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Parent-involved career exploration : the experience of adolescents and parents Penner, Kurt S. 1997

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PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF ADOLESCENTS AND PARENTS by KURT S. PENNER .A.(Honours), The University of Manitoba, 1987 M.T.S., Regent College, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN THE REQUIREMENTS MASTER PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF FOR THE DEGREE OF OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Counselling Psychology We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA APRIL, 1997 (c)Kurt Steven Penner, 1997 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s for schola r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of 0 , 0 0 K V b I L L L - 1 0 Co ^S^CtTOU)<bV The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date ^ 30 , lWf Abstract i i The purpose of t h i s study was to explore the experience of students and parents who participated i n an innovative, b r i e f technique i n career counselling. Eight high school students i n grades 10 and 11 who received one session of a Parent Involved Career Exploration (PICE) intervention with a career counsellor were interviewed; s i x involved parents were interviewed as well. This study u t i l i z e d a phenomenological approach to investigate students' and parents' experience of the PICE session and t h e i r perspectives on i t s impact on student career development over the ensuing six months. Participants' interpretations were grouped into eight themes: Goals, evaluation of session process and content, impact on career perspective and actions, impact on family dynamics, a t t r i b u t i o n s for change, and d i r e c t suggestions for improvement of PICE. Results indicated most participants related t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the PICE session to small, but p r a c t i c a l , gains i n career development; gains were often related to b e l i e f s and perspectives participants f e l t were more productive. Since t h i s approach appears to merit further attention, implications for practice and further research are discussed. Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i Acknowledgements v Chapter I INTRODUCTION 1 Context 1 Purpose of the Study 5 Research Approach 6 Chapter II LITERATURE REVIEW 8 Adolescent Career Development 8 Parental Influence i n Adolescent Career Development 11 Career Intervention Involving Parents 20 Parent Involved Career Exploration (PICE) 29 Chapter III METHODOLOGY 35 Method 35 Participants 39 Re cru itment 41 Data C o l l e c t i o n 41 Rationale for Interview Questions 43 Interview Guide 44 Data Analysis 46 Researcher Role 47 Chapter IV RESULTS 50 Emergent Themes 50 Thematic Data 51 Table 1: Summary of PICE Experience 95 iv Chapter V D ISCUSSION 97 Convergence and divergence i n PICE experience ....97 Implications for Further Development of PICE .... 104 Implications for Future Research 105 Theoretical Implications 106 Implications for Career Intervention 107 Limitations 107 Conclusion I l l References 113 Appendix A Pattern I d e n t i f i c a t i o n Exercise (PIE) Description by Amundson (1995) ....121 Appendix B PICE: Steps i n the Counselling Process ..123 Appendix C Letter of I n i t i a l Contact 127 Appendix D Participant Informed Consent Form ..128 Appendix E Parental Consent for Minor 129 Appendix F Interview Introduction Script 130 Appendix G Interview Transcripts 131 Appendix H Interview Summaries 189 Appendix I Participant Validations ....219 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to thank my wife Rosemarie for p a t i e n t l y enduring t h i s process, for encouraging me along the way and for b e l i e v i n g that the end r e a l l y would come (and f o r l e t t i n g me hide away at my desk when necessary). I look forward to r o l e reversal i n the near future. Thank you to my advisor, Dr. Norm Amundson, f o r your invaluable help, encouragement and relaxed nature at every step along the way. Further thanks to my committee members, Drs. Marv Westwood and Robert Chester, for i n t e r a c t i n g with t h i s work to complete the process. I would l i k e to express appreciation for my family and friends who have also contributed i n the background. As the saying goes, " I f i t weren't for you.... 1 1 Thank you also to Komet, who gave me many hours of affectionate and p l a y f u l d i s t r a c t i o n . F i n a l l y , I would l i k e to thank a l l of the p a r t i c i p a n t s who graciously gave of t h e i r time and shared t h e i r thoughts about what the PICE experience had meant for them. I wish a l l the best for each student and your family as you continue your path of career development. 1 Chapter I Introduction Context Young people today face an array of l i t e r a l l y thousands of occupations to choose from (Bolles, 1996), many of which they w i l l not have easy access to i n terms of exploration. Given t h i s overwhelming number of opportunities, along with the decreasing s t a b i l i t y of the work/job world (Bridges, 1994), young people's need for career development assistance has never been greater. Two decades ago, Prediger, Roth, and Noeth (1974) concluded that students at that time were expressing a s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater need for help i n career planning than they f e l t they were receiving. In a further study ten years l a t e r , Prediger and Sawyer (1985) argued that, although career assistance had increased, students were s t i l l i n need of more; over 70% of junior and senior high students surveyed s t i l l requested more help than they were receiving. Moving to an older sample, Otto (1984) sampled a group of 30-year olds i n the community regarding t h e i r biggest problems i n t r a n s i t i o n from high school to adult r o l e s . Two-thirds of the sample reported problems with career choice or career preparation. Most f e l t unprepared to face the work world, and many traced the lack to a lack of preparation i n high school. The North American educational system prepares students 2 not for work per se, but for the next l e v e l of schooling (Aubrey, 1986). Herr and Cramer (1988) argued that most chi l d r e n i n the U.S. are given very l i t t l e systematic assistance i n planning for career development. Worse yet, the increased commitment to a college preparatory model has meant there may be l i t t l e hope for reform i n the near future; "Parents and t h e i r children are l e f t to carry the bulk of the load for t r a i n i n g and career decision making" (Downing & D'Andrea, 1994, p. 115). A recent study of over 700 american college students' and t h e i r needs revealed nearly 40% of them i n d i c a t i n g at l e a s t a moderate need for more assistance with career choice (Gallagher, Golin, & Kelleher, 1992; p. 304). Younger adolescents are a l l the more i n need of help as they prepare for post-high school l i f e . Although there are differences i n the Canadian context, there are l i k e l y some s i m i l a r i t i e s as we l l . Due to increasing economic challenges and p o t e n t i a l l y decreasing resources, the need for more c o s t - e f f e c t i v e career counselling interventions i s r i s i n g . Though employment concerns are primary, counselling (even career counselling) services are i n constant danger of being under- funded (Stone & Archer, 1990). Government-imposed time and funding l i m i t a t i o n s are f u e l l i n g a growing desire to be e f f i c i e n t i n a growing trend for new methods of counselling i n general (Eckert, 1993) and career assessment i n 3 p a r t i c u l a r (Amundson, 1995). Further, there i s a heightened need to provide evidence of the effectiveness of career counselling interventions, e s p e c i a l l y i n Canada. A recent review sponsored by the Canadian Labour Force Development Board (Conger, Hiebert, & Hong-Farrell, 1993) found that counsellors were l a r g e l y not evaluating the effectiveness of t h e i r services. K e l l e t t (1994) warned: In the absence of some d e f i n i t i v e information on the contribution that career and employment counselling can make and i s making, there i s a r e a l danger that counselling ... w i l l be pushed further aside, with even fewer resources given to i t " (p. 351). The warning i s well taken, yet challenges i n doing such v a l i d a t i o n research abound as w e l l — c h a l l e n g e s due to the same scarce resources, as well as i n the p o l i t i c a l nature of evaluation (Guba & Lincoln, 1993). Some of the avenues available to counsellors i n response to these challenges are p o l i t i c a l advocacy, increasing needs analysis, outcome research, developing career planning curriculum for use i n school classrooms, and experimenting with b r i e f , but p o t e n t i a l l y powerful interventions. The pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercise (PIE), used e f f e c t i v e l y i n both individual and group contexts (Amundson & Cochran, 1984; Amundson & Stone, 1992) i s an example of a b r i e f technique used outside the school context to f a c i l i t a t e career development. The technique involves f a c i l i t a t i n g a c l i e n t s ' own analysis of t h e i r patterns of 4 s t y l e , preferences, and values using t h e i r own experiences as r e f l e c t i v e material (See Appendix A for a comprehensive des c r i p t i o n v i a Amundson, 1995). Though not l i m i t e d to a career development context, the technique has been used i n t h i s domain with some success. B r i e f interventions can be useful not only from a cost- benefit perspective, but also from other points of view as well. I f c l i e n t s most often stay i n therapy for only a few sessions (whether planned or unplanned), outcomes may be enhanced i f interventions are conceptually planned as b r i e f (Garfield, 1989). One obstacle to b r i e f approaches, however, i s the fact that some therapists have displayed resistance to b r i e f models, even i n the face of research showing i t s p o t e n t i a l for effectiveness (Steenbarger, 1992). Another avenue of approach i n enhancing the effectiveness of career intervention i s to involve parents i n ways that heighten t h e i r a b i l i t i e s to a s s i s t t h e i r c h i l d ' s career development. This can be viewed as both a u t i l i z a t i o n of parental a v a i l a b i l i t y , and also p o t e n t i a l l y remediating or enhancing family s k i l l s and dynamics, since the parental r o l e i s already i n f l u e n t a l (Young & Friesen, 1992). However, few programs have been developed involving t h i s untapped resource, and even less that have reported measures of effectiveness. Recently a b r i e f intervention has been developed which incorporates both parental involvement with adolescents, and 5 pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n career exploration (Amundson, 1996). I t remains to be seen, however, what e f f e c t s a b r i e f (1 session) career intervention involving adolescents and t h e i r parents can have on adolescent career development over the ensuing months. The question i s whether the intervention could have a po s i t i v e , ' c a t a l y t i c ' e f f e c t on an adolescent's career planning, promoting greater motivation, exploration, mature choices, and progress toward decisions. Purpose of the Study The purpose of t h i s study i s to provide an i n i t i a l evaluation of the impact of the Parent Involved Career Exploration (PICE) technique. The l i t e r a t u r e r e l a t e d to parental influence and involvement i n adolescent career development w i l l be surveyed as a backdrop for the present in v e s t i g a t i o n . Hopefully t h i s study w i l l o f f e r a preliminary understanding of the pot e n t i a l benefits, r i s k s , and parameters of the PICE technique. Results of the study w i l l be used to continue development of the intervention, as well as providing a useful resource for designing l a t e r evaluation research. The significance of the question i s based on the s i g n i f i c a n t need for improved career counselling delivery, both i n effectiveness and e f f i c i e n c y . Since the PICE technique i s a b r i e f intervention, any p o t e n t i a l l y c a t a l y t i c e f f e c t s on career development w i l l be examined. 6 Research Approach A l l research can be considered evaluative, and t h i s study i s no exception to the rule. Since I hope to o f f e r an inve s t i g a t i o n of the effectiveness of a career intervention, i t i s useful to consider the question of who should judge such effectiveness. Guba and Lincoln (1993) have argued that evaluation i s inherently a p o l i t i c a l process; therefore the views and values of as many stakeholders as possible should be, considered. A good s t a r t i n g point would be the service r e c i p i e n t s . The i n i t i a l question then becomes what do they f e e l t h i s intervention has done for them; how successful was i t from t h e i r perspective. Accordingly, a q u a l i t a t i v e case study approach was u t i l i z e d , with the primary data source being the students themselves. Since parents also participated i n the sessions, and since they have a c r i t i c a l concern f o r t h e i r c h i l d ' s career development, parents were a secondary source of data. No quantitative measures were used i n t h i s study. Students and parents were interviewed to draw out t h e i r own s t o r i e s and perspectives on the ro l e of the PICE program i n career development/planning over the six months post- involvement. A q u a l i t a t i v e approach seemed most suit a b l e f o r such a preliminary, formative evaluation of t h i s innovation. Future investigation of PICE may well involve a combined qualitative/quantitative approach, and the exploratory data unearthed by t h i s study w i l l provide some 7 of the basis for such future work. Although I w i l l discuss the implications of participants' views on the PICE impact, i t w i l l be l e f t to readers to arrive at t h e i r own conclusions as to the success or potential of t h i s technique for counselling practice. 