Four Pittsburgh-area school districts enhancing career curriculum

Upon discovering a California school district’s career-focused curriculum that exposed children as young as 5 to various professions and skills, administrators from four Pittsburgh-area school systems were inspired to bring this model to the East Coast.

Despite differing student populations and demographics, the district leaders of South Fayette Township, Duquesne City, Avonworth, and Elizabeth Forward came together to collaboratively develop and implement a uniform K-8 curriculum based on this new approach.

Commencing last academic year, the aforementioned school districts initiated the integration of the World of Work academic framework in their elementary and middle schools, modeled after a successful program at Cajon Valley Union School District in California.

Using inquiry-based and play-oriented learning techniques, these lessons familiarize students with various professions in Western Pennsylvania. Students also gain insight into their unique characteristics and interests, which can serve as a launchpad for further exploration in different career paths.

“It builds a positive culture of belonging and self-awareness for our learners. I think that is probably the foundation for so many other things to grow and be nurtured.”

Michelle Miller

Superintendent of South Fayette Township School District

Addressing the mammoth task of adapting the Cajon Valley curriculum for all K-8 students in the region, South Fayette Township School District Superintendent Michelle Miller emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts among the four school districts.

Emphasizing the need for consistency in design and expectations across all buildings, Miller highlighted that collaboration and coordination between educators at all levels, from superintendents to classroom teachers, were pivotal in this endeavor.

According to Miller, fostering collaboration among educators and allowing flexibility in creating experiential learning opportunities for students were key priorities for the districts.

Furthermore, the districts aimed to offer teachers the freedom to craft diverse experiences for students at various grade levels, not limited to the four school districts but extending to the broader Western Pennsylvania region and beyond.

Exploring careers

To enhance students’ understanding of their skills, strengths, and interests, the World of Work framework integrates the RIASEC survey, which assesses career interests across six categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.

This exercise enables students to align their interests with potential career paths. For example, a student passionate about art may consider pursuing careers as a musician, a comic book writer, or an architect.


Other articles

Post Image
Unused Millions of Dollars for South Carolina Families’ Grocery Assistance

COLUMBIA — A little over $8 million designated to assist families in purchasing …

Read More
Post Image
MSU-Meridian’s Interprofessional Simulation Program Receives Provisional Accreditation, Ready for Student Use in Fall

The Interprofessional Simulation Program at MSU-Meridian has received provisiona …

Read More
Post Image
Top 10 Studies Essential for Every Teacher

In the realm of education, our insights into effective classroom practices have …

Read More