The great futurist R. Buckminster Fuller (what a name!) famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to design it.” This really is the central idea of this course; after all, we are here “Designing our Future.” But the process of design is not always linear; it does not run in a straight line. Like so many things, design is often an on-going, cyclical process that sees us returning to questions we thought we had already answered, concerns we had already addressed.
With that in mind, “Designing Your Future” has (itself) been designed based on the Four-Step Inquiry Process employed by Creating Pathways to Success: An Education and Career/Life Planning Program for Ontario Schools.
Education and Career/Life Planning Framework: A Four-Step Inquiry Process
The education and career/life planning program for Ontario schools framework is a four-step inquiry process built on four questions. These questions are linked to the four areas of learning in education and career/life planning: Knowing Yourself; Exploring Opportunities; Making Decisions and Setting Goals; and Achieving Goals and Making Transitions. The four questions in the framework: Who am I? What are my opportunities? Who do I want to become? and What is my plan for achieving my goals? – are relevant at any age or stage of development; only context and emphasis change as a student progresses through school and life.
The education and career/life planning process is ongoing and cyclical, with students regularly returning to the four questions, equipped with a greater knowledge of themselves and their opportunities and a growing understanding of how they can successfully shape their future.
The program framework provides a starting point and a process for ongoing program development and student learning. A central goal of the program is for students to learn how to use the model and make a habit of applying it, so that they can become confident, independent, and effective education and career/life planners throughout their lives.
GWL3O is structured around Ontario’s Education and Career/Life Planning Framework:
- Unit 1 looks inward at Personal knowledge and management skills
- Unit 2 looks outward at other people as you shift to Interpersonal knowledge and skills
- Unit 3 looks toward the future as you begin an Exploration of opportunities
- Unit 4 looks forward as you engage in Preparation for transitions and change
Take a moment to look at pages 1 to 20 of “Creating Pathways to Success: An Education and Career/Life Planning Program for Ontario Schools” (Opens in new window)
The flow and the structure of the learning activities (LA) in GWL3O will follow the same pattern. Look at Unit 2, for example:
Unit 2: Interpersonal knowledge and skills
- LA1: People Smart (Who am I? Inward)
- LA2: Community (What are my opportunities? Outward)
- LA3: Group dynamics and workplace behaviour (Who do I want to be? Toward)
- LA4: The communication workshop (What is my plan? Forward)
So, remember that flow: Inward, Outward, Toward, Forward.
There is a flow to the work you will be doing as well. For the first learning activity in each unit, you will submit something for your teacher to assess and they will offer feedback.
In the second learning activity in each unit, you will be the one assessing your work! There is nothing to "turn in"; you do the work, take a break and then revisit your work with a critical eye. Remember, it is incredibly important for you to take part in this step. You will be surprised at how invaluable your own reflection can be!
The next learning activities ask you to find a friend or relative willing to take a look at your work. You will complete the activity and have them use the rubric or checklist provided to offer you feedback. Again, you will have the chance to reflect on their comments, your work, and any next steps you could take as your continue to learn.
The final learning activity in each unit is a major project that uses the skills and knowledge explored in the unit. This summative task is then submitted and marked by your teacher.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!