8 Chapter II Literature Review Adolescent career Development Adolescence may be seen as one of the most challenging t r a n s i t i o n s individuals face over the l i f e span. According to Erikson (1963; 1968), the primary task of adolescence involves the development of ego i d e n t i t y , or i d e n t i t y formation. Healthy resolution r e s u l t s i n a cl e a r sense of s e l f , while unsuccessful youth are expected to experience self-doubt and confusion. The t r a n s i t i o n from school towards work v i a a career plan i s central to such an i d e n t i t y ; the worker role i t s e l f i s i n t e g r a l to such development. Identity formation involves a psychological 'separation' from one's family (especially parents) i n order to experience oneself as capable of managing the tasks of l i f e . Attachment theori s t s (eg., Bowlby, 1982) have explored t h i s concept of separation as complemented by a secure attachment to parents, rather than replacing i t . Attachment r e f e r s to a stable, a f f e c t i v e bond between parent and c h i l d , and the theory proposes that such a bond i s necessary to provide security for the c h i l d to separate and explore; secure attachment allows for healthy separation and i d e n t i t y formation. Contemporary theorists have proposed that t h i s framework be allowed to organize r e l a t i o n a l perspectives on career development, rather than competing with them 9 (Blustein & Prezioso, 1995). What t h i s approach would suggest i s that adolescence may be viewed as a movement away from parents within a context of more or less functional/dysfunctional bonding and i n t e r a c t i o n a l patterns. Bios (1979), a psychoanalytic t h e o r i s t , viewed the stage as a r e c a p i t u l a t i o n of e a r l i e r attachment and separation from parents. Family systems theory has also described the time as a key separation phase. For example, i n the work of Murray Bowen (1978) the key issue i n development i s individuation, or emotional 'disentanglement' from one's family. The key i s not simple emotional distancing, but autonomous functioning within the context of r e l a t i o n s h i p . What heightens the seriousness of the adolescent stage i s that i t i s a c r u c i a l one for both psychological separation and career development tasks. Kinnier, Brigman, and Noble (1990) tested the r e l a t i o n s h i p between family enmeshment and career indecision with u n i v e r s i t y students. Students i n t h e i r sample who were more decided regarding careers were indeed more 'individuated' than those less decided, however the measures provided only weak support for the r e l a t i o n s h i p . In f a c t , i ndividuation (versus enmeshment) only accounted f o r 3% of the variance, with age, for example accounting f o r 6%. The authors argue that enmeshment (a growth-inhibitor) does not equal emotional closeness (a growth enhancer). In f a c t , emotional closeness can promote self-esteem, assertiveness, 10 and a sense of well-being. In any event, adolescence does contain the bulk of the most observable separating between children and parents; Wechter (1983) advised parents to encourage such autonomy i n children's decision-making, including career decisions. One popular way to conceptualize the career development process i s simply the degree to which a person has made r e q u i s i t e decisions i n t h e i r progression through school towards work. Graef, Wells, Hyland, and Muchinsky (1985) studied several variables associated with such progression i n high school students, and found that the best predictors of career decidedness i n adolescent females was academic, while for males i t was social-interpersonal. Graef et a l . suggested the differences related to s o c i a l i z a t i o n , with greater and e a r l i e r pressure on young men to make career decisions. Whether or not such gender differences are widespread, the general importance of the family i n career education i s implied. Interest i n family influences on career choice may be traced to the work of Ann Roe (eg., Roe & Seigelman, 1964). While i n i t i a l investigations involved more concrete variables such as gender and socioeconomic status, the trend has moved towards acknowledgment of i n t e r a c t i o n a l variables as w e l l . Owens (1992), for example, looked at multiple predictors of occupational choice i n a study involving over 2,000 U.S. high school students. Results suggested the best predictors were family contingencies, school performance/expectations, family and peer influences. 11 Parental Influence i n Adolescent Career Development There has been a widely held myth i n society that parents do not matter i n young people's career planning, and that they are not listened to (Otto, 1989). There i s , i n fa c t , a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of l i t e r a t u r e supporting the contrary, that parents do matter a great deal i n informing t h e i r children's career decisions. Schulenberg, Vondracek, and Crouter's (1984) comprehensive review suggested two major dimensions of family influence on career development: f i r s t , concrete variables such as education, finances, and modeling, and second, family dynamics processes of s o c i a l i z a t i o n and relationships. Two decades ago L e i f e r and Lesser (1976) did a comprehensive review of career l i t e r a t u r e and concluded that parents were, i n f a c t , the primary determiners of children's career choices, both d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y . More recently, i n the Canadian context, the survey work work of Bibby and Posterski (1992) supported a s i m i l a r l y high evaluation of parents' continuing influence i n the values, attitudes, and plans of teenage chi l d r e n . Probing somewhat deeper, S a l t i e l (1985) coined the terms 'definer influence' and 'model influence' i n an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the process of status-attainment. 'Models' 12 impact primarily on peripheral issues related to behaviour and attitudes, while 'definers' provide the substance for deeper, i d e n t i t y - c e n t r a l b e l i e f s and values. According to S a l t i e l ' s findings, for the adolescent, parents were s t i l l providing the majority of definer influence, and were the persons most l i k e l y to interact with adolescents regarding t h e i r own career development. Trice (1991) used a retrospective analysis to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between parental occupations and early career aspirations of adolescents. One conclusion Trice drew was that fathers' influence declined with age, due to the fa c t that adolescents were less l i k e l y to aspire to t h e i r fathers' occupations than children were. However, i t appears t h i s argument rests on a shallow notion of influence. While the c h i l d may evince being influenced by s t r i c t imitation, an adolescent has perhaps moved past imitation to advice- following (or r e j e c t i n g ) . Wilks (1986), using an Australian sample, concluded that f o r the majority of adolesencents, parental advice was followed f o r longer-term, d i f f i c u l t decisions, while peer advice was followed for short-term, less important decisions. Brown and Mann (1991) provided another exploration of the relationship between parent and adolescent s t y l e s . Expressly stating they were t e s t i n g Bandura's (1986) modelling theory, these investigators addressed parent/child decision-making competence and 13 confidence. They concluded that t h e i r r e s u l t s p a r t i a l l y supported Bandura's theory, though t h e i r methodology did not address differences between int a c t versus blended or s p l i t f a m i l i e s . Further, there was no control for the q u a l i t y of r e l a t i o n s h i p within families. This factor would seem an extremely important one for future exploration. Looking from the parents' vantage point, Young and Friesen (1992) examined parents' intentions associated with c r i t i c a l incidents they had undertaken i n f o s t e r i n g the career development of t h e i r children. Explanations supported the notion that parents are quite active i n attempting to influence t h e i r c h i l d ' s career development, defined broadly. Intentions included categories such as s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n , values acquisition, and increased r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Although the authors did not target children's response to parental influence i n t h i s study, Young and Friesen suggested that making intentions more e x p l i c i t would benefit both adolescents and parents. Recently, i t appears that the dynamics of attachment and separation have received much attention r e l a t i v e to career development. For example, Hoffman, Hofacker, and Goldsmith (1992) studied the relationship between adolescents' feelings of closeness to parents with t h e i r perceptions of being influenced by parents. Parents were la r g e l y seen as the primary influencers of career, and both males and females rated t h e i r father as more i n f l u e n t i a l 14 than t h e i r mother. There was a small, but s i g n i f i c a n t , e f f e c t noted for closeness to fathers and t h e i r influence on adolescents' career decisions. Blustein, Waldbridge, Friedlander, and Palladino (1991) claimed the previous research was unclear on the relationship between emotional independence and career development of adolescents. Their own attempt to add c l a r i t y found that, for women, attachment to and c o n f l i c t u a l independence (freedom from excessive c o n f l i c t ) from both parents was p o s i t i v e l y related to progress i n career commitment. For men, a t t i t u d i n a l dependence on (having s i m i l a r beliefs) and c o n f l i c t u a l independence from father predicted progress i n career commitment. However, support was not found for the expected r e l a t i o n s h i p between psychological separation and career decision making. The complex relationship of attachment and separation variables may throw l i g h t on the d i f f i c u l t y r e l a t i n g career in d e c i s i o n to family problems. For example, the family characterized by overdependence and resistance to adolescent i n d i v i d u a l i t y may not necessarily produce undecided or i n d e c i s i v e patterns. Eigen, Hartman, and Hartman's (1987) study of family systems and career decision making f a i l e d to f i n d connections involving broad dimensions of family cohesion, but some negative e f f e c t s were noted r e l a t e d to family systems with s t r i c t rules and high attachment. Kinnier, Brigman, and Noble (1990) related greater career 15 decidedness with higher levels of individuation and less c o n f l i c t u a l a l l i a n c e formation i n the family. Penick and Jepsen (1992), who included the most variables i n t h e i r study, found student perceptions of family functioning were more p r e d i c t i v e of career choice behaviour than gender, socioeconomic status, and educational achievement. Although not a l l research has shown clear relationships between career development measures and family systems variables, the majority of investigations have shown family systems factors such as overinvolvement, enmeshment, intimidation, disengagement and r i g i d i t y to have negative e f f e c t s on career decision making i n adolescents (Larson, 1995). A recent study by Ryan, Solberg, and Brown (1996) investigated parent-child relationships, parental attachment, and career search s e l f - e f f i c a c y b e l i e f s . For women, the combination of family dysfunction and l e v e l of attachment to mothers accounted for 17% of the variance i n career search s e l f - e f f i c a c y ; for men, attachment to mothers accounted for 9% of s i m i l a r variance. These r e s u l t s support the complexity of the phenomena, yet do provide some support fo r the premise that a secure attachment base allows for h e a l t h i e r confidence i n one's own a b i l i t i e s and hence career development. Blustein et a l . (1991) theorized that the r e l a t i v e l y simple variable of career decidedness i s not predicted by family i n h i b i t i o n of separation because such stunted relationships may foster indecisiveness i n some, 16 premature decisions i n others. Interventions which are capable of ascertaining which tendency i s more l i k e l y i n a given i n d i v i d u a l are more l i k e l y to prove h e l p f u l . Leung, Wright, and Foster (1987) decided to t e s t one aspect of the parental influence issue with an urban and m u l t i - r a c i a l sample i n a large Canadian c i t y . In t h e i r study, adolescents who perceived t h e i r parents as more concerned and encouraging regarding school performance were more l i k e l y to go on to post-secondary education; no gender e f f e c t s were found. Although the scope of t h i s research i s quite r e s t r i c t e d , i t does provide limited support for the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the parental influence research to the Canadian context. Perspectives of parental influence on adolescents' careers has grown increasingly complex as recognition of a more dynamic process has surfaced. I t i s t h i s dynamic process between parent and c h i l d , as well as changing ideas of what health i s , that has helped us to understand why greater career maturity i s not simply correlated with greater independence from the family (Thomason and Winer, 1994) . Whiston's (1996) exploration of family systems variables, career indecision, and career decision making s e l f - e f f i c a c y highlighted the need for further research, since her findings were not consistent with other research showing relationships between family c o n f l i c t , cohesion, and career variables. There i s simply too much ambiguity i n the 17 area of distinguishing healthy/congruent career decision making and premature/dissonant decision making. Young, Friesen, and Borycki (1994) examined the narratives of 50 young adults, i n order to determine the ways they make sense of parents' influence on t h e i r careers. One implication of t h e i r data was that narratives involving forward career progression did not necessarily include p o s i t i v e evaluations of parental influence. The pattern of narratives did not, however, provide any means by which to predict adolescent career development on the basis of parental influence. The Young et a l . (1994) study also sheds l i g h t on the dynamic nature of parent-child interaction, i n that the metaphor of 'struggle' with parental wishes was frequently used by t h e i r participants. There i s , however, very l i t t l e research on the processes involving influences perceived as negative (Middleton & Loughead, 1993), and not much more involving the p o s i t i v e influencing of parents i n adolescent career. Another perspective related to parent/child i n t e r a c t i v e influence i s that of family r o l e enactment. MacGregor and Cochran (1988) tested the proposition that family figures could be observed when analyzing people's work r o l e contexts. They found support for the notion, but the v a r i a b i l i t y of responses was high. In other words, workers may attempt to resolve family r o l e issues, continue to enact them, or even r e j e c t contexts with recognizable and 18 undesirable r o l e s . These observations do not lend assistance i n predicting how s p e c i f i c children w i l l develop, but they do add another dimension to the evidence supporting the deep influence of family on career development as well as ideas for career intervention with a family systems perspective. While the o r i g i n a l research had a more one-sided look to i t ( i e . , i n terms of influence and movement), i n the past decade there has been a s h i f t to a more dynamic view. Grotevant and Cooper's (1985; 1988) research supports the notion that adolescents must balance individuation and connection to make healthy adjustment. They argue that more attention needs to be paid to the t o t a l context and dynamic nature of career development. Blustein et a l . (1991) suggest that some degree of attachment may f a c i l i t a t e the sort of ri s k - t a k i n g and exploration that characterizes the developmental tasks of late adolescence. As f a r as p r a c t i c a l application, t h e i r words resonate here: ...