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A REPORT ON CAREER PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION

in 2001-2002 School Year

LOD SCIENCE COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOL

GRADE 10 "Choosing My Future Career" Project


Proficiency Level 1

Teacher: Bronislava Kabakovitch


English Coordinator

PART I PROJECT PLAN IMPLEMENTED

STEP 1: THE PROJECT GOALS

Educational Goals:
*developing value of the dignity of work
*researching and developing abilities to make choices about/concerning my future career
*learning about myself, defining and analyzing my character traits, aptitudes and inclinations,
raising my self-awareness, and self-confidence

Language Learning Objectives:


Social Interaction:
*Interviewing a professional in the field, asking logically sequenced questions, within proper
question structures and using appropriate vocabulary and register
*expressing ideas and opinions on my career choice and providing in-depth explanations of
the search process and its results, the decision(s) made, the social importance of the career,
etc.

Access to Information:
*obtaining and using information from unadapted and extended Web texts (questionnaires
and background information) that deal with content in depth and being able to integrate the
collected information for the purpose of dream career research by summarizing, analyzing
and drawing conclusions

Presentation:
*presenting an in-depth career profile, synthesizing information from various sources
*presenting career research conclusions based on the integration of the results of information
obtained through different means
*Redrafting written presentation, using a variety of tools, such as a spell- checker,
self/peer/teacher assessment, etc.

Appreciation of Culture and Language


*Gaining insight into the social importance and main prerequisites of my dream career
*using appropriate vocabulary, register, and grammar structures while creating and
presenting a career profile, doing research, analyzing questionnaire results and career
background information, and providing feedback on the project.

STEP 2: PREREQUISITE SKILLS


1) using the Web and search engines
2) abilities to summarize, draw conclusions and to analyze
3) ability to ask special and general questions correctly
4) ability to write a bibliography
5) being able to self/peer assess oral/written presentation according to the criteria
6) being able to provide feedback/reflect on the learning process

STEP 3:CHOOSING A TOPIC

The project topic had been planned by the staff as part of the 10th grade syllabus. It was one
of the topics students learn and explore through stories, poems, articles and essays. As well,
the project was initiated by our school counselor Mrs. Rachel Zhelovitch four years ago and
has become an important milestone in the educational school program and in the process of
choosing electives and embarking on a certain career direction. Also, the NEW
CURRICULUM rationale has added depth to the on-going learning process.

STEP 4: PROCEDURES:

1.The project takes place over three weeks.

2.During this time, only the project will be done in the classroom or in a computer lab,
according to the schedule.

3.Pupils work individually, getting help from peers or a teacher when necessary.
4. A teacher is a helper and facilitator of the project. Teacher -Student interaction is
conducted via classroom and e-mail facilitation.

5.The pupils keep a working file in which they collect all their notes, rough drafts, resource
materials and working schedules, which will gradually (as the project goes on) turn into the
final product.
All of the above mentioned elements are part of the project portfolio, which reflects on the
learning process.

6.Before the written part of the project is handed in, students present the project to their
peers, who evaluate their work according to the Assessment Criteria (rubrics).

7. After the written part of the project is handed in within a two-week period, the students are
given another week to make all the necessary corrections.

8.There is an opening of each double lesson (90 minutes) to instruct students on the lesson
schedule.

The following procedure was presented to and discussed with the class.

13 Procedure Steps:

1. Think why people embark on the careers of their choices. Who or what may
influence the choice (family, fields of interest, etc)? Discuss the issue in
general, and explain how you would choose your profession. WRITE
PROJECT INTRODUCTION " Contemplating my/one's career choice"

2. Write your first Pre-research question:


Which career/or type of a career suits my areas of personal interest, personality,
character traits, abilities and aspirations?

3.Visit career sites on the Web (www.ncsu.edu/careerkey/you,


www.review.com/career/, www2.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/l/lkj/,
www.studentcenter.com, www.explore.cornell.edu, www.stats.bls.gov/oco,
e-mode career site, etc.)
Fill in two or three career questionnaires to find careers to match your interests and
abilities

4.Analyse the results and choose the career, which suits you best.
5. Ask your second pre-research question,
e.x. " What does my dream career have to offer?"

