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Get to know jobs – Adults present their job

Age group

6-8 years

Primary CMS area

Area 5. Understanding the world

Other CMS areas

Area 3. Finding and accessing work

Unit Description

This learning unit seeks to give pupils insights into different jobs and broaden their horizons in terms of which jobs exist and their content. The aim is to begin a process where the pupils become acquainted with jobs that they do not meet through the family in which they grow up. The pupils begin at a basic level talking about jobs. The activity outlined in this unit approach the world of work through conversation and tools. The teacher discusses with the pupils what it means to work – both paid work and unpaid work. The class is visited by adults who talk about their work and show tools or materials they use in their work. After the visit, the teacher discusses with the pupils what they have heard and seen. The teacher can ask parents to talk about issues around jobs and work with their children. The learning unit is developed with inspiration from schools and project managers of Education & Job in Horsens Municipality, Denmark.
Activity 1. Get to know jobs – Adults present their jobs

Learning outcomes

Objective: Pupils begins to gain insight into
  • jobs – 3-4 jobs
  • that all jobs contribute to something in society
  • reasons to work
Students form or further develop a language to discuss jobs.

Activity Name

Get to know jobs – Adults present their job

Description

Introduction (10 min) 

The teacher presents the activity to the students: That they will get to know some jobs – maybe some jobs they did not know before, and, if they know the job in advance, they will gain greater insight into the job. 

How do people spend their time (30-60 min.) 

The teacher talks to the pupils about how people spend their time – as a child and as an adult – in everyday life and on weekends. The discussion is based on the students’ experiences from themselves, their parents and possibly grandparents. E.g.

    • Work at home – e.g. cooking, cleaning, repairing, gardening
    • Other unpaid work
    • Work outside the home
    • School
    • Hobbies
    • The family together
    • Meeting with friends
    • Sleep

In small groups the pupils brainstorm on what children and adults spend their time on. Based on this the class make a poster illustrating how children and adults spend their time. Each of the activities is illustrated by a few words or an illustrative drawing/picture’ interview about their jobs

Why do people work? (30 min)

In this session the teacher facilitates a discussion about reasons for going to work – and reasons for working with unpaid work.
The pupils discuss in pairs and this is followed by a joined brainstorm. The different ideas are categorized and a common poster is made.
The teacher tells the pupils that adults (e.g. 3-4) will visit the class and tell them about their work.

Job presentations (1-2 timer)

3-4 adults visit the class and tells about their job, approximately 10 minutes each.

The adults can address issues such as:

  • What is the overall aim/objective of the job – what does the job contribute to?
  • Why is the job important?
  • What do I do in the job (e.g. tasks and functions)?
  • What do I wear in the job and why (e.g. which clothing/costume is required in the job and how does it relate to the tasks)?
  • Which equipment, tools, machines do I use in the job?
  • Whom do I work with (e.g. target groups, customers, partners, colleagues, other professionals)?
  • Where do I work (e.g. specific places, indoors, outdoor, different places – same place)?
  • Which education is required for the job?
  • What is exciting about the job?
  • What is interesting about the job?
  • Give an example of how one or more of the school’s subjects is used in the work?
  • If you like your job – why do you like it?

To give the pupils a better understanding of the job, the adult can – if possible – bring and display objects, tools, pictures, clothing from work. e.g.

  • The chef can bring vegetables and chop them while talking about his/her job and let the kids eat them while listening.
  • The nurse can bring plaster that the children try to put on each other. Or bring a stethoscope with which the children can try to listen to each other’s heartbeat.
  • The adults can bring clothes and tell the children about the function of the clothing in the job and let the children touch and try the clothes.

If the adult brings materials and tools, the adult explain what the materials and tools are used for in the workplace and why they are important.

The pupils are given the opportunity to ask questions about the presented. The teacher is aware helping questions along by asking the children if there is anything they would like to know more about. The teacher can ask questions herself which she expects to be meaningful to the pupils. The adults presenting their jobs may be present and listen to each other’s presentations. Alternatively, the adults can come in shifts. It depends on how long time the adults have for the visit.

Dialogue on jobs – what do we know now? (30-60 min)

After the visit of the adults the teacher facilitate a dialogue in the class and discusses questions like these with the pupils:

  • What jobs did we hear about (write them up on the board, supplemented with a little illustrative drawing)
  • Were there any jobs you already knew? Which ones? What did you know in advance? What did you find out that you didn’t know?
  • What jobs had you not heard of before? What did you find out about these jobs?
  • Why are the different jobs visiting us important?
  • What did we find out about work? – for what different reasons are adults happy to go to work?
  • Is there anything we would like to know more about?

The teacher can, together with the students, revisit the previous poster and discuss whether the visits have given rise to supplementing these – what do we know now that we did not know before?