[a] p o t e n t i a l l y useful strategy would be to o f f e r psychoeducational programs for adolescents and t h e i r parents that would enhance open communication, nurturing, and autonomous rel a t i o n s h i p s . Such preventive interventions may also bolster the natural support systems of many families (p. 48). Downing and D'Andrea (1994) reported the r e s u l t s of a survey involving American, B r i t i s h , and Swiss parents and t h e i r attitudes associated with helping t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n career planning. The work was prompted i n part by the Young and Friesen (1992) work exploring parents' intentions for 19 influencing t h e i r children's career decisions. Parents were asked questions related to t h e i r aspirations for t h e i r children, degree of involvement i n career decisions, and f e e l i n g s associated with t h e i r involvement. Results indicated clear differences between the U.S./U.K. and the Swiss parental context. While Swiss parents were more l i k e l y to leave career decisions to the c h i l d whether the d i r e c t i o n was university or working class, the U.S. and U.K. parents were more l i k e l y to encourage u n i v e r s i t y - r e l a t e d careers and discourage working class career plans. While Swiss parents saw themselves as primarily encouraging and t r u s t i n g t h e i r children, U.S. and U.K. parents mainly perceived themselves as giving advice or s e t t i n g expectations. F i n a l l y , while the Swiss parents f e l t confident or involved i n the process, the U.S. and U.K. parents f e l t uninformed and involved; many U.S. parents a c t u a l l y reported primary feelings of helplessness i n the process. Within t h i s context the authors questioned whether the outcomes of parental involvement can be very productive without further assistance: School counselors have focused the bulk of t h e i r e f f o r t s d i r e c t l y on students. I t may well be time for these professional to o f f e r some of t h e i r e f f o r t s to the parents of the students they counsel. Other career development professionals could serve as valuable teammates to school personnel i n providing the assistance needed by parents (p. 125). Downing and D'Andrea (1994) concluded that Swiss parents don't see themselves as a c t i v e l y involved i n t h e i r 20 children's career decision process. However, t h i s i s unclear from t h e i r reporting; i t seems possible that the l e v e l of confidence Swiss parents f e e l may simply cast a 'shadow' over s i m i l a r l y high feelings of being involved. In fa c t , a greater percentage of Swiss parents (31.8%) rated involvement as t h e i r dominant fe e l i n g , as compared to the U.S. parents (22.0%). I t would be very i n t e r e s t i n g to r e p l i c a t e t h i s survey with a Canadian sample to compare/contrast national and regional r e s u l t s . In any event, the point i s well taken that our educational system i s not changing soon; therefore intervention which f a c i l i t a t e s both student and parent competency i n the career planning process would be most welcome. Career Intervention Involving Parents Given the above evidence for the importance of family on adolescent career development, we might expect a host of programs and research on the same. Certainly, i n recent years, family systems applications have grown i n the area of career intervention. For example, a number of p r a c t i t i o n e r s have drawn on Bowen's (1978) family theory to design programs taking family dynamics into account (eg., Bratcher, 1982; Castricone, Finan & Gumble, 1982; Zingaro, 1983; Otto & C a l l , 1985; Lopez and Andrews, 1987; Bradley & Mims, 1992). Most interventions were not intended to involve parents i n person, but to help the young person become more aware of t h e i r influence and r o l e functioning, 21 i n order to make more active choices. Reports of the effectiveness of such programs, however, has been rare. Though t h e o r e t i c a l l y sound, the systems approach to career intervention may be considered as yet untested (Larson, 1995) . There now seems to be a growing c a l l for more professional attention to programming which may integrate the actions of both adolescents and t h e i r parents (Birk & Blimline, 1984; Middleton & Loughead,1993). U n t i l quite recently, there has been almost nothing i n the l i t e r a t u r e to support the success of programs helping parents a s s i s t t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n career choice (Palmer and Cochran, 1988). These authors argued that exclusion of parents by career programs happens at t h e i r p e r i l , due both to parents' s t r a t e g i c influence, and also to t h e i r a b i l i t y to devote intensive time to t h e i r c h i l d ' s s i t u a t i o n . This neglect of parental involvement programs i s notably an international phenomenon as well. Poole (1983) studied Australian high school students' career development and noted, i r o n i c a l l y , a substantial lack of programming involving parents: This s i t u a t i o n exists even though studies assessing the r e l a t i v e influence ... have invariably placed family influences ahead of the formal school structures set up to provide vocational guidance (p. 24). Poole's own data supported the conclusion that those students who spoke frequently with t h e i r parents about career issues had far more d e f i n i t e ideas on both job choice 22 and education plans, as compared to those whose interactions were more infrequent. Some have offered services s p e c i f i c a l l y targeting parents, such as career decision making courses and workshops i n career development (Osguthorpe, 1976; Greenough, 1976; Daniels, Karmos, & Presley, 1983; Rubinton, 1985;), usually focused on helping parents become aware of the many facets of career decision-making. Reports of such interventions have not provided much i n the way of evaluation data, however. Otto and C a l l (1985), f o r example, described an eight-hour seminar for parents of teens which targeted career assistance s k i l l s , information, awareness excercises, and home a c t i v i t i e s . Parents were also given a booklet to work through with t h e i r c h i l d . The authors reported, "...our experience indicates that involving parents works," and that schools implementing such an approach would also benefit from the public r e l a t i o n s . These assertions, however, would have been bolstered had they been offered i n the context of the provision of evaluative data, whether q u a l i t a t i v e or quantitative. One avenue fo r p o t e n t i a l exploration, then, would be a more de t a i l e d look at the r e s u l t s of a family involvement approach to career intervention. Whiston (1989) u t i l i z e d a family systems approach to suggest career education a c t i v i t i e s for parents, i n order to help them a s s i s t t h e i r children. The emphasis included both 23 expectations and behaviours, and goals included the strengthening of interactions within the family. Whiston reported that parents frequently are unfamiliar with career growth stages, and have u n r e a l i s t i c expectations of when choices need to be made. Unfortunately, as usual, no information was provided as to the effectiveness of the interventions. Interventions may need to aim at helping parents see t h e i r v i t a l and i n f l u e n t i a l role, such as through communication of research evidence to parents (Middleton & Loughead, 1993). These authors present some useful ideas f o r intervention (eg., providing parents with suggestions for u t i l i z i n g natural family times to help one c h i l d explore a s p i r a t i o n s ) , but again there has been very l i t t l e documentation of the eff e c t s of such attempts. While parents i n general may benefit from increased attention, r u r a l parents i n p a r t i c u l a r l i k e l y have s i g n i f i c a n t needs for assistance. Jeffery, Lehr, Hache, and Campbell (1992) reported a developing program aimed at empowering r u r a l parents i n a Canadian region to a s s i s t t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n career planning. Understandably, r u r a l parents are i n a more challenging p o s i t i o n regarding career resources than t h e i r urban counterparts. In many r u r a l j u r i s d i c t i o n s , not only i s there a lack of access to career and counselling resources, but economic/job market r e a l i t i e s may be more harsh. The development of such programs i s a 24 welcome sight, however, i t was premature for the authors to provide evidence of the effectiveness of t h e i r interventions at that time. Further e f f o r t s to provide career intervention approaches useful i n both urban and r u r a l environments are c l e a r l y i n order, e s p e c i a l l y i n the Canadian context. Palmer and Cochran (1988) represent an exception to most reports of programs involving parents i n that they provided some measured evaluation of success. They provided materials for a self-administered program of career exploration and planning for parents and adolescents to work on together at home. On measures of career development and parent-child bonding, the experimental group improved markedly i n contrast with the control group. Interview data revealed participants reported benefits i n such aspects as s e l f awareness, power sharing, and decision-making. The r e s u l t s may lead one to question whether e f f e c t i v e interventions with parents and adolescents could be designed to u t i l i z e a b r i e f session with a counsellor. Interventions involving adolescents and parents together have been very few. Knecht (1976) reported using a workshop i n which career awareness issues were targeted f o r both parents and students. Castricone, Finan, and Gumble (1982) described a one-day program (Focus on Career Search) for adolescents and parents at a community college . Parents were present for portions of the day; goals included 2 5 the encouragement of active family dialogue, and assistance by counsellors to help parents and children r a i s e concerns and l i s t e n to each other. Reportedly, p a r t i c i p a n t s have been very s a t i s f i e d with the sessions, although not much was provided i n the way of d e t a i l on evaluation measures or interview data. A follow-up of unknown duration revealed that "many" c i t e d increased parent-student communication as a primary benefit of t h e i r involvement. While the longevity of the change was unclear, the program did appear to be a step i n a very p o s i t i v e d i r e c t i o n . The value of counsellors actually spending some time i n t e r a c t i n g with adolescent and parent together i s apparent. Such time would help the counsellor i n a number of ways, notably assessing the s t y l e of parental involvement and adolescent response, as well as modelling a f a c i l i t a t i v e i n t e r a c t i o n with the adolescent. Young, Friesen, and Dillabough (1991) investigated the ways i n which parents and t h e i r children view parental influence and revealed that such influence w i l l vary i n the kinds of intentions, s t y l e s , and outcomes. A systemic approach may be useful i n responding to the complexity of parent-child interactions, and the counsellor does need to understand the s p e c i f i c context of parental influence i n which programs operate. One obvious p i t f a l l which counsellors would do well to ameliorate would be the tendency of some parents to be overly d i r e c t i v e i n t h e i r e f f o r t s at assistance. 26 This brings up again the issue of measuring career development. What needs to be avoided i s a simple approach favouring decidedness; a more appropriate goal would be movement toward mature decisions rather than simply decisions i n themselves. Kush and Cochran (1993) used an agency framework i n looking at the success of a program aimed at helping parents a s s i s t t h e i r adolescent c h i l d r e n (grade 12) with career planning. Those enrolled i n the program showed improvement i n career certainty, less indecision, more career salience, and a stronger ego i d e n t i t y . The authors argued for programmers to incorporate conditions which may enhance the sense of student agency i n the planning process without disrupting the aim of matching person to work. Another way to put t h i s , perhaps, would be to say that counsellors need to be careful to encourage f a c i l i t a t i o n , rather than d i r e c t i o n . This may be accomplished p a r t l y by being very patient with students as they attempt to work out t h e i r p r i o r i t i e s p r i o r to the matching work (Kush & Cochran, 1993): ...the se t t i n g of p r i o r i t i e s should not be rushed or cheapened to proceed with the matching, but should be done c a r e f u l l y (p. 438). Of course another very important variable i n enhancing such conditions would be i n the counsellor's own modelling of f a c i l i t a t i o n . This approach r e f l e c t s a more cli e n t - c e n t r e d type of career intervention, encouraging proper s e l f - appraisal before moving into p o t e n t i a l l y premature decision 27 making ( M i l l e r , 1996). Parents are a largely untapped resource as f a r as career interventions go, yet research has consistently shown that parents are the number one influence. Birk and Blimline (1984) advocated for more intervention involving parents and reported work they had done with parents of elementary school children. Some of the exercises had parents exploring the following: what jobs they'd l i k e t h e i r c h i l d r e n to choose, what they thought t h e i r c h i l d a c t u a l l y wanted to be, what influences parents saw, and what influence they wished for i n t h e i r children's career development. Results indicated that parents consistently f e l t the most s i g n i f i c a n t influencers i n the c h i l d ' s decisions should be i n order of: parents, c h i l d , school, r e l a t i v e s , church, media, and friends. There are several i n t e r e s t i n g revelations here, not the least of which i s the parents' wishing peers would be bottom on the l i s t . Another inte r e s t i n g r e s u l t i s the placement of parents and the c h i l d ahead of school assistance. This may further support the North American difference i n terms of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for career preparation being p r i m a r i l y on the i n d i v i d u a l rather than the educational system (Downing & D'Andrea, 1994). I t i s also i r o n i c to discover that fathers generally thought they should be the primary influence; mothers reserved the same place for themselves. The conclusions Birk and Blimline (1984) drew from the more 28 d e t a i l e d data led them to highlight the p o t e n t i a l l y r e s t r i c t i v e view of careers parents may foster, frequently r e i n f o r c i n g stereotypical choices. The opposite of t h i s r e s t r i c t i v e role has been documented by others such as Auster and Auster (1981), who showed the s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e of family, peers and counsellors i n decisions of females who chose nontraditional occupations. C l e a r l y parents have great power, for good and for bad, i n t h e i r children's attitudes and choices. Therefore, Birk and Blimline (1984) argued, these dangers together with the importance of parents i n the process means they should not be ignored i n career counselling: If parents are to f a c i l i t a t e expansive thinking about career options i n t h e i r children, t h e i r own imaginations might need to be stimulated, and t h e i r concept of appropriate options broadened (p. 314). They proposed that the (school) counsellor i s i n p o s i t i o n to be a s i g n i f i c a n t catalyst, i n i t i a l l y confronting and broadening the parents' attitudes regarding acceptable a l t e r n a t i v e s . Interventions should be planned incorporating childre n and parents, rather than r e l y i n g on the haphazard [or nonexistent] process of parent-counsellor conferences. Given the amount of research supporting the primary place of parents i n t h e i r children's career development, Birk and Blimline's (1984) f i n a l e does ring true: "Parents are the primary influence on career development" (p. 316); counsellors can and should f i n d ways to j o i n i n partnership with them. A retrospective investigation of such p o s i t i v e 29 cooperation as well as the importance of parents i n career development has been reported recently by K e i l (1996) . He examined the career development of the children of a German family and t h e i r perceptions of parental support i n the process, highl i g h t i n g perceived healthy aspects of family system/interaction dynamics and influences on career choice. One e x c i t i n g aspect of work with parents and childre n i n career development appears to be the p o s s i b i l i t y of increased enjoyment of the relationship, even i n the context of r e l a t i v e l y b r i e f interventions. I t would c e r t a i n l y be notable i f Castricone et a l . ' s (1982) support for increased parent/child communication v i a b r i e f career intervention were to be borne out. As Middleton and Lougheed (1993) remarked, "...the enhancement of parent-adolescent r e l a t i o n s could very well be a serendipitous e f f e c t of such a cooperative, j o i n t e f f o r t " (p. 170). Certainly the involvement of parents i n adolescent career development programs deserves much more attention than i t has received to date. Parent Involved Career Exploration (PICE) Amundson (1996) reported a new technique i n career development which usually involves a one-session i n t e r a c t i o n between a counsellor and two adolescents, with parents present to observe and o f f e r input when prompted. The approach was developed over several years, and has been reported to be, "well received by both parents and students" 30 (p. 5). The intervention i s very b r i e f , and i t was hoped that a type of c a t a l y t i c e f f e c t might be instigated i n terms of the adolescent's career development, complementing rather than replacing more comprehensive career intervention programming. The b r i e f nature of