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VCAA Bulletin
No. 62 – September 2020
Feature stories

Bringing a careers perspective to the curriculum

Kiki Kousourakis is an advocate for including a careers perspective in her teaching programs: ‘It gives students a context in which they can use transferable skills.’

Kiki, a middle school teacher of Modern Greek at Oakleigh Grammar, has included careers perspectives in a number of her programs, but her favourite experience was when she extended the Year 7 My House, My Neighbourhood unit. Rather than just drawing their house and neighbourhood, and then presenting it, the students were asked to imagine that they were real estate agents trying to sell the house. ‘They were able to use their language skills through a different prism. It was fun but it was also a structure that they could engage with – even the students who are usually reluctant to present were more confident,’ explained Kiki.

The context of ‘selling’ rather than just ‘describing’ encouraged students to think strategically about the language they needed to use. Being able to make language choices in turn supported their engagement. The students quickly picked up on how different communication and language skills can be used in a variety of work situations, for example, in a business meeting.

Young people need to develop a specific set of knowledge, skills and attributes to effectively manage multiple careers that balance different forms of work with other priorities and interests: know yourself, know your world, manage your future. This is the focus of the new VCAA Career Education Framework.

Kiki’s approach to the unit had a significant effect on the students, and she is keen to let teachers know that they shouldn’t be afraid of including career education in their programs. ‘You don’t have to change everything or write a new unit. It’s as simple as a shift in your perspective.’

The learning areas and capabilities content of the Victorian Curriculum F–10 provide touch points for teaching and learning about careers and the world of work. The resources in the new Career Education Framework illustrate how teachers can make use of these touch points to enhance their existing teaching and learning practices.

The career education skills and attributes should be viewed as inter-related; and are generally developed concurrently rather than separately. They can be developed in all areas of a school’s curriculum and extra-curricular programs. More resources are being progressively added during September 2020.

Read about activities like Kiki’s in the Languages section of the Framework. More resources are being progressively added during September 2020.

New CEO appointed

Stephen Gniel has been appointed to the role of VCAA Chief Executive Officer as part of changes to meet the Victorian Government’s priorities.

The change took effect from Monday 17 August. Stephen was previously Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs and Support Group (SEPS) at the Department of Education and Training.

Sharyn Donald has moved to the Department of Health and Human Services for the next three months as Executive Lead, COVID Regional Response

Stephen has extensive knowledge of the VCAA and curriculum and assessment after serving as the Secretary’s representative on the VCAA Board, and stepping in to serve as Acting CEO earlier this year.

He said: ‘I appreciate this opportunity to continue my involvement and guide the organisation as we enter a critical phase of the education year. I would like to thank Sharyn for her service as CEO. She took up her appointment in January and led the organisation through a critical period. Her new role reflects the resilience required in Department operations as we all adapt to meeting the priorities of Government.’

Stephen’s career spans more than 20 years in the Australian Capital Territory and Victorian public education as a teacher, principal and Department executive. As Deputy Secretary, SEPS, Stephen had lead responsibility to shape the Education State to ensure that Victoria builds a system that provides every student with the knowledge, capabilities and attributes that will see them thrive throughout their lives.