Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture – Revised edition
Edited By Donna E. Alvermann
Margaret Carmody Hagood
I recently watched a group of 30 adolescents answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Their answers weren’t really all that surprising. A doctor. A teacher. A medical researcher. A reporter. A chef. An engineer. A parent. A restaurant owner. A party planner. An entrepreneur. The list went on. Beyond my curiosity of the lack of representative interest in the field of law, I was surprised neither by the exercise nor by the outcomes. Why should I be? How many times, I wondered, had these 14- and 15-year-olds been asked that question over the last decade? They listened amiably, nodded in agreement, laughed and joked, and overall participated fully in the activity. Some gave a one-word answer; others a few sentences. But they all knew the drill. In other words, they knew how to answer the question because they had been schooled in the practices of answering, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They had undoubtedly been inculcated into the educational value system of “planning for the future,” likely via a myriad of opportunities created for schooling across the span of preschool to high school. For example, role-playing various professions using clothing and props in the Dramatic Play Center is often part of preschool education. Take Your Child to Work is an excursion organized in many elementary schools to expose children to the roles, responsibilities, and jobs in specific sectors of business. Career...
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