the intervention would make i t useful across urban and r u r a l situations, should i t prove to have s i g n i f i c a n t promise. This i s c r i t i c a l , since i t has been strongly argued that v i r t u a l l y a l l programs carry a sort of "urban assumption" (Jeffery et a l . , 1992). Some of the p r i n c i p l e s guiding the development of PICE were as follows: The importance of parents i n career development, the ro l e of the counsellor i n fin d i n g p o s i t i v e ways parents could be involved, the int e r e s t of many parents i n learning to help t h e i r children with career, a systems perspective on f a c i l i t a t i n g change, and the p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s associated with scheduling longer programs for family involvement (Amundson, 1996). I f the point of a l l successful intervention can be boiled down to getting the c l i e n t to do or to view something d i f f e r e n t l y (O'Hanlon, 1990), then the po t e n t i a l c e r t a i n l y e x i s t s for a one-session change catalyst. Eckert's (1993) perspective on b r i e f therapy seems very powerful—the acceleration of change through the s p e c i f i c therapeutic c a t a l y s t s of planning, collaboration, timing, and empowerment. Career intervention may often lend i t s e l f to 31 such an approach because these factors are more l i k e l y to be present or achievable. The PICE approach makes in t e n t i o n a l use of the above factors with the goal of f a c i l i t a t i n g greater student c l a r i t y and empowerment i n career planning. This approach also r e f l e c t s Burlinghame and Fuhriman's (1987) challenge to conceptually plan b r i e f work, rather than allowing i t to simply occur as a r e s u l t of administrative l i m i t s . Results have not been formally evaluated to date, though informal feedback has been quite p o s i t i v e . Amundson reported comments from a focus group session which centred i n three areas: Interpersonal dynamics, session a c t i v i t i e s , and long-term benefits. He expressed a surprise at what he termed, "...dramatic r e s u l t s which have gone beyond my i n i t i a l expectations" (p. 12). Though Amundson suggested the approach may only be appropriate where there i s a threshold l e v e l of parent/child motivation and some q u a l i t y of r e l a t i o n s h i p , these parameters have not been tested. To a large extent, they are not tested i n the scope of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n either, though there w i l l be some speculation offered. The intervention involves regulating input from the parent, while putting the student on "centre stage" to explore p o t e n t i a l paths. This dynamic may allow the counsellor to model f a c i l i t a t i o n , as well as helping the parents to withdraw when appropriate, allowing the adolescent more room to take on r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (Whiston, 1989). B r i e f l y , the procedure consists of the following phases: i) Introduction, including parental observation r o l e ; i i ) Discussion of student career ideas; i i i ) Pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercise (PIE) l e i s u r e a c t i v i t y ; [For a detailed description see Appendix A] I n v i t a t i o n for parental input; iv) Pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercise with school subjects; I n v i t a t i o n for parental input; v) Discussion regarding labour market and how to plan; I n v i t a t i o n for parental input; vi) Action planning, next steps; v i i ) Review and encouragement. For a more detailed description of the steps see Appendix B. Pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercises have been u t i l i z e d as a b r i e f technique for use i n career exploration, with some support for i t s e f f i c a c y (Amundson & Cochran, 1984; Amundson & Stone, 1992). Regarding the use of l e i s u r e patterns to inform work choices, Super (1984) and McDaniels (1984) claimed l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s can be valuable exploratory experiences f o r 33 career development and urged counsellors to investigate t h i s arena of assistance. Hong, Milgram, and Whiston (1993) have noted that l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s as a t o o l i n career counselling have been largely ignored. The PIE technique flows from the premise that how a person behaves i n each area of t h e i r l i f e (eg., le i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s ) r e f l e c t s patterns i n motivation, attitudes and b e l i e f s (Amundson, 1995). Insights into these patterns has d i r e c t relevance to career planning. Given the lack of previous programming involving parents i n career development, as well as the lack of evaluation, i t seems timely to investigate the effectiveness of the current parent-involved p i l o t project. As a useful beginning point, t h i s researcher interviewed a sample of the i n i t i a l student and parent cohort some s i x months a f t e r they received the PICE intervention. How would each of them r e l a t e t h e i r experience i n the PICE session to t h e i r career development over the ensuing months? Would they report changes i n t h e i r b e l i e f s about how to do career planning? Would they report progress toward career decisions? Would they r e l a t e any increase i n motivation (or self-confidence) or decrease i n anxiety associated with career? Would there be any changes i n parent-child communication? Would there appear to be any suggestion of gender differences or c u l t u r a l differences i n t h i s experience? Behind every question of reported changes or 34 development w i l l l i e the question of how the parents and adolescents r e l a t e t h e i r development to having p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the PICE session. The answers w i l l obviously not provide data to argue causal l i n k s , but they l i k e l y would give an i n i t i a l i n d i c a t i o n of the promise of the technique f o r further development and more rigorous investigation i n the future. As Young and Valach (1994) argued, evaluation of any intervention needs to centre i n the experience of the c l i e n t . This stream of thought and value has come across i n the b r i e f therapy l i t e r a t u r e as well. The primary decision as to whether therapy has been successful needs to r e s t with the c l i e n t (O'Hanlon, 1990). The present study, then, i s a q u a l i t a t i v e study providing an i n i t i a l evaluation of a b r i e f career intervention involving adolescents and t h e i r parents. Any demonstrated effectiveness of the PICE intervention may be of considerable potential for the practice of career counselling, whether i n schools or i n the community. 35 Chapter III Methodology This chapter w i l l describe the rationale and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the research method used. Par t i c i p a n t s (and selection) w i l l be described, as w i l l recruitment and the d e t a i l s of data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis. Considerations regarding data reporting and the r o l e of the researcher w i l l also be considered. Method "A 'case study' i s the analysis of a single case, or of multiple instances of the same process, as i t i s embodied i n the l i f e experiences of a community, a group, or a person" (Denzin, 1994; p. 539). An "evaluative case study" i s one which involves evluation of programs and where often condensed fieldwork replaces the more lengthy ethnographic approach (Stenhouse, 1985). In the present study a q u a l i t a t i v e , case study approach was taken i n addressing the impact of the PICE p i l o t project. The central theme of questioning was, "what has i t meant to the adolescents and t h e i r parents to have taken part i n the PICE program." The task of the researcher was to reveal through interviews the structure of part i c i p a n t s ' interpreted experiences during and i n the months af t e r PICE. Rather than attempting to create structure and f i t p a r t i c i p a n t s ' data into i t , t h i s method involves allowing the interview data to create the 36 structure. I t i s based on a form of "grounded theory" (Glaser & Strauss, 1968) i n which the researcher attempts to generate hypotheses by induction from data, rather than deducing from assumptions. For example, instead of looking for s p e c i f i c changes i n students' career planning i n order to support the effectiveness of intervention, t h i s study was interested i n how the participants themselves have constructed the meaning of t h e i r PICE involvement. I t was expected that common patterns and in d i v i d u a l differences i n perception w i l l appear. These patterns and p r o f i l e s reveal the impact of the PICE project from p a r t i c i p a n t s ' own points of view. The decision to u t i l i z e a q u a l i t a t i v e methodology rested on my b e l i e f that the most important source of information useful i n a preliminary evaluation of PICE's impact would be partic i p a n t s ' own interpretations. Hence, my intent was to formally record and analyze these interpretations of experience and impact. As Diesing (1972) argued, case study methods do address both p a r t i c u l a r s and universals, uniqueness and r e g u l a r i t i e s . I t i s incumbent on the researcher to document c a r e f u l l y the p a r t i c u l a r s of a case so as to allow comparison to other s i t u a t i o n s . I t i s also my b e l i e f that an intervention guided, at lea s t i n part, by systems theory (Amundson, 1996) should most appropriately be investigated using a q u a l i t a t i v e approach. This f i t s the d i s t i n c t i o n made by Salomon (1991) 37 regarding a n a l y t i c a l and systemic approaches to educational research, and the b r i e f therapy models i n which c l i e n t judgments of success are primary (eg., O'Hanlon, 1990). The approach i s also supported by a p o l i t i c a l l y - c o n s c i o u s view of evaluation such as that of Guba and Lincoln (1993). What i s of primary interest to participants are t h e i r own goals and values. A more quantitative approach can miss much of the s o c i a l and value-oriented character of the process. I t was my hope to accurately represent the perspectives of the ' c l i e n t s ' of t h i s intervention, to reveal any insights, and to view i n a h o l i s t i c fashion. The decision not to include quantitative measures such as career maturity, vocational decidedness, or vocational congruence rested on several factors: 1) the a v a i l a b l e population of students having received the intervention at the time was small; 2) neither the population r e c e i v i n g PICE nor the sample interviewed were randomly selected, due to access l o g i s t i c s ; 3) no pre-intervention measures had been used; and 4) l i m i t s on access to the student population negated the p o s s i b i l i t y of a matched group. Therefore, although the case study method does not d i c t a t e a s o l e l y q u a l i t a t i v e method, such was the approach taken. This research was undertaken with the understanding that some of i t s p o t e n t i a l f r u i t f u l n e s s would be i n laying the groundwork for future work using both q u a l i t a t i v e and quantitative measures. One avenue for such complementarity w i l l be for 38 the present approach to produce propositions which may be tested with a, larger sample. Since the q u a l i t a t i v e approach i s primarily concerned with the immediate experience of individuals (eg., V a l l e & King, 1978), participants and researchers are engaged i n a j o i n t e f f o r t , co-researchers af t e r a fashion. The researcher attempts to build rapport and t r u s t with p a r t i c i p a n t s i n order to f a c i l i t a t e a freer sharing of information on interviewing. Although the interviews i n the present study were b r i e f , I attempted to approach p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a manner which would place them at ease as much as possible, creating a human inte r a c t i o n f e e l i n g , rather than a s t e r i l e , interrogatory atmosphere. The usefulness of case study methods depends on i t s own form of pre c i s i o n . Such " d i s c i p l i n e d s u b j e c t i v i t y " (Wilson, 1977) requires that evidence be open to scrutiny, and that the research be reported i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l so as to convey c r e d i b i l i t y (Glaser & Strauss, 1968). C r e d i b i l i t y , or trustworthiness, i n t h i s context, may be seen as analogous to the issues of v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y i n quantitative approaches (eg., Diesing, 1972). The present study included several strategies for achieving such trustworthiness: a) Explanation of data c o l l e c t i o n procedures. Approach l e t t e r s , interview introductions, and interview guides are appended to complement textual description below. 39 b) Data i s displayed for potential re-analysis. Transcripts are appended, though researcher questions are abbreviated. c) Negative instances are reported. d) Biases are acknowledged. e) Analysis procedures are documented, v i a explanation and display of secondary evidence. f) Primary evidence i s distinguished from secondary, and inte r p r e t a t i o n . g) Quality of data i s checked by participant v a l i d a t i o n s , and by tr i a n g u l a t i o n . "Triangulation" (Tawney, 1975) involves using d i f f e r e n t sources of data, such as both parent and student perceptions of career development impact. Participants Participants were not selected on the basis of demographics, but on the basis of a v a i l a b i l i t y . One aspect of the PICE p i l o t project took place i n a large multi-ethnic secondary school i n a moderately large Canadian c i t y . P a r t i c i p a n t s for the PICE project were volunteers, with some of the students becoming attracted to the sessions a f t e r hearing good reports by t h e i r classmates. Some sessions were videotaped with participant consent, and some sessions were observed by counsellors from the high school. At the time of t h i s investigation, approximately twenty students had received the intervention six months previously. Students were contacted for potential involvement, and the 40 f i r s t ten who responded were selected and scheduled f o r interviews. The school administration had given a time l i m i t on a v a i l a b i l i t y of students due to the year-end approaching. Students were i n grades 10 and 11, ranging from 15 to 17 years of age. They a l l attend the same secondary school, and are of several d i f f e r e n t ethnic o r i g i n s , three Chinese, four Caucasian, and one of East Indian descent. A l l interviewed students' english language s k i l l s were quite high, as judged by t h e i r a b i l i t y to f r e e l y converse i n the interviews. Though more females than males pa r t i c i p a t e d , we hoped to have s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t i c i p a t i o n of both genders i n t h i s study. Two students did not show up for t h e i r interviews, bringing the t o t a l number down to eight. Seven were female, one male. The two students who missed an i n i t i a l and a rescheduled interview date were both males. Participants were largely from a school stream c a l l e d the 'Incentive' program, for students displaying an i n t e r e s t i n more in t e r a c t i v e modes of learning. While not necessarily the academically e l i t e of the school, these students would l i k e l y be placed i n the upper p e r c e n t i l e s . The p a r t i c u l a r selection of these students for PICE intervention had been an a r t i f a c t of the f i r s t - c o m e - f i r s t - served recuitment which the school f a c i l i t a t e d ; word of mouth attracted the friends/associates of those f i r s t ' c l i e n t s . ' In terms of socioeconomic status, although the 41 intervention has included students who were considering trades type occupations, the students who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study tended to be considering professional type occupations. Recruitment After receiving approval from the school board and e t h i c a l review, students and parents