Chapter 7: Career Development in Childhood
Super’s Model of the Career Development of Children
This model by Donald Super explains that during elementary school children begin to develop self concepts (Sharf, 2013). Self-concept is the core of Super's theory. Many factors contribute to the self-concept such as biological characteristics, social roles, and the interplay of others reactions on the individual. Development of the self concept begins in late to early adolescence. It is subjective and can be influenced by perceptions from family, peers, and teachers about themselves or about occupations.
Super’s Model begins with identification of the child’s curiosities. Curiosities may evolve from exposure to new objects, new people, or various other stimuli. These curiosities lead to the child exploring and obtaining information that helps develop their interests. Super explained that it is important discourage disruptive behavior while still allowing children to be curious and explore. Encouraging positive curiosity and exploration can help children meet their curiosity needs and may help caregivers have an alternative to punishment. Because exploration leads to more exploration the child is then able to obtain more information about the environment and consequently may lead to a higher potential of vocational planning.
According to Super’s Model one way in which children process information is through imitation. This imitation may be of a key figure in the child’s life, such as a role model. In the development of the child’s self-concept the child can incorporate or reject characteristics of their key figure in order to better suit themselves. As a counselor it is important to listen for misinformation or misperceptions of what the child is learning from the key figure. It is also important remember that the child’s view of occupations can be directly connected to how their key figure perceives their work to be (i.e. what is the key figures attitude towards their career?). Through accomplishments and achieving goals children will begin to feel an internal locus of control. Having an internal locus of control directly correlates to future career maturity. As a counselor it is important to set goals and to help children obtain balance when working with children that act out, or lack a balance between an external and internal locus of control.
It is important to foster the development of a child’s interests throughout their childhood. As they grow older they begin to experiment with these interests and learn what appeals to them and what does not. Exploration of the child’s interests is important to encourage both inside and outside of school as exploration helps develop career maturity. As a counselor it is important to talk with even the younger children about things or topics that may interest them. This could potentially provoke excitement and foster the development of the child’s self-concept. Developing a time perspective is important in...