6. Find out about your dream profession


(prerequisite education, job market, salary, responsibilities, skills, workplace and
hours, and social importance)

a. The Internet search (printing background information)


b. Interview a professional in the field
(refer to the interview questions checklist and evaluation scale)

7.Summarize and analyze the career information you have collected.

8.Ask your research question and do research.

9. Create your career profile and write a speech presenting your career choice (graphic
organizer).

10.Write a bibliography.

11. Present your career profile to your peer(s). Self and peer assess (refer to the
criteria table)

12.Speak about your profession. Make your presentation easy to follow, creative and
interesting. Challenge your audience to guess the choice you've made

13. Reflect on the project (in writing at the end of the portfolio)
STEP 5: ASSESSMENT

The project is evaluated by well-planned rubrics that reflect goals of the project; as
well, self-assessment, peer and teacher assessment is used. Also, while designing rubrics,
mainly a holistic approach is used. Students are informed in advance of the goals to meet the
criteria, and are presented with the CRITERIA ASSESSMENT LIST according to which their
projects will be self/peer/teacher evaluated and assessed. This same list may be used as a
checklist and a rubric assessing the working portfolio which will finally turn into the final
product -thus, the same rubric becomes a powerful tool in assessing both the on-going
process (their working portfolios) and the final product (I found that too many rubrics and
checklists to use are confusing).
a) The following list became a checklist for working procedure (it later became "The Table
of Contents"):

I. Introduction ____ Contemplating


career choices
II. My First Pre-research question: _____
Which career/or type of a career suits my
areas of personal interest, personality,
character traits, abilities and aspirations?
II. Filling in career questionnaire(s) to find ____ career(s)
to match my interests and abilities
III. Analysis of the results and choosing ____
the career, which suits me best.
IV. My second pre-research question: ____
_____________________________________________?
V.Finding out about my dream profession ____
(prerequisite education, job market, salary, responsibilities,
skills, workplace and hours, and social importance)

1.The Internet search (printing the background information) ____ 2.Interviewing a


professional in the field ____
(using the checklist and criteria for compiling
questions)
VI. Summarizing and analyzing the career ____
Information I have collected
VII. My research question: ____
_________________________________________________
VIII. Research _____
IX. My career profile (graphic organizer) _____
X. A speech presenting my career _____
XI. My first draft self-/peer-/teacher assessment _____
XII. Reflection _____
XIII. Bibliography _____

b) Afterwards, students were presented with

CAREER CHOICE ASSESSMENT LIST


Criteria Points Self- Peer Teacher
I filled in questionnaire to investigate career 10
choices.
I applied my character traits and personal 10
interests while researching my career
possibilities.
I referred to the following aspects while 20
describing the career of my choice
*education
*the salary factor
*employment outlook
*responsibilities
*professional skills
*the working place and hours
*social importance
I used at least two sources (professional in 10
the field, guidebooks, encyclopedias, job /
school counselors, the Web)
I followed the graphic organizer for 10
designing my profile.
I used at least 15 lexical items learnt and 15
related to at least 5 ideas expressed in the
stories, articles, poems and essays studied.
The language I used was accurate, creative 15
and interesting.
The presentation (a speech presenting my 5
career profile) was easy to follow, creative
and interesting.
Appropriate vocabulary, register and 5
grammar structures were used in my
speech while I was presenting a career of
my choice
Total: 100 %______________________
c) The last two items on the criteria list refer to speeches presenting students' careers
(everybody had to guess what the profession is), so students' attention is drawn to the
fact that the written product is accompanied by an oral presentation/speech (which is
one of the items on their working list)

d) Next, we elaborated the checklist for the questionnaire (interviewing a professional in the
field) students had to compile
Student Student Teacher Teacher
YES No Yes No

Are the questions related to the topic?


Are they organized logically?
Are they asked correctly?
Is the new vocabulary used?