who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the PICE project i n the f a l l of 1995 were contacted by l e t t e r (see Appendix C) and telephone c a l l to s o l i c i t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s study. Those parents who agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e (and those students whose parents signed consent forms) were further contacted for scheduling of interviews (see Appendix D and E). Students were c a l l e d by telephone again the night before t h e i r interview as a reminder; even so, some rescheduling was necessary due to forgotten appointments. Two students who missed t h e i r f i r s t and second appointments were dropped from the study. Data C o l l e c t i o n Students were interviewed i n a conference room at the school, during a block normally reserved for a Career and Personal Planning (CAPP) course. Interviews were scheduled with two students at a time, with the intention of allowing them to f e e l more at ease with the interview process and increasing the l i k e l i h o o d of more candid sharing. Although 42 a l l interviews were thus scheduled, some went ahead on a one-on-one basis, due to one of the students not showing up for t h e i r interview. Interviews were recorded on audiotape, i n order to enhance the r e l i a b i l i t y of recording and to f a c i l i t a t e a more conversational s t y l e of discussion. Since some of the interviews involved pairs, the interview introduction s c r i p t included an emphasis on individual perspectives, rather than "majority opinions" (see Appendix F). Although taping of interviews may place participants i n a p o s i t i o n of "holding back" comments, t h i s danger was weighed against p o t e n t i a l advantages of such a record. Students and parents were interviewed separately i n order to increase the l i k e l i h o o d that candid comments would be more l i k e l y . Both students and parents were assured that t h e i r comments would be c o n f i d e n t i a l . In order to enhance the l i k e l i h o o d of obtaining r e a l i s t i c views (including negative data), I indicated to participants that I would not be d i s t r i b u t i n g a report which would analyze participants' views case-by-case, rather the analysis would be section-by-section; comments made would be as anonymous as possible within each section. I also assured them they would have a chance to t e l l me l a t e r i f there were anything they wished to change, or which they d i d not want published. Interviews of parents took place one-on-one i n t h e i r own homes, during weekday evenings. These interviews were 43 also audio-recorded. A l l participants were approached on the basis that the researchers were wanting personal feedback from participants, i n order to improve the PICE approach. In t h i s way, what became important was the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' own experience of the session and i t s impact, not t h e i r analysis of the technique i n general. A l l interviewing took place within a six-week time frame. Rationale for Interview Questions The interviews followed an "interview guide" format (McMillan & Schumacher, 1993), i n which topics are outlined i n advance with prepared questions, however, further probing questions were expected to ari s e out of the i n t e r a c t i o n . Although the structured interview has not been used extensively i n career development, i t has seen an increasing a p p l i c a t i o n i n recent years (Savickas & Lent, 1992). Questions ranged from t h e i r experience of the PICE session to t h e i r b e l i e f s about i t s impact, to t h e i r actions since PICE. F i n a l l y I concluded with d i r e c t s o l i c i t a t i o n of suggestions for improving the PICE approach, i n addition to any they had already offered. In some instances I probed further f o r elaboration on answers given, using such questions as, "Can you t e l l me more about that?" and "What does that mean for you?" Interviews required between one- h a l f hour and one hour. 44 Interview Guide Experience of the Session 1. Why did you volunteer for the session? What were your i n i t i a l expectations? 2. Describe your experience of the session. 3 . What was i t l i k e f or you to have your parent present? 4. What was i t l i k e to have other people i n the room? 5. What was i t l i k e to have another student/parent p a i r there? Thoughts on Impact of PICE Session 1. What are your o v e r a l l impressions of how the session worked for you? 2. What e f f e c t s ( i f any) do you think the session may have had on your own career planning?\ 3. Do you think the session had any impact on your r e l a t i o n s h i p with your parent(s)? Eg., -Them understanding you better? -You understanding them better? -Talking about career issues more often/more openly? -Any changes i n how your parent(s) advise you? Action Steps 1. What have you been doing i n your career exploration and planning since the PICE session? Eg., -In terms of thinking about career? -In terms of CAPP participation? 45 -Talked to anyone i n p a r t i c u l a r occupations? -Any use of the Career Pathways book? Describe. -Ideas/plans/actions i n work or volunteer experience? 2. Do you r e l a t e any development i n what you are doing or have done to your p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the PICE session? Direct Suggestions 1. Do you have any suggestions for improving the PICE experience or career preparation i n general? Please explain. The interview question guide owed i t s genesis to two main sources, the exis t i n g research l i t e r a t u r e , and preliminary feedback from PICE participants already obtained. We have seen above that career intervention which involves family members i n a j o i n t e f f o r t may a c t u a l l y enhance family communication and relationships. Another dimension of career intervention i n general i s the importance of actions and action planning. Further, a number of students who participated i n PICE sessions i n the f a l l of 1995 shared t h e i r impressions i n a focus group discussion approximately two months l a t e r . Their comments at that time helped lead to the present interview guide, as well as the researchers' desire to c o l l e c t the present data i n a more systematic fashion. 46 Data Analysis Audiotapes of interviews were transcribed (see Appendix G). Transcriptions of interviews were read and re-read to become f a m i l i a r with the o v e r a l l communication of each p a r t i c i p a n t . Summary notes were constructed from each interview, with examples using p a r t i c i p a n t s ' own language to i l l u s t r a t e points made. The researcher then l i s t e d the meaning units and categories used by participants i n t h e i r explanations of experience, and summarized the themes present i n each interview. Copies of the interview summary and themes were sent to the participants (see Appendix H), and they were contacted by telephone to discuss any discrepancies, leading to p o t e n t i a l revisions. One parent did request a r e v i s i o n i n one section, and such r e v i s i o n was made. Another parent had made some p o t e n t i a l l y sensitive comments about h i s family s i t u a t i o n and he was s p e c i f i c a l l y asked whether the summary was acceptable as presented (which i t was). See Appendix I for participant v a l i d a t i o n comments. Convergent and divergent data was grouped according to theme, and a summary document of a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s ' condensed data by theme was produced. Representative quotes were selected as each t r a n s c r i p t was analyzed and included i n the summary of thematic data. Miles and Huberman (1984) have i d e n t i f i e d common sources of error for q u a l i t a t i v e researchers, and I have 4 7 attempted to keep i n mind and work against each of the following: a) The h o l i s t i c f a l l a c y , i n which o u t l i e r cases are ignored and interpretations appear a l l the more patterned. b) E l i t e bias, i n which greater credence i s given to higher status or more a r t i c u l a t e participants. c) "Going native," or accepting the opinions of par t i c i p a n t s without question or researched thought. I n i t i a l l y a procedure of evidence weighting was considered, involving participant nonverbals and strength- of-presentation, but i t was deemed to carry too much po t e n t i a l danger of skewing to be worth the attempt. In presenting data patterns, interpretations, and propositions, my purpose has been to keep i n mind that i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s l i k e l y to produce both universals and p a r t i c u l a r s ; reporting of findings herein should r e f l e c t both the r i c h experiences of i n d i v i d u a l s , and potential patterns of experience within the group. Propositions for further t e s t i n g the re l a t i o n s h i p between PICE intervention, parameters, and outcome variables are provided i n the discussion. Researcher Role Since my r o l e as researcher has a bearing on t h i s study, I w i l l o f f e r a few comments about my personal and professional background. I am a graduate student i n counselling psychology with past experience i n the diverse 48 f i e l d s of law, youth work, and employment counselling. My in t e r e s t i n the area of career development developed, i n large measure, due to my own personal experience of frust r a t e d career exploration i n adolescence. A lack of qu a l i t y career assistance i n my own case, as well as observations of many other young people's need for career assistance led me to focus i n t h i s area within counselling psychology. I t i s my hope and intention to discover and u t i l i z e the most productive, h o l i s t i c , and resp e c t f u l means of career development assistance with others. As i s common i n both university and community research, my r o l e i n t h i s study i s not as objective as desired. Participants were aware that I was following up on the re s u l t s of the PICE counselling session and that my research supervisor was the o r i g i n a l f a c i l i t a t o r . Though I attempted to minimize that connection by s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioning our desire to obtain honest answers (thus the o r i g i n a l f a c i l i t a t o r was n o t doing the interviewing), the f a c t remains that participants may yet have had a 'pleasing the investigator' motive operating. My own expectation biases were p a r t l y due to p r i o r knowledge of the PICE f a c i l i t a t o r ' s reports of p a r t i c i p a n t feedback, and par t l y due to the simple fa c t that t h i s research comprises material for my master's t h e s i s . Previously referred to as the " f i l e drawer problem," i t would be remiss not to mention a s p e c i f i c motivation to f i n d 49 something meaningful to report, as well as the i n a b i l i t y to use the " f i l e drawer" i n a case such as t h i s . I have attempted to monitor my own role i n the process of data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis, and to minimize the e f f e c t s of such biases. Therefore, I attempted to minimize researcher e f f e c t s by emphasizing my distance from the o r i g i n a l f a c i l i t a t o r , interviews were taped and transcribed, and impact questions were asked with a tone intended to convey an expectation of possibly l i t t l e or no impact. This was not d i f f i c u l t , i n my view, since I also had expectations and fears that such a b r i e f intervention would indeed produce no r e s u l t s of consequence. As a further check on data analysis, interview summaries were provided to p a r t i c i p a n t s for v a l i d a t i o n or corrections, and student perceptions of impact were compared with parents' data. Although several means of reducing the biasing impact of t h i s researcher were used, i t i s recognized that one cannot t r u l y avoid some p o t e n t i a l l y contaminating e f f e c t s when partic i p a n t s perceive any connection whatsoever between the intervention provider(s) and the evaluator(s). I t i s l e f t to the reader to decide whether the chain of reasoning between question formation, data c o l l e c t i o n , and analyses has communicated a phenomenon with i n t e g r i t y . 50 Chapter IV Results This chapter w i l l describe and summarize p a r t i c i p a n t data. F i r s t , the emergent themes w i l l be b r i e f l y outlined, followed by thematic presentation of p a r t i c i p a n t s ' points of view, along with representative quotes. F i n a l l y , the experience of PICE p a r t i c i p a t i o n and r e f l e c t i o n w i l l be presented i n the form of a summary table. Emergent Themes 1. Goals: The goals, hopes, expectations of students, parents' perceptions of t h e i r c h i l d ' s goals, and parents' own goals; 2. Evaluation of Process: Comments partic i p a n t s made about the i n t e r a c t i o n a l dynamics of the PICE session, including f a c i l i t a t o r s t y l e , parental involvement, and other f a m i l i e s ' presence; 3. Evaluation of Content: Comments partic i p a n t s made about the actual a c t i v i t i e s i n the session, such as the pattern- i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercise using l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s ; 4. Impact on Career Perspective: Comments p a r t i c i p a n t s made about any change (or non-change) i n career b e l i e f s or attitudes which they attributed to t h e i r PICE involvement; 5. Impact on Career Actions: Comments par t i c i p a n t s made about any changes (or non-change) i n career development a c t i v i t i e s which they attributed to t h e i r PICE involvement; 51 6 . Impact on Family Interaction: Comments pa r t i c i p a n t s made about any changes (or non-change) i n family i n t e r a c t i o n or communication which they related to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n PICE; 7 . A t t r i b u t i o n s for Change: Comments par t i c i p a n t s made regarding t h e i r theories about what i n PICE was responsible fo r any changes; and 8 . Suggestions for Improvement: Direct suggestions p a r t i c i p a n t s made for improving the PICE approach. Below i s a detailed description of p a r t i c i p a n t s ' data, presented by theme area, and i l l u s t r a t e d with p a r t i c i p a n t s ' own words. Thematic Data 1. G O A L S STUDENTS Many students did not have s p e c i f i c goals or expectations for the PICE session; they were simply looking fo r general help i n career decision making. This was p a r t l y due to the fac t that they were given only b r i e f information ahead of time. In fact, some students r e c a l l e d volunteering fo r the session i n quite a spontaneous manner: "They came around to class the same day and I wasn't busy, so I agreed to do i t , " or "I didn't have a s p e c i f i c goal for the session, but I learned a l o t . I didn't t o t a l l y understand what the session was before I did i t . " The factor that seemed to appeal to them most was the 52 promise of a more personal approach than they had been exposed to thus far at school. The idea of a 'real l i v e ' person giving them one-on-one attention and guidance seemed quite a t t r a c t i v e , even 'fun'. This personal approach, v i a the spoken word, was appealing to several students as compared to paper/pen methods: I thought i t would probably be more i n t e r e s t i n g and more relevant to me than anything else has been, because the program i n place now i s r e a l l y generic and time-wasting. So I just rushed down here and signed up...I r e a l l y wanted to sort of see what else would be relevant to me more than f i l l i n g out a l i t t l e form. . .talking to a person instead of a questionnaire. 