Schools in charge

I’m giving a presentation in Kent on Monday. They seemed to like the Prezi format so I’m having another go.


Talking about career


We’ve just produced a new publication for the national HE STEM programme. The publication explores how young people talk about their career.

The research found that there is considerable confusion about a range of career vocabulary both amongst young people themselves and between young people and the adults who seek to influence and inform their careers.

The publication argues that confusion about vocabulary cannot simply be solved by teaching young people the “correct” meaning of different words. The report explores the relationship between the words that we use to talk about career and the way that we think about career. In particular it examines how the different vocabulary and conceptions of career held by young people and adults complicate the career learning that takes place both in school and outside of school.

Moore, N. and Hooley, T. (2012). Talking About Career: The Language Used by and With Young People to Discuss Life, Learning and Work. Derby: iCeGS, University of Derby.

NIACE Making Sense Seminar on the National Careers Service

I will be speaking at a NIACE event on the National Careers Service on the 30th May alongside Helen Plant (NIACE) and Joe Billington (Skills Funding Agency).

The event promises to explore the implications of the new service and help providers to think about how the service will relate to the rest of the adult learning landscape.

For further details or to book your place visit the NIACE website.

Non-religious identities and the experience of HE

Today I’m presenting at a conference on non-religious identities based on the work that we did on Religion and Belief in Higher Education.

This is what I thought I’d say 

I thought that this might be a place to set out my own religion and belief position as it was something that others made incorrect assumptions about when I was working on this project.

  • I am a pluralist. By this I mean that I understand and welcome the fact that there are multiple religion and belief positions in society. While I defent my right to try and convince people of the value of my own position I also see value in other positions and believe that society and the state should guarentee the space within which this pluralism can operate.
  • I am a secularist. By which I mean that I believe that the state should be kept seperate from religion and belief and that it should not give additional rights to any one position. This position includes a concern about things like public funding for religious schooling as well as to a belief that the Church of England should be disestablished. Secularism, in this sense, is a political position that I think that it is possible for a religious person to share. My belief in secularism does not mean that I think that religious people should stay out of politics or never speak of their religion in this context, only that state funding and state power should not be used to entrench religious positions.
  • I am an atheist. By which I mean that I do not believe in a deity or any other kinds of spiritual or supernatural force. I believe that the universe is essential a rational one that it is possible to understand. This does not mean that I claim to understand it, nor that I believe that everything in the universe will ever be understood by humans.  
  • I am a humanist (just about). By which I mean that I believe that humanity has the ability to solve its own problems and to manage its own affairs without the need for a deity. Humanism is a fundamentally optimistic position that argues that human beings have huge capacity for creativity, co-operation and mutual support. As a humanist I believe that we can and we ultimately will find a way to better govern ourselves and to create a world where individuals are respected and able to contribute to the greater good. However, while I genuinely believe this, I look around the world and see plenty of behaviours that challenge this belief. So my humanism at times seems most like a blind faith, but it is one that I continue to hold onto.

So there you go. I don’t know whether anyone is really interested in this – but I feel that it is important to be clear. I have some research interests around religion and belief and this can lead people to jump to the wrong conclusions.

National Careers Service: The Right Advice at the Right Time

The government have launched a report to set out what the National Careers Service is all about. Called National Careers Service: The Right Advice at the Right Time the report contains little new stuff for serious careers geeks but it does set out what the service is about.

I ran the report through TagCloud and came up with the following graphic.


So no surprises there.

Probably the most interesting thing in the report is the following diagram which sets out how the NCS sits in the broader career support market.


Overall, I’m glad that the service has launched. It looks very like Next Step at the moment but hopefully this will be a platform that we can build from. I wish that there had been a bit more creative thinking about what the service could look like before it had launched, but hopefully the government will want to take the opportunity to do some more thinking now. John Hayes says

With the launch of the National Careers Service, we are signalling the start of a new chapter in information, advice and guidance to serve the common good by spreading opportunity. I am confident that everyone who works so hard to help people get the right advice at the right time will rise to the challenge.

I think that we are all hoping that he and the rest of the government will also rise to the challenge!


Press coverage of the launch of the National Careers Service

There wasn’t a huge amount of coverage of the launch of the Nationl Careers Service. The following articles give you a flavour of the sort of thing that I saw. On the whole all of the coverage missed the idea that this was about adults building their careers and focused in on the idea of once in a life time career decision making at school. Overall it was all fairly negative, with the usual assumptions that careers advisers should be blamed for not predicting your eventual career path.

The Labour Party also issued a critical press release which made some of the right sort of points.