Rating scales for the questionnaire

Points Student Peer Teacher


The questions don't relate to the topic. 0-5
The questions partially relate to the topic. 5-10
All the questions relate to the topic. 10-20

The questions aren't organized logically. 0-5


The questions partially organized logically. 5-10
The questions are organized logically. 10-20

The questions aren't asked correctly. 0-5


Some of the questions are asked correctly. 5-10
All the questions are asked correctly. 10-20

The new vocabulary isn't used. * 0-5


The new vocabulary isn't used. ** 5-10
The new vocabulary is used 10-20
properly***

• *but it's appropriate
• ** from 5 to 10 topical words and expressions are used
• *** from 10 to 20 topical words and expressions are used

PART II A TEACHER'S JOURNAL

In this part, I would like to describe/reflect on the whole procedure of the project
implementation stages
1. The learning module of Careers and dignity of labor was introduced. (see PART I,
STEP 3). We brainstormed the topic (Student 1/ Student 2- Pairs-Class model) first in
pairs and then pairs reported their ideas to the class, thus creating collective
knowledge. The first page of the project portfolio dealing with the topic general
overview was created.
2. Then, we read, discussed, analyzed relevant to the topic articles, stories, poems and
essays.
3. Their semester’s first exam topic essay was to write about /contemplate the choice of
their electives, career and its importance. When they got their exams back, they were
supposed to correct mistakes, print/rewrite the essay and put both versions into their
project portfolio-thus creating the second page of the portfolio.
4. At this point, they had gathered enough background knowledge to start the project.
So, goals and objectives were introduced, explained and discussed (see Part I, Step
1).
5. Procedures of Step 4/PART I were introduced.
6. 13 Steps of the procedure (a worksheet to put into the working portfolio) were
presented and elaborated on.
7. The checklist of the working portfolio consolidated the procedure explanation (see
PART I/STEP 5/a)); the same checklist later will become THE TABLE of CONTENTS.
8. Career Choice Assessment list (PART I /Step 5/ b)) 'echoed' goals and objectives
and showed students how their learning process and the final product will be
assessed.
9. From this point on, we started working on the project.
a) Everybody asked the first pre-research question: Which career/or type of a career
suits my areas of personal interest, personality, character traits, abilities and
aspirations? b) Filling
in career questionnaire(s) on the Web to find career(s) to match my interests &
abilities followed (see PART I / Step 4/ 13Procedure Steps/Step3) c) Then students
analyzed the results and chose the career which suited them best.
d) Students asked their second pre-research questions about what their
dream/chosen careers have to offer? e)
To answer that question, they had to find the information about their dream
professions (prerequisite education, job market, salary, responsibilities, skills,
workplace and hours, and social importance) by means of the Internet search
(printing the background information and including it into the portfolio- I had to be sure
that the prerequisite skill no.1 was not a problem-peer/teacher assistance was
provided when necessary) and interviewing a professional in the field (we
brainstormed questions; then students used the checklist and criteria for compiling
questions- see PART I/ Step 2/ PREREQUISITE SKILLS/Skill No.3 and PART I/Step
5/ d) ) f) Summarizing and analyzing the career
information they had collected (prerequisite skill No.2 was reviewed-PART I/Step
2/No 5).It was important to make it clear that it wasn't a" Copy-Paste Exercise" but
summarizing skills and analyzing abilities were necessary(prerequisite skill No.2/Part
I/Step2) g) Then learners asked their research questions,
showing what they could do with the information they had gathered as a result of
interviewing a professional in the field and gathering information on the WEB. Some
examples: What will my career look like when I become a professional in the field?
How wills my daily routine look when I become a _______? What can a
_____________ write in his/her diary? How would the world look without my
profession? h) Research was carried out (the
research question was answered). i) Career profile was created
according to a GRAPHIC ORGANIZER (both pages were included into a portfolio).
j) A speech presenting a dream career was written, presented to the class, self/ peer
and teacher assessed. The last two criteria items on the Career Choice Assessment
list (see PART I/Step 5/b) (were used to grade speeches. It had to be presented
without stating what career it is and classmates had to guess- the element of the
information gap added some additional flavor to the presentations) Also, prerequisite
skill No.5 (PART I/ Step 2) was reviewed.
k) The first draft self-/peer-/teacher assessment according to The CAREER
CHOICE ASSESSMENT LIST (see PART I/Step 5/b)). As well, prerequisite skill No.5
(PART I/ Step 2) was reviewed. The procedure took the whole double lesson (90
minutes).
10. STUDENTS' Reflection We went
thoroughly over the Reflection Stage (item 12 on a working procedure
checklist);
11.
Students were to answer/respond to the following five questions/statements:

1.I enjoyed working on the project (why?)