1 1 One student s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned that, i n her mind, the spoken word was less ' f i n a l ' than the black and white on paper. This made the session more a t t r a c t i v e than the normal career planning a c t i v i t i e s at school. Another student r e c a l l e d being a b i t disappointed because she had hoped to make i t to the point of having a s p e c i f i c occupational choice made. This was not a c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d goal p r i o r to the session, but she became aware of i t when she did not make the kind of progress she had been subconsciously hoping for: I kind of expected i t to be a b i t more s p e c i f i c , l i k e , 'OK, we'll f i n d a career for you,' or something l i k e that. Many simply said they were out for whatever progress Note: Quotations from one participant are continued with single spacing; quotes from multiple participants are separated by line space. Quotations have been modified slightly, such as verb tense agreement, to enhance readability. 53 and ideas they could get. I t was seen as a very low-risk venture, something that could help but not hurt. A few mentioned they were looking for either a challenge or a support of goals they already had i n place. The idea of having to actually speak of t h e i r plans out loud seemed to be a good t e s t of t h e i r soundness. I didn't r e a l l y go i n with any expectations. I guess ju s t to sort of examine my career goals. I t j ust sounded l i k e something i n t e r e s t i n g . There wasn't any r i s k . . . I just figured I'd t r y i t , see what i t was li k e . . . s o who knows what the session would do. So I said I might as well take i t . If i t helps me, i t helps me. I f i t doesn't, I'm not losing anything. PARENTS Some parents noticed that t h e i r son or daughter was quite excited about the chance to p a r t i c i p a t e i n PICE. In fac t , the son or daughter's eagerness to be involved with t h e i r parent present was the big draw for many parents. She was very excited when she phoned...so she went b a r r e l l i n g down to sign up. I think she i s very concerned with what she i s going to do, perhaps even unduly so... The parents had even less information about the session ahead of time than the students did, since the student was t h e i r only source. Parents and t h e i r sons/daughters d i d not t a l k much about the coming session between volunteering and p a r t i c i p a t i n g . Most were not aware of t h e i r son or daughter's goals for the session; some were aware of t h e i r son or daughter's career plans, others were not aware of the 54 s p e c i f i c s . Generally I know what she wants, but I don't r e a l l y know i n d e t a i l what she i s going to do. I knew her general interests, but as f a r as goals go, no, not r e a l l y . I t was just presented as being an interview regarding careers and career choice. As f a r as goals for t h e i r son or daughter, many parents r e l a t e d a general desire to support t h e i r c h i l d i n something they wanted to do (students could not p a r t i c i p a t e without a parent present). I had no idea what t h i s was; I just showed my support to her and went with her. I just went because she needed me to go. Several shared t h e i r hopes that the session would provide some sort of general help i n progressing towards career decisions and plans; for some, any help was seen as better than the status quo. I'm not sure. I thought she might get some benefit i n making career choices. Well, anything would be a benefit, don't you think? I just went into i t with an open mind. I had no preconceptions because I wasn't given any information about i t . So we just went i n and hoped our opinions counted.... Obviously, a number of parents were not aware of any s p e c i f i c goals or expectations they had for the session, though discussion of the session's impact brought one or two to l i g h t (see below). One parent related how he thought h i s daughter didn't 5 5 need to be as concerned about her career planning as she was; he hoped i t would decrease her worry about career decisions: I was hoping i t would give her a sense of d i r e c t i o n , or perhaps even give her a sense of maybe not worrying about i t quite as much...I guess I thought that perhaps part of i t might give the perspective that i f you have your interests and strengths... i t w i l l work out.... 2. EVALUATION OF SESSION PROCESS A l l participants (students & parents) expressed a very p o s i t i v e evaluation of the session o v e r a l l . The f a c i l i t a t o r was r e c a l l e d as being very encouraging, the atmosphere relaxed and i n t e r a c t i v e . I thought he did a r e a l l y good job. He was r e a l l y encouraging and everything. . . . i t was a format that worked well, and everybody was dressed casually, which I think r e a l l y helps. There's nothing that would k i l l i t more than white s h i r t s and t i e s and s t u f f l i k e that....I remember the professor at the time just not speaking any of the technojargon, just being very down-to-earth. I t was very casual, and everybody was made to f e e l at ease. A couple of students mentioned t h e i r appreciation for being 'put on the spot', having to give spontaneous descriptions of t h e i r interests or goals. One student had come to the conclusion that the session was more useful than written work because the spoken word seemed less of a f i n a l thing. Another student valued the sense of attentiveness i n the group, as compared to classroom experiences she'd had. And the fact that i t was spoken was also important, because with the CAPP program when you write i t down i t seems very f i n a l , that t h i s i s what you want to do. 56 But because t h i s i s just spoken word, i t ' s more of a thinking process. About half were posit i v e about having t h e i r parents i n the session, with the rest having mixed f e e l i n g s . None had only negative feelings about t h e i r parent being present. Some students f e l t more listened to than usual by t h e i r parents, while some saw that having them present gave common material to t a l k about l a t e r . Some gained new insight from l i s t e n i n g to t h e i r parent i n the session. One student looked back on the session as a more focused and s p e c i f i c conversation than they would normally have with t h e i r parents. I t was good to have my parents around and another student and t h e i r parent. Because a l o t of times I think that i t ' s only me that's doing a l l these hard things. [To have my mom there was]...not a big difference. My mom didn't r e a l l y say that much either. I enjoyed i t more, because i t ' s the kind of s t u f f we don't r e a l l y t a l k about. We t a l k l i k e , "Oh yeah, I want to go into human k i n e t i c s , " but she doesn't say, "Maybe you should do t h i s , or you should do that to get there." And that was what she was maybe t r y i n g to say more.... I t was neat. Some stu f f she said, I never knew she thought that before. I don't know, just something about how you had to be focused on your career, and she's never r e a l l y talked to me about the options before. Half of the parents interviewed expressed having gained a greater understanding of t h e i r son or daughter as a r e s u l t of the session. These parents seemed to f e e l quite p o s i t i v e about such insights. 57 Yes, I quite enjoyed i t . And I know, at lea s t I know what she's thought of something. I t ' s more c l e a r . . . She said she wants to be a teacher, and she l i k e s reading a l o t , and then she expressed herself the kind of f e e l i n g she got afte r reading. We had talked about i t before, but probably not as much i n as focused a way. So i t very much helped to give that perspective. I t kind of c l a r i f i e d things for me. I was glad to s i t i n and l i s t e n to his opinions and thoughts, because they were kind of new to me. How some of the l i f e experiences he had been through...how that affected him. Students with mixed feelings had a few d i f f e r e n t reasons for f e e l i n g the way they did. One student, f o r example, c i t e d her parents' language b a r r i e r and her own shyness as factors causing her to be re t i c e n t . The parent also echoed the language issue on independent interview. Student: For me, personally, i t was l i k e h a l f and ha l f . I want her there, but I don't want her there...She gave the input, 'cause she knows me better than I know myself kind of thing. But i f she wasn't there maybe I can forget about what I say and ju s t say what I want to say. Because I don't want to offend my mom or whatever... So i t was good to have her there, but i t wasn't excellent to have her there. Next time, I'd probably go without my mom.... Parent: I t ' s good for a l l the kids i f they can express themselves. But...maybe my english i s not r e a l l y good, so I can't r e a l l y express myself. But I guess f o r people who r e a l l y t a l k t h i s language, and they don't mind speaking out, I think i t ' s a good experience for them. Some f e l t the parents did not have much to say i n t h e i r session, so t h e i r presence did not seem necessary. One f e l t he had already talked about everything with h i s mother, so i t was nothing new; another f e l t her father went overboard with following up afterward. 58 I t was normal. I mean, everyone t a l k s i n front of t h e i r mom. But i t was kind of the same s t u f f that we normally t a l k about. I t wasn't bad [having my father there] except f o r a f t e r he had t h i s obsession, l i k e we should t a l k about this...every single day...so i t was d r i v i n g me insane. But aside from that, I didn't r e a l l y notice he was there. A l l but one of the students were very p o s i t i v e regarding the other 'family' being i n the session, most p a r t i c u l a r l y the other student. The student had a peer to i d e n t i f y with i n a room with several adults, as voiced by' the student who said, "That's part of what I l i k e d about i t , that I had someone else to relate to...instead of a room f u l l of adults". The commonalities between students were also v a l i d a t i n g , sometimes even surprising. Both s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences were reported as i n s i g h t f u l , and the second student provided a contrasting example of the analysis technique i n action. Student: She was i n grade 10 also, and i n the Incentive program too. So there was a kind of a bond between us...So the problems she has, I have too. I t ' s nice to know I'm not the only one. I thought i t was great. One of the things that r e a l l y helped me was hearing another student, what they f e l t , because I think that students r i g h t now are quite isolated...The other student i n my session was a guy, not i n the Incentive program. But a c t u a l l y I found that I had a l o t of common ground with him. I t was pretty amazing. I wouldn't have expected to f i n d that. I t was enlightening. I was more into the a t h l e t i c side of things and she was more into the arts side so I had a chance to see i t from both perspectives. Before the session I actually thought that working on my own was better than i n a group. But then I found 59 out, I thought after the session that i t ' s good to communicate with people, and that you can get more ideas. Parents were almost as grateful for the presence of the other pair, though some valued i t more for t h e i r son or daughter than for themselves. One parent did express appreciation for the other family's presence for the reason that they would automatically possess more c r e d i b i l i t y than a student's own parents. Yes, that was good for them to have a chance to express t h e i r f e e l i n g s . Especially what I remember that the other student was a guy, and he and my daughter could look at the same thing from d i f f e r e n t points of view, d i f f e r e n t angles. ...and I thought the idea of kids l i s t e n i n g to other kids' values probably would carry much more weight. At t h i s age i n pa r t i c u l a r , parents are t o t a l l y uncool. No c r e d i b i l i t y whatsoever. I t might also be good hearing other parents. Because ...hearing other parents and t h e i r perspectives probably c a r r i e s a l i t t l e more c r e d i b i l i t y . Having emphasized to both our kids i n d i v i d u a l l y the importance of studying and everything else, i t was kind of refreshing to hear that we're both on the same track, saying the same things. We're not the only people beating the drum! One other reason the students may have benefitted from having a counterpart i n the same session was raised by a few: This way, even though put on the spot, one student was not the centre of attention the whole time, which might have been more s t r e s s f u l . I t was easier to ta l k because i t wasn't l i k e everything was focused on you...You're not too much on the spot.... A couple of participants were i n d i f f e r e n t about having the other student-parent pai r . They could r e c a l l nothing added as a r e s u l t of t h e i r presence. The only negative ra i s e d about having the other family was language-related; one parent f e l t her language d i f f i c u l t i e s would have been less of a problem without others i n the room. I didn't r e a l l y mind, because I kind of knew her. I f i t was someone I didn't know at a l l i t would be harder. I t was kind of nice because we're r e a l l y d i f f e r e n t and i t ' s nice hearing d i f f e r e n t opinions and views on things. I kind of knew the other student so i t was ok. I t didn't r e a l l y matter; i f she hadn't been there i t would have been the same. A f i n a l issue of concern for a few p a r t i c i p a n t s was the presence of observers, and videotaping of sessions. Though the majority did not f e e l i t affected t h e i r session, for some t h i s was a source of minor d i s t r a c t i o n and increased tension. There was also a couple of other counsellors observing. I t wasn't bad, but i t made everything a l i t t l e more uncomfortable. When I heard i t was going to be videotaped I was kind of scared. I t ' s kind of hard to t a l k when you have a camera focused on you. I thought maybe i f i t had been there my answers would have been d i f f e r e n t [This session was not taped at his mother's request]. 3 . EVALUATION OF SESSION CONTENT STUDENTS Comments about session content were la r g e l y p o s i t i v e . Students valued the way the approach allowed them to s t a r t by sharing a c t i v i t i e s of great interest to them, then used the material as data for analyzing t h e i r s t y l e and 61 preferences. Some students referred to t h i s process as much more relevant than school career exercises. One student s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned gaining insight through the f a c i l i t a t o r ' s use of metaphors from t h e i r own experiences to i l l u s t r a t e a point about career planning. He gave me a chance to express my opinions and feelings...the s t u f f just came to my head and I had to say i t . The method he used was so unique...it r e a l l y helped you c l a r i f y what you want and how you behave i n c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s . He used sports l i k e a metaphor, 'cause I l i k e sports...so I understood more. I enjoyed that he was dealing with what re l a t e s to me, not j u s t a piece of paper....I experienced i t , I can r e l a t e i t to my l i f e ; i t connects. I kind of expected i t to be a b i t more s p e c i f i c , . . . but i t wasn't r e a l l y . I t was l i k e , 'Let's f i n d out who you are f i r s t , ' which i s , I think, more important, but i s overlooked a l o t . One student mentioned that she f e l t the session's technique allowed her more freedom to explore dimensions of her s e l f as well as alternative potential career paths. This was l a r g e l y a comparison between PICE and other, impersonal, paper/pencil career too l s . With the l a t t e r , she had f e l t ' s l o t t e d ' , and forced to make choices prematurely. The PICE experience f e l t more l i k e the beginning of a process, not the end. I t acted as a beginning point, whereas a l o t of programs act as an end. I t didn't say, 'What do you want to be?' i t just got the b a l l r o l l i n g and started me thinking. I think that was r e a l l y important. Some expressed t h e i r appreciation for the way the pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process helped organize information 62 about themselves and careers, as well as teaching them the technique of analysis. [The f a c i l i t a t o r ] ...helped me to analyze...my personality, my goals, my weaknesses, my strengths. I think i t was a good thing, because sometimes I j u s t couldn't get i t untangled i n my head.... Though very l i t t l e attention was given to the Career Pathways booklet, most f e l t i t was useful as a f o l l o w - u p — not e s s e n t i a l , but a good extra. A couple f e l t f e l t t h i s t o o l required a higher l e v e l of experience than they had to date, l i m i t i n g i t s usefulness (but enhancing motivation to gain experience!). Though not a l l students a c t u a l l y went through and used the booklet, those who did had r e f l e c t e d on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the session and booklet. The session introduced strategies, and the book kind of was more s p e c i f i c . I went through i t and I did a l o t of the a c t i v i t i e s . . . a n d I found i t was for people who already had experience i..The book kind of made i t more cle a r about what he was t a l k i n g about experience-wise. I didn't do every a c t i v i t y , but I looked through i t . I t seemed even the written s t u f f i n the PICE program seemed more useful than the CAPP s t u f f , because i t ' s more open. I t doesn't focus as much on careers as on what you want. I t wasn't extremely t h r i l l i n g , but i t wasn't d u l l and boring either. I went through most of i t . PARENTS In general, parents were also p o s i t i v e about the content of the PICE session, though not many comments were made s p e c i f i c a l l y i n t h i s area. Some appreciated the broadening approach of both the technique and the f a c i l i t a t o r ' s input, not d i r e c t i n g the students, but helping 6 3 them think about the impact of t h e i r i nterests and pe r s o n a l i t i e s . This progression helped them r e l a t e themselves to occupational choices, but did not l i m i t them to standard types of occupations. The emphasis on addressing interests and styles f i r s t seemed relevant and also encouraging for t h e i r son or daughter. I thought the session kind of gave enough breadth that i t didn't channel us off into the very t r a d i t i o n a l sorts of limited l i s t s of things you obviously think of....The discussion sort of broadened that up a l i t t l e b i t . . . . Rather than the standard sort of career counselling...