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Item pools. Competencies. Item pools. knowledge of facts. knowledge of facts. knowledge of facts. knowledge of rules. knowledge of rules. knowledge of rules. self regulation competence. self regulation competence. self regulation competence. goal attainment competence.

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Grammar School

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Grammar school

Item pools

Competencies

Item pools

knowledge of facts

knowledge of facts

knowledge of facts

knowledge of rules

knowledge of rules

knowledge of rules

self regulation

competence

self regulation

competence

self regulation

competence

goal attainment

competence

goal attainment

competence

goal attainment

competence

information

management

information

management

information

management

Competence in Career Choice:

Empirical Examination of a

Competence Model

Method / Participants

Career choice competence facets were empirically tested in a sample of 20 (middle vs. grammar) schools in Thuringia, Germany. Questionnaires were administered to about 2000 German pupils aged 12 to 19 years. Most items were designed as multiple-choice tasks but there were some free answer items as well.

Task example (facet: information management):

“A friend of yours is going to be a international airline professional.He is very enthusiastic about the job and asks you if that would be an option for your career choice as well.

Write down five questions you would ask him to find out more about this occupation.”

The sample were 939 middle school students (469 male, 470 female) und 1323 grammar school students (595 male, 728 female).

Results

The factorial structure of the facets of competence could substantially be replicated in both types of school. Self regulation competence was measured by a few items only and did therefore not form its own factor.

Discussion

The concept of competence and the measurement of types of knowledge and skills proved to be a fruitful approach. More items will be tested to create an instrument useful for assessment and evaluation.

Background

Career choice is seen as a developmental process which proceeds through different phases of the life-span. Transitions between those different phases bear crucial challenges for the individual. Specific competencies are required to master these challenges. It is fairly new to conceptualize career choice in terms of achievement and related competencies.

Programs for occupational guidance at school are mostly developed in the context of practical experiences derived from daily pedagogical routines. Concepts that are based on established theoretical models of career choice could rarely be found in the international research.

Aim of the Study

In this study we address competencies needed for the transition from school to post-secondary education (job preparation training or university studies).

The competence model designed from psychological theories of career development needed to be tested empirically. We therefore developed a set of tasks for secondary school students and looked for the hypothesized factorial structure in the data. Our emphasis was on facets of knowledge since the traditional preparation of career choice often focuses on motivation and interests.

Our model of competencies comprises motivational prerequisites and strategies for managing the personal job qualification as well. We focus here however on the structure and measurement of knowledge and skills.

Structural Model of Career Competence

From a basic model which conceptualizes the career path as a form of self regulated development, the following five components of career competence were postulated:

We tried to confirm the structure of this model by factor analyzing a series of newly developed items.

Middle School

Factors

knowledge of facts

knowledge of rules

self regulation

competence

goal attainment

competence

information

management

Grammar School

Factors

knowledge of facts

knowledge of rules

goal setting

problem solving

information

management

Katja Driesel-Lange, Nicola Schindler, Bärbel Kracke & Ernst Hany

University of Erfurt

contact: [email protected]


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