2.What do I think of the project?

3.Did it guide me in choosing a career and how?

4.What portion or direction did I feel most relevant in guiding me?

5.What did I learn about myself?

The reflection page is one of the last pages of the project portfolio.
After both written and oral presentations were over, we had an oral feedback session, during
which each student reflected on the project orally, which became a final accord in the
process.

11.Bibliography (prerequisite skill no.4 (PART I/Step 2). Students were provided with the
following worksheet: References following the article (bibliography) should include only
material directly cited in the article.

Book with one author: Name (last name, first initial). Year. Full title italicized (only first word of
title and subtitle are capitalized). Volume number, if applicable. Edition (if not original). City of
publication: Publisher’s name.
Example: Garner, P. 1987. Metacognition and reading comprehension. Norwood, New
Jersey: Ablex.

Book with more than one author: Author 1 (last name, first initial.), Author 2 (first initial, last
name), Author 3 (first initial, last name). Year. Full title. Volume number, if applicable. Edition
(if not original). City of publication: Publisher’s name.
Example: Ericsson, K. and H. Simon. 1993. Protocol analysis: Verbal reports as data.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chapter in a book: Author (last name, first initial). Year. Title of chapter (only first word
capitalized). In Title of Book, edited by Xxxx. pp.xxx-xxx. City of publication: Publisher’s
name.
Example: Labov, W. 1972. The transformation of experience in narrative syntax. In Language
in the inner city. pp. 354-396. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Article in a journal: Author (last name, first initial). Year. Title of article. Name of Journal,
volume number (italicized), issue number, pp. xxx-xxx.
Example: Carrell, P. 1988. Comprehension monitoring in ESL reading: A neglected essential.
TESOL Quarterly, 22, 2, pp. 283-302.

We read, discussed and modeled their bibliography page. It was a real life skill for our
students, all of whom will continue studying in the Universities: writing a bibliography is
essential while writing a scientific paper) .

PART III REFLECTION


The project became an important milestone in the educational and learning process. Not only
did students learn a lot of language, but also they learned a lot about themselves, their
personalities, character traits, aspirations and abilities. As well, it also helped them in
choosing electives ranging from Physics and Computers to Biology, Chemistry, Biotechnology
and Ecology (although not always).

It taught them how learning can be done independently, since it placed responsibility for doing
on them, both as individuals and as members of a class achieving the same goals. In my
opinion, the project achieved its goals (met by the Assessment criteria). It also gave students
the authentic "feel" of project work and of the fact that learners are brought "face -to-face"
with their learning, when the teacher is a facilitator and a helper in their learning.

As far as problems are concerned, schools have to receive official letters from the MINISTRY,
"encouraging"(by allotting funds) principals to allow printing in color all the project materials
and to provide help in solving any logistics problem teachers/students encounter (Biotop and
ECOtop are excellent examples of how the ministry solves these sorts of problems.

Another problem was using/creating too many assessment and checklists. To simplify and
optimally organize the process, I used the WORKING checklist as a TABLE OF CONTENTS
in the final product. Also, the working portfolio was turned into the final product (I demanded
that they put all the print out into one nylon folder to see the difference between their
summarizing/analyzing items and the original pages. Furthermore, students had to present
both their drafts and final versions in the same nylon folders- to show to process of learning.
They had a week to revise their work, thus improving their grades, which according to the
learning contracts constituted 10 % of their semester grade (it's our fourth year of the project).
Yet, since the NC guidelines added such tremendous depth to the on-going process, it
became 15 %.

In short, the project implementation had a lot of meaning for students, since it brought real life
skills and the world from outside into the learner-centered English classroom.