[where] you f i l l i n a l i t t l e sheet of your interests and the computer says you should be Si • • • • He never t o l d them what to do, which i s what he can't do....which i s what they do now, they give you these stupid tests and t e l l them that they should be.... And I think the way he did i t was r e a l l y good, i f you can get them to think about what i t i s that they want to do, and make sure that i t matches what t h e i r personality i s , that's r e a l l y good. Some of the parents were very emphatic that the technique would not have worked as well i f preparation had been expected. Spontaneity was seen as part-and-parcel of the co-analysis, enhancing the candidness of responses. These parents also related t h e i r own greater understanding of t h e i r children to the unexpected nature of the session's questions. I t was r e a l l y nice to go i n there t o t a l l y cold and fresh, not antic i p a t i n g any questions. I think i f people can anticipate questions or they a n t i c i p a t e sort of what d i r e c t i o n things are going to go...they t a i l o r t h e i r answers accordingly.... I know that from my own business.... Because I saw the res u l t s of the interview being a structure applied to what I think were just random 64 thoughts and feelings and interests, and j u s t a general potpourri. What the interview did was i t structured a l o t of that and I think i t ' s important to go i n with no preconceptions on structure. ...so I f e l t , as d i d my daughter, 'Gee, some conclusions did evolve out of t h i s that maybe we even knew of, but hadn't faced, or hadn't r e a l l y thought of.' 4. IMPACT ON CAREER P E R S P E C T I V E STUDENTS By f a r the most-cited impact had to do with modified b e l i e f s and attitudes about career. Nearly a l l students said t h e i r perspective had changed somewhat as a r e s u l t of PICE involvement. For some, t h i s meant taking a step back to understanding and analyze themselves before looking to choose occupations. One student f e l t more focused by t h i s emphasis, less overwhelmed, having a place to begin her search. At least half of those interviewed said PICE had broadened t h e i r thinking on career options, showing them that s i m i l a r interests could be expressed i n many d i f f e r e n t ways. .This was a change they f e l t p o s i t i v e about, with more of a sense of freedom, and perhaps less p o s s i b i l i t y of making 'mistakes'. I think i t helped me, because I began to r e a l i z e that there were s p e c i f i c goals I would have to set, and there were more broad ways that I could take to a c e r t a i n path. I think i t b a s i c a l l y gave me more options....It just took what I was interested i n and he showed me d i f f e r e n t routes that I could take instead of j u s t one s p e c i f i c thing. Before I didn't r e a l l y have somewhere where I could focus, but now I have a l i t t l e b i t of a focus happening 65 and a d i r e c t i o n to go. That focus i s to look f o r something that would r e a l l y spark my i n t e r e s t . . . . There's a l o t more p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Like i t opened i t up. Like I just wanted to be a teacher then i t sort of opened i t up that i t could be maybe open a tutoring business or whatever.... Perhaps related to t h i s impact was an increase reported by some, of c u r i o s i t y about possible paths and about career planning a c t i v i t i e s i n general. I was interested [in CAPP] before but now I'm more curious, and I want to learn more things about i t . However, not a l l students shared t h i s opinion of school career planning, before or after PICE involvement: I thought CAPP was a waste of time before and I s t i l l think i t ' s a waste of time, and I ' l l stand by that opinion. I hated [CAPP] even more afterward even....They give you a l l these t e s t s . . . j u s t to categorize you...and i t ' s not always true for me, sometimes i t ' s t o t a l l y not true. Some students looked back on the session as having helped give them a clearer picture of themselves, and an organized way to look at t h e i r options. One student related a change i n her s p e c i f i c occupational goal based on the PICE session. Through looking at her personality patterns i n a c t i v i t i e s , she saw a better f i t than her previous choice, and adjusted her plan accordingly. Another student said she had been encouraged through the session to take aim for a career that would be enjoyable—that t h i s was possible and v a l i d . Being i n emergency i s kind of s t r e s s f u l , and maybe 6 6 sometimes I'm not up to the stress. And maybe he kind of brought the r e a l i z a t i o n that maybe that career wasn't for me, and helped me r e a l i z e maybe something else was better. So that's good. And he made me r e a l i z e that being i n sports r e a l l y i s something that I l i k e too, and combining those two together would be a r e a l l y big thing for me. So that was a r e a l l y good help. I didn't r e a l i z e i t was a l l connected, l i k e sports and career....Yeah, i t didn't say, 'Play tennis f o r a career,' i t just said t h i s i s your personality i n sports and t h i s i s also going to be your personality i n your career. And that t i e I had never made before. Yeah, i t gives you a whole new perspective on things. Some students benefitted i n unexpected ways. For example, one student f e l t encouraged by hearing the other student's struggles, lessening her own sense of i s o l a t i o n . Another gained confidence through speaking i n the session i n her a b i l i t y to speak i n public, leading her to consider career options previously thought out of reach. She also f e l t more confident that she could successfully negotiate her career planning tasks. One student had r e a l i z e d the importance of short-term goals i n the process of career planning, and f e l t s i g n i f i c a n t l y more motivated to work hard along the way ( p a r t i c u l a r l y now i n school). Actually, I'm more w i l l i n g to work for things, knowing that I ' l l be able to achieve that goal afterwards...more w i l l i n g to get to what I wanted. While some students seemed to take career issues more seri o u s l y a f t e r PICE involvement, one student reported a more relaxed attitude. While she had been worrying, along with her friends, about making enough progress, a f t e r PICE she f e l t f reer to take i t more slowly, i n a step-by-step 67 fashion. She learned that the process would l i k e l y involve p r o v i s i o n a l plans along the way that she would change as she progressed. This was such a strong and p o s i t i v e adjustment for her that she was sharing her insights with friends i n order to help them as well. Before I was just kind of thinking..., I've got to get there r i g h t now, because grade 12's coming f a s t and I have to apply or whatever. But he made me r e a l i z e that when I get to the end of grade 12 I might not want to do what I want to do now, and...I can slow down and think about i t and plan i t out and take each step at a time instead of rushing into i t a l l at once. I t kind of helped me rel a t e to my friends. They're always t a l k i n g about how we've got to do ' t h i s ' now, because I want to be doing ' t h i s ' by next year. And I could kind of say, 'You don't have to do that, because you've got a l o t of time s t i l l . . . y o u can take your time at things you want to do.' PARENTAL VALIDATION Although parents were not s p e c i f i c a l l y asked to comment on the p a r t i c u l a r issues of impact raised by t h e i r children, we may view the parents' volunteered observations as a li m i t e d sort of va l i d a t i o n data. Since each interview was considered c o n f i d e n t i a l , parents did not have the opportunity to make such directed comments. A l l but one parent had some observations to o f f e r i n terms of a po s i t i v e impact on t h e i r children. The one parent without observations of impact s t i l l f e l t the experience i t s e l f was very valuable for both her daughter and h e r s e l f . She thought i t was a very good opportunity for her daughter to review and c l a r i f y her thinking about career plans, as well as gaining something from the i n t e r a c t i o n 68 with other students and adults. She wasn't exactly sure how, but f e l t sure i t must have helped her daughter i n some way. Not anything very obvious, but I think i t was good to have a chance given to her so that she can speak out and...to review herself...what her goal and career is...and have a chance to share with the opinions of other young people. And at the same time the parents can s i t with her and speak openly and fankly; I think t h i s i s very good too. Some parents s p e c i f i c a l l y noted that the impact did not seem large, but that t h e i r son or daughter did have a new perspective on career planning. Nearly a l l of the parents' comments were r e f l e c t i v e of comments which had been made by students. A parent who had desired a 'lightening up' for h i s daughter around the issue of career was not sure she had, i n fact, lightened up at a l l . However, he did report that she seemed more comfortable afterward with the idea of pursuing a career she might enjoy and i n spending time i n personally valued a c t i v i t i t i e s , expecting that there would be a way to u t i l i z e them i n career pathing. / [Did she lighten up?] I don't know. That's a tough c a l l to make. I think she's a l i t t l e more comfortable with her interests and that...more comfortable doing her performing arts stuff....That's good f o r her and something i s going to work out. P a r a l l e l to one of the students' main themes, some of the parents noted t h e i r c h i l d ' s career planning to have broadened out somewhat, even i f they were encouraged i n a s p e c i f i c d i r e c t i o n . This was also seen i n a p o s i t i v e l i g h t ; parents who observed t h i s impact seemed to associate i t with 69 a more balanced and healthy attitude towards career. I t ' s hard to say, because she already had a f a i r l y good idea of what she wanted to do and i t didn't change her idea at all....The process showed that she was probably on the r i g h t track. ...I guess she's thinking about other options now too. Like she's sort of broadened her outlook a b i t . . . . A couple of parents also echoed an observation from a minority of the students, that the experience/participation of the session had increased a sense of self-confidence i n t h e i r c h i l d — c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to speak i n public, and to competently plan for t h e i r career. These parents also t y p i c a l l y reported f e e l i n g more confident themselves regarding t h e i r c h i l d ' s a b i l i t i e s . One parent i n p a r t i c u l a r expressed appreciation for the encouragement her son received from the experience of having to express h i s own thoughts and feelings about his career plans with adults. In her opinion, the a b i l i t y to communicate and i n t e r a c t with such confidence i s c r u c i a l to success i n the world of work. I don't see any impact. But since then I know my daughter has her own ideas. I t gives me more confidence that I know what she wants....I guess one thing i s she can t a l k to a stranger and then she has more confidence for herself. Because she expressed herself i n front of a couple of people....At home she t a l k s too, but i t ' s not l i k e that, and then she r e a l l y got confidence, and she knows what she's doing, she knows what she wants in the future and she expressed her s e l f . ...just that he's kind of maturing, so he could carry on a conversation, recount his feelings on things, and not be embarrassed or too shy or things l i k e that. The working world i s a rough, tough place, and i f you can't carry yourself i n a conversation or meeting people...sometimes i t ' s r e a l l y rough on people. Some parents looked ahead to future decision-making 70 t h e i r children would be faced with and suggested that the PICE session had taught them a method of analysis which would l i k e l y prove useful for other decisions along the way. One of these parents f e l t that, although her daughter was f a i r l y secure i n her current plan, she had been looking into other options a b i t more and seemed to accept the l i k e l i h o o d of career changes down the road. Having a t o o l such as the pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n technique would be useful not only at t h i s stage of career planning, but i n the future as well. S h e ' l l use what he showed her how to do to decide, I think, for sure. I t was good, I thought. F i n a l l y , one parent noticed a heightened motivation and d i s c i p l i n e i n his daughter: I believe i t c r y s t a l l i z e d one thing for her i n her mind. And that i s that working today may not have i t s rewards, say, tomorrow. Passing today's exams i s n ' t going to give you some dramatic r e s u l t or change i n your l i f e tomorrow. But that i t i s extremely important as a stepping stone to what might happen i n your l i f e . . . . 