In my attempt to embrace more of a constructivist method of learning in my classroom, I allowed students to construct their own career-centered research projects. After reading about John Holland’s 6 personality traits and how matching your personality to your job results in more job satisfaction, students set out to learn more about one career or careers for their top personality. I did not direct their learning – but told them they would have to share their learning somehow. I encouraged students to find the right set of tools to demonstrate their understanding or ones that better suit their personality.
I was pleasantly surprised by not only the variety of tools used, but the level of depth and sharing and explanations that took place during their small group shares. The only requirement I made was that the student use a first-person resource and include quotes or audio from an interview in their project or presentation (so they would see this as real and not just an assignment).
After working on the project for a week, students brainstormed ideas for how we were going to evaluate the projects if everyone’s project were going to be different. They settled on 3 main categories:
- Appropriate use of interview
- Quality of content
- Use of technology
The “content” area was broken down by the students even more. When asked, “How do we evaluate the content?”, students responded by using a 1-10 scale for different research areas, such as: Description of job, Training/ Qualifications, Earnings, Job Outlook and Related Occupations.
I was encouraged that the students recognized that in order to fully explain one career they needed to cover a wide range of topics. The class constructed a Google form for evaluations. Brainstorming these ideas and discussing expectations in the middle of the research project helped some student focus their research and provided good questions for the interviews.
Below are some examples of what they created to go along with their oral presentations.
Movie: Laser Technician