Gain self-awareness

2nd & 3rd Grade: School Counseling Interventions

• Continue with Design Model Process (hexbug challenge)

• Career exploration activities

Introduce career clusters

• Developing career and college language

Story telling and role playing help build career and college vocabulary (Example: Start with prompts)

• Interpersonal/Employability skills and career and college readiness

Collaborative groups and team building

Conflict resolution

(Curry, 2017)





2nd & 3rd Grade: Importance of Stakeholders

Specialty faculty: P.E./health teacher, library and media specialist, foreign language teacher, art teacher, music teacher. Work to integrate career and college information in a creative way

Academic subject teachers: Academic growth through goals and monitoring progress, organization skills; Social growth through group work; Career growth through classroom lessons (assessment example: career clusters and occupation matching)

Creating a college (post-secondary)-going culture

Parent engagement activities: Such as family math, reading, or science night

(Curry & Milsom, 2017)





2nd & 3rd Grade: Activities

Continue to apply Design Model Processing

Example (connected to health unit): There is a town with dirty water. Lots of people are getting sick. Can you design a way to clean the town’s water? Connect to careers after.

Teach Career Clusters (have students sort but do so in fun ways (e.g., Career Baseball-collaborative, Fishing for Careers, Tic Tac Toe Careers- Demonstration)

Connect current school work to careers (guest speakers, field trips, demonstrations).

Example: Family Math Night: FUN WITH FRACTIONS— connect to careers that use fractions through career presentations. Serve: fraction foods, have fraction games.

Family Night: Fun with Fractions





4th & 5th Grade: Bandura’s Social Learning Theory

Self-regulation: an individual’s ability to plan and manage his or her own behavior toward successfully reaching a goal

Stems from individuals envisioning potential courses of action, judging their ability to produce the actions necessary for desired outcomes, and

then setting goals and taking action

Self-efficacy: a person’s determination about their ability to be successful

Efficacy expectancy: the conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior required to produce the outcomes

1. Performance accomplishments

2. Vicarious experiences

3. Verbal persuasion

4. Emotional arousal

4th & 5th Grade: The Middle School Transition

Important milestone

Students prepared for the academic rigor of middle school are more likely to be academically successful in their middle grades education

Students and their parents/guardians need to be:

1. Well informed of the available options for course work

2. Encouraged to register for the most rigorous classes they are capable of taking

3. Prepared for the differences in their daily routine as they move from elementary to middle school





4th & 5th Grade: Core Counseling Curriculum

If students have been adequately introduced to career clusters and the relationships among careers in second and third grades, then they will be ready by the fourth and fifth grade to learn the process of exploring individual careers and career pathways

• Career Exploration, Technology, and Interests

Occupational Outlook Handbook online, O*Net

• Varied activities that allow them to gain relevant experience

• Include fun (e.g., career trading card activity- Demonstration)

4th Grade Coffee House Night





Student Led Career, College, Leadership Development

Student Led

Career Fair

Student Led Career, College, Leadership Development

Create a vision board and write a paper that answers the following questions: In 20 years, if we have a 5th grade reunion…

What occupation will you have?

Will you have a college degree? How many?

Will you be married?

Will you have kids? How many?

How will you be involved in the community?

Will you own a business, what kind?

Will you own any pets? What kind? How many?

How much will you make?

Where will you travel?

What will you do in your leisure time?

How will you feel about yourself?