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Narrative ways to assist adolescents towards the world of work : never ending stories... bound to change

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. M.P. van der Merwe and Dr. I.E. Walters en_US
dc.contributor.author Mersey, Gloria Maria Delfine
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-06T11:53:07Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-06T11:53:07Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-06
dc.date.submitted 2000
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7104
dc.description D.Ed. en_US
dc.description.abstract During the past decade there have been far-reaching changes in the social and political structure in South Africa. As South Africa has entered the global stage, many companies are now competing internationally. There has been a rapid rise in the technological development which has often meant that people have outdated skills and can no longer be employed. Consequently, young people who wish to make a decision concerning their future careers, are presented with a host of new challenges. The reality of today's world of work demands an individual who can anticipate and adjust to change. The postmodem identity of the multiple selves, is in constant flux in order to maintain position in a rapidly changing world. Sunter (1999), Burr (1995), Mazarr (1999) all refer to the way metanarratives of the past have, in today's world, been called into question. All the old certainties of the past have evaporated. These changes have led to a lack of stability and a sense of hopelessness for the older generation. As a result, there has been an increasing lack of guidance both from parents and from those involved in educating the young people of the country, especially in terms of career choice. Subsequently, our young people are not empowered and many of them fall victim to unemployment and a sense of non-agency. The realities of people living and making meaning of life under very different social, cultural and economic conditions has profoundly important theoretical implications for career counselling (Donald, 1995). There are so many new options open in the world of work, that these confound the process of career decision making. Savickas (1993;1995;1997), suggests that the new work ethic for the 21" century will be one of self-development, changing the goal of career counselling from supporting careerism to fostering self-affirmation and improved decision-making. There is an urgent need to develop an approach which facilitates the process of career decision-making which suits the "spirit of the age" and which is discourse sensitive, but which also incorporates aspects of universal significance. The challenges which are faced by this need are: How can the career seeking adolescent be assisted to search for his/her own identity and recover his/her own voice? How can the adolescent be empowered to challenge and overcome the disempowering discourses which invite career "indecision*? Which way of working could assist the career seeking adolescent to position him/herself and enable him/her to exercise personal agency with regard to the dynamic world of work in the South African context, so that s/he can make a meaningful career decision? The intention of this study is to describe and explain the use of narrative ways of working to facilitate career decision making. This study was set in a postmodem South African context and used narrative ways of working in both career decision making and in the research process. Narrative ways of working use ideas which encompass aspects such as social construction of knowledge through language (Burr, 1995: Gergen, 1991), the power/knowledge relations (Foucault, 1980), and the "not-knowing" approach (Anderson & Goolishian, 1992). Career seeking adolescents took part in the study. The participants drew a lifemap and then they told their stories. I questioned the participants using the inner landscape of action, the outer landscape of consciousness and the experience of experience (Bruner, 1986; White, 1991) framework of questioning. All the participants wrote a reflection of the effect of the lifestory conversation. Other relevant knowledge was gathered from documents, such as school reports. I listened to each conversation which had been recorded. I transcribed the conversations and listened to them again several times. Each listening provided an opportunity to listen for themes which might have been missed. The participants listened to the retelling of the story which the researcher had written and themes which emerged, were co-constructed. Then the participants and the reseracher had a reflexive group conversation using the reflections of the process and further questions as stimulus. This conversation was transcribed and after multiple listenings the researcher wrote a retelling of this conversation. I asked reflexive questions about the career decision making process and each participant was invited to asked me questions about the process. These reflexive conversations were transcribed after multiple listenings. A reflection was written about the effects of the process. Other data collected was used to provide coherence with the knowledges elicited in the conversations. This research report follows a recursive rather than a linear structure. I avoided the objectification of knowledge as it is in direct contrast with the fundamental principles of narrative ways of working. Accountability for this study lies within the multiple reflexive conversations. The authenticity of the data was checked by the participants themselves and a peer researcher who is well versed in narrative ways of working. The retellings of the tellings, allow the reader to make meaning of the participants' and the researcher's stories of the experiences. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Education (Secondary) -- Aims and objectives en_US
dc.subject Education (Secondary) -- South Africa en_US
dc.subject Vocational education -- South Africa en_US
dc.subject Educational change -- South Africa en_US
dc.subject School-to-work transition en_US
dc.title Narrative ways to assist adolescents towards the world of work : never ending stories... bound to change en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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