Original Research

Piloting career development: Whole school interventions

Kamilla Rawatlal
African Journal of Career Development | Vol 3, No 1 | a33 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajcd.v3i1.33 | © 2021 Kamilla Rawatlal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 December 2020 | Published: 15 March 2021

About the author(s)

Kamilla Rawatlal, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Hatfield, South Africa


Background: The article reports on a project that was undertaken as a pilot study for a whole-school approach (WSA) to career education intervention that was integrated into the Grade 10, Life Orientation (LO) curriculum at a public, secondary school in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Objectives: Using an ecological framework, interventions to improve learners’ future orientation and motivation were piloted with Grade 10 learners’ at the micro-, meso- and macro-level to inform career education.

Method: An approach, using an intervention and control school involving three phases was conducted. The mixed method evaluation involved the administration of baseline questionnaires to all Grade 10 learners and included, the Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM), the Future Orientation Scale (FOS). Multivariate analysis and repeated measures of analysis and variance were also conducted. Qualitatively, process evaluation using fidelity checklists and post intervention interviews, with key informants was conducted. Focus group sessions with learners were also utilised.

Results: The findings support how career learning can be integrated and evaluated in a whole- school curriculum. In a WSA, an integrated system of career education in every secondary school is proposed.

Conclusion: This research supports the call for career education to be shifted from a peripheral to a central role that can be integrated into the curriculum. This study, although in a limited way, supports the need for broader, contextual approaches to career development, and acknowledges the vital role school membership and career development play in the mental health promotion of adolescents.


career development; ecological approach; future orientation; curriculum; intervention; process evaluation; outcome evaluation


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