Optionally 

Based on the visits and the discussions two new posters are produced:

  • What jobs have we met and why are each of them important?
  • Reasons to be happy about your work

Supplementary option
The activity can be supplemented by the pupils talking to their own parents about what they do at work and at home, which jobs are present in the local area, what do these consist of, why are the different jobs important. The parents and child can also talk about why people might like their work.
The teacher can support the parents’s conversation with their child by:
Informing the parents about the focus on the world of work in the school, and that the purpose is to provide the pupils with insight into various jobs, including expanding their horizons in relation to which jobs exist and what they more specifically consist of (see description of career learning below).
The teacher can formulate questions for the parents that may inspire their conversation with their child about the world of work. E.g.: 

  • Who do I help in my job and/or in my non-paid work?
  • How do I do it?
  • Whom do I work with?
  • Why is my work important?
  • In what way is my work based on subjects from the school?
  • What jobs are there in the companys we pass by everyday?
  • What are the different employees in the company doing?

These conversations can be picked up at school by the teacher writing / drawing on the board. Categories can be formed and the posters can be supplemented with the new knowledge.

It is important to see the activity as a continuous effort to support students’ career learning through the schooling.

Learning materials

  • Blackboard
  • Carton for posters
  • Tush Materials brought by the adults presenting their jobs: E.g. pictures, work clothes, tools

Timing

  • 10 min
    Introduction
  • 30-60 min.
    How do people spend their time
  • 30 min.
    Why do people work?
  • 1-2 timer
    Job præsentations
  • 30-60 min
    Dialogue on jobs – what do we know now?

The different elements in the learning unit can be placed on different days, but there should not be a long time between them. It is important that students experience the process as a whole with close coherence and progression.

The teacher places breaks in line with the students’ ability to concentrate, etc. In addition, the teacher must expect time to recruit and prepare the adults for the job presentations.

Role of the Teachers

Recruitment and preparation of the adults
The teacher has an important role in relation to

  • recruit adults who can tell about their work. The teacher can approach the students’ parents or other adults in their own or the students’ network. It is important to be out with the query well in advance.
  • prepare the adults how to tell about their jobs to the children, cf. the above-mentioned questions that the adults can address in their narrative. It is important that the story is adapted to the children’s level and that it has an appropiate length related to the childrens age (e.g. 10 minutes).
  • describe the purpose of the visit and the focus on the world of work – namely that pupils gain a beginning insight into the world of work in a way that supports curiosity. It is also important to clarify that the aim is not making the pupils making educational choices.

All students’ parents are encouraged to talk to their children about their own jobs and jobs in the local area – what are people doing at the various businesses in the local area/ neighborhood and why are the jobs important?
The parents are encouraged to talk to their children about the jobs other adults have presented for the class in the school. 

Focus on career learning – not on choice of educational programme and/or vocation
The activity is developed to support the children’s career learning, especially that they gain an expanded knowledge of the world of work and develop a basic language around the world of work. Throughout the activity, the teacher must focus on supporting a curious approach to the world of work. The activity is about jointly becoming wiser on the world of work. The activity can, in conjunction with other activities during the schooling, help the pupils to develop a broad and solid foundation for making an educational and vocational choice over time. In order to support the students’ widening of horizon in relation to educational programmes and jobs, the activity don’t focus on the specific educational choices the students and their parents will make in the future. Therefore, questions and dialogues on ‘what do we now know about the world of work?’ are important. While questions such as ‘what would you like to work with?’ is not relevant in relation to the aim of the learning unit (Read more in Skovhus, 2016). 

Normativity 

 

  • In order to support pupils’ increased knowledge of the world of work and horizon expansion, it is important that the teacher as a professional is aware of the norms that he brings into the classroom and reproduces in the teaching and the everyday life of the school. It may be norms about which education and jobs are ‘suitable’ respectively boys and girls, which educations and jobs are more or less worthy of recognition, etc.
  • It is important to consider how, as a professional, one can work norm-critical and pay attention not to – intentionally or unintentionally – reproduce such norms.
  • The teacher must also consider and be aware how he or she talks about people who do not have paid work.
  • If, as a teacher, you want to break down and change norms, it is important to be aware which new norms arise and whom or what they may or may not exclude intentionally or unintentionally (read more about norm-critical pedagogy in Wikstrand & Lindberg, 2016, p 31-33).

When presentations and discussions of jobs focus on ‘Who is the person helping in his/her job?’ or ‘Why is the job important?’

it helps to massage status differences of jobs. For example, the cleaning assistant at the hospital has an important job because she/he helps to avoid sick people becoming more ill. The doctor at the hospital helps people who are ill.

Adjust
The learning unit has been prepared for the age group 6-8 years. Pupils and classes can differ greatly in this age group. It is important that the teacher adapt the activity to his or her group of pupils so that it is redidactivated and differentiated to ensure progression for all pupils.

 

Methodology

2. Managing relationships
– I interact confidently and well with others

3. Finding work and accessing learning
– I learn throughout life

5. Understanding the world – I understand how learning and work change over time
– I am open to opportunities

Assessment
Based on the question ‘what do we know now that we did not know before’, which the teacher discusses with the pupils, the teacher assesses the students’ progress in relation to insight into the world of work.