5. I M P A C T O N C A R E E R P L A N S . A C T I O N S STUDENTS The most common impact on career actions noted by students involved an increase i n research and exploratory actions, such as reading about occupations or interviewing people i n poten t i a l occupations. In fact, h a l f of the student participants reported t h i s e f f e c t . One student, however, was unsure of the relationship was between PICE and these actions i n p a r t i c u l a r . Though i t made sense f o r her 71 to think the increased exploration had been stimulated by PICE, she also knew t h i s may have been coincidental. ...the session actually stimulated me t o . . . i t a c t u a l l y got me more motivated to f i n d out more. Because I talked to d i f f e r e n t lawyers and asked for advice and what i t ' s l i k e to be a lawyer, and the education required. I've done quite a b i t of research into what i t i s . On the internet there's quite a b i t on human k i n e t i c s . Some students who had not increased t h e i r exploratory actions reported noticing t h e i r motivation to do career planning a c t i v i t i e s and to explore occupations had increased a f t e r PICE incolvement. They did spend more time i n planning, and expected also to do more exploration, simply had not done so to date. One of these students f e l t her motivation had been enhanced dramatically a f t e r the session, but the e f f e c t faded af t e r a few weeks (though not completely). Well, at f i r s t I was r e a l l y motivated...like, 'OK I'm going to do something f i n a l l y ! ' but i t kind of wore off because there r e a l l y wasn't a chance for a secondary discussion or whatever. Another common impact noted by students was r e l a t e d to school course selection, which had taken place not long a f t e r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n PICE. Nearly h a l f noted remembering a clear sense that t h e i r approach i n course s e l e c t i o n had been influenced by the career session. Some got more serious, some were more relaxed about i t , and others had taken a more pointedly broad approach to t h e i r s e l e c t i o n . 72 I t was just before I chose my courses for next year. So then I also chose law 12 for next year. I'm not just looking toward the teaching d i r e c t i o n ; I'm also looking towards being a lawyer and everything. ...course selection was i n February and I based a l o t of i t on his philosophy of taking your time to get there. And I was kind of working out the steps that I was going to take... I took i t more seriously when I was choosing courses for next year. And I thought about i t c a r e f u l l y . Several students reported a lack of impact on t h e i r actions, though they f e l t they were thinking d i f f e r e n t l y about the process of career planning; they were thinking of new options, using a new way to make t h e i r decisions, even though i n terms of actions they were going along, "pretty much the same." Well, I think i t ' s more the thinking process that's changed more than anything I've done. Several of the students came into the PICE session having f a i r l y well-defined occupational goals i n mind, hoping for either a challenge or an encouragement (or help i n successfully negotiating the path). As mentioned above, these students were largely encouraged i n t h e i r d i r e c t i o n , even i f they also gained a sense of freedom to explore other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . One student did f i n d herself adjusting a s p e c i f i c career plan as a r e s u l t of the PICE session. While she had been aiming for an occupation involving emergency medicine, the patterns which emerged from her s e l f - a n a l y s i s encouraged her to re-think the d i r e c t i o n . Given her d i s l i k e of pressure/stress situations, she started to consider how she might combine her s i g n i f i c a n t i n t e r e s t i n sports with her medical ideas.' This was a d i r e c t r e s u l t , so she has r e f l e c t e d , of the counsellor u t i l i z i n g her l e i s u r e i n t e r e s t patterns to help her analyze her own inter e s t s , strengths, s t y l e and values. [...and i t helped me] r e a l i z e that i t was something that I r e a l l y , r e a l l y , r e a l l y want to do, and I ' l l do almost anything to t r y to achieve that. And he made me r e a l i z e that being i n sports r e a l l y i s something that I l i k e too, and combining those two [with inte r e s t i n medicine] would be a r e a l l y big thing for me. So that was a r e a l l y good help. Yes, I have s p e c i f i c ideas on combining my i n t e r e s t s , perhaps team doctor or team t r a i n e r I r e a l l y l i k e being around organized sports and organized teamwork. Two students reported a s i g n i f i c a n t heightening of t h e i r desire to acquire work experience, whether paid or volunteer. This was apparently a r e s u l t of both the session process and the workbook questions. Work experience was seen not only as a successful bridge between school and career, but also as necessary to do the work of s e l f and career analysis. Some related f e e l i n g that the questions asked showed them that gaining experience would help them understand what they l i k e d / d i s l i k e d and what t h e i r strengths/weaknesses were to a greater degree. I t made me more motivated to get a part-time job. I guess I kind of figured that my a t h l e t i c s were experiences, but only i n one area. I thought [after PICE] maybe a part-time job would broaden i t . So I started applying i n A p r i l . PARENTAL VALIDATION Again, parents were not asked to comment on t h e i r son or daughter's s p e c i f i c interview comments, due to the 7 4 condition of c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . However, parents' own perceptions of the impact PICE had on t h e i r c h i l d ' s actions/plans may serve as an additional source of data, additive and/or comparative. Parents, i n general, noticed less of an impact on career actions of t h e i r children. Two-thirds of the parents said they did not observe any concrete changes i n t h e i r son or daughter's behaviour, though they thought he or she seemed more encouraged, organized, or motivated about career planning. A couple of parents pointed out that at the time of the present interviews f i n a l exams were looming, so school had eclipsed career thoughts for a while. I mean, I can't t e l l . She thinks about a l l these things herself, so I don't know. And she always does a r e a l l y good job of thinking things through h e r s e l f . . . No, I don't think any e f f e c t on her. I t just helped her review herself, to organize her thoughts, put her head together.... No, she has no time. Because of exams and everything. Some parents who noticed s p e c i f i c changes i n behaviour re l a t e d to PICE involvement commented on i t s e f f e c t s on t h e i r c h i l d ' s motivation to get work experience and to do better i n school. Others observed t h e i r son or daughter exploring a greater variety of occupational options afterward. She's done some sort of career mentoring...she was very excited about that and i t was neat. She c e r t a i n l y had a whole l o t of interest i n exploring things that were completely 'out there' that I don't think she would have had quite the interest i n [before PICE]. School-wise, yeah. I t seems that i t ' s more important. 75 For a while there he was very concerned about getting a job and s t u f f l i k e that. I t was soon a f t e r [the session]. I said as long as his marks were up he didn't have to worry about that. [And motivation to get good grades...] Yeah, i t did. I t turned him around. I think I've even written that down. F i n a l l y , one parent noticed his daughter working •appreciably harder at an extracurricular project a f t e r her involvement with PICE. He thought i t was the f i r s t time he had observed her r e a l l y working hard towards a goal that was meaningful for her. Though he wasn't sure the change stemmed from her experience i n PICE, he wondered whether such was the case. I don't know i f t h i s f i t s into the picture. She's been a very avid swimmer for years and years...and she's going to wrap up her instructor's [ q u a l i f i c a t i o n ] t h i s August. But she's been r e a l l y gung ho on i t , very aggressive. Although she's interested i n plants and space and everything, t h i s may be the f i r s t manifestation of actually going out, d r i v i n g home and getting that goal and doing i t . 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY INTERACTION Although not a primary aim of the intervention, a systems orientation requires that family dynamics be considered when addressing any in d i v i d u a l member's experience. Since previous research has suggested a p o s i t i v e e f f e c t on family communication, we might expect some movement i n that d i r e c t i o n here. Given the duration of the intervention, i t was not expected that family impact would be s i g n i f i c a n t . The most common impact i n t h i s area was noted by J 76 h a l f of the students. These students f e l t that PICE had helped t h e i r parents understand them better, t h e i r plans and desires, t h e i r values, t h e i r commitment, or t h e i r weaknesses. There was a d e f i n i t e p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g associated with t h i s enhanced understanding. For example, one student f e l t her mother had become more tolerant of her tendency for giving up on things too e a s i l y . This understanding came about as a r e s u l t of both her own sharing i n the session as well as the other student sharing a s i m i l a r weakness i n the same session. Her mother expressed the same observation, that she had become more understanding of her daughter's weakness, and has become more motivated to f i n d ways to encourage her daughter. Daughter: ...because I am a person who gives up e a s i l y , and i t ' s good to see that I'm not the only one. ...I talked to [my mom] a b i t before that about me being a person who gives up too e a s i l y . And i t just happened the student i n the session with me gives up e a s i l y too! And my mom always thinks that I'm the only one who's doing these stupid things. A f t e r the session, well, she found out that i t ' s not only me. So i t got better, the attitude. Mother: I always f e e l that young people are very aggressive, they have t h e i r goals and they work hard for i t , but t h e i r weakness very often i s they don't know how to solve the problems and they give up. This i s what I am concerned about for my daughter. But from that interview I heard...I didn't r a i s e up t h i s issue, but the other boy shard t h i s feeling!...then I f e l t l i k e , t h i s i s not a problem with just my daughter; i t ' s very common. We have to learn to encourage them.... I'm s t i l l i n the learning process. Right a f t e r the session i t was r e a l l y good because you could t a l k about what you wanted to do i n l i f e . But as the days went by you just kind of stopped t a l k i n g about i t . . . . [ I t i s ] maybe a l i t t l e better, because they know what I want. 77 Three students expressed f e e l i n g they had noticed a p o s i t i v e change for a while i n t h e i r family conversations about career planning, but that i t faded a f t e r a few weeks or months. Usually the most concrete aspect of the impact r e l a t e d to having more frequent talks about t h e i r career planning. Some of the 'fade factor' may well have had to do with the approaching year-end and f i n a l exams, but c l e a r l y some participants experienced a short-term burst i n communication as a r e s u l t of PICE experience. At f i r s t i t did, but I think i t ' s kind of been forgotten. But while i t lasted i t was pretty good because we sort of came to an understanding, so i t was easier to just s t a r t t a l k i n g . . . We haven't done a l o t of talking at home. Well, r i g h t a f t e r the session my mom was t a l k i n g a l o t about careers and s t u f f , but now i t ' s back to normal. We don't r e a l l y t a l k about careers too much now. We talked about i t i n the spring more. One of the ways PICE appears to have been able to increase communication about career was simply that i t provided an opening for conversations to begin l a t e r . A few students and parents noted t h i s dynamic, as well as having a p o s i t i v e shared experience to r e f l e c t back on. This l a t t e r e f f e c t seemed related to both the increased communication and also a simple strengthening of the parent-child r e l a t i o n s h i p . Student: Actually, personally, I l i k e d having my dad there. I t sort of gave us a common ground when we talked aobut st u f f l a t e r , l i k e we were on the same wavelength. Because he had to l i s t e n to what I had to say and I had to l i s t e n to what he had to say. So we just b a s i c a l l y came to more of an understanding. 78 Parent: Again, i t raises the issue and gives you a p o s i t i v e experience to r e f l e c t back and t a l k about as a f o c a l point. Something more than the run of the m i l l standard sort of career counselling you get i n high school. So the father-daughter thing, and the peer thing as w e l l . Another e f f e c t of the session noticed by one p a r t i c i p a n t was an enhancement of the communication between parent and c h i l d during the session i t s e l f . Although a number of students reported f e e l i n g more 'listened to' by t h e i r parents i n the session than normally, one student i n p a r t i c u l a r r e c a l l e d learning new information from her mother's contributions i n the PICE session and afterward. While her mother normally had kept many of her opinions and advice about career planning to herself, the session prompted her to be more forthcoming with these things. Her daughter very much appreciated the input, seemingly from both a career planning and a rel a t i o n s h i p perspective. A daughter: I t helped me more to hear what she had to say, instead of just on-and-off t a l k i n g about i t . A mother: Actually, my daughter and I are very close, and she always exchanges her thoughts with me, but t h i s was the f i r s t time we sat together i n front of people so that we can t a l k . This was a very good experience. Parents, by and large, noticed l i t t l e change i n family dynamics since the PICE s e s s i o n — i n fact, less so than the c h i l d r e n . However, most parents did perceive some e f f e c t s , a l l of which were po s i t i v e . The few parents who d i d not notice any impact whatsoever f e l l into two categories: Those who thought any changes observed were l i k e l y a r e s u l t of 79 t h e i r c h i l d ' s maturation process, and those who f e l t they already had a very close and communicative r e l a t i o n s h i p . These d i s t i n c t i o n s were also present i n a few students' r e f l e c t i o n s , that they either saw no e f f e c t i n t h e i r family, or they already had a very open rela t i o n s h i p so the session had not necesssarily enhanced t h e i r communication. However, one of these students did f e e l more understood by her mother as a r e s u l t of the session. No, i t didn't make much of a difference. What she said i n the session was pretty much the same as what she said to me a l l the time...afterwards i t j u s t stayed about the same. There's not r e a l l y any change i n how we i n t e r a c t about i t . ...I think my mom r e a l l y knows me inside out, so she knew most everything. Not much [changed]. But I have a close r e l a t i o n s h i p with my mom. We talked about t h i s before, so i t didn't change much between us. Parent: I don't think there's any difference i n the way we t a l k about i t . Maybe she t a l k s about i t a l i t t l e more because she's getting older. One father very much valued and enjoyed the experience of PICE for both himself and his daughter, but thought h i s advising r o l e and t h e i r parent/child communication would be much the same as i t had been previously. He f e l t they were l i k e l y an unusual family, t a l k i n g about the issues of the school day and career plans on a frequent or d a i l y basis. I think we're actually very open i n t a l k i n g about that sort of thing i n our family. And we may be r e a l l y unique that way....so we're very supportive and we do have ongoing dialogue. We review every t e s t together, and we review every day. We make a point of having 80 supper together, discussing what [she does] i n c l a s s — not just the subjects [she] learns, but the kids, the teachers, how [she] fe e l s about things. One of the effects noted by some parents was a v a l i d a t i o n of the students' perceptions of greater parental understanding. These parents expressed heightened confidence that they understood t h e i r son or daughter better, t h e i r desires, thoughts, feelings, and planning process. They also f e l t more confident i n t h e i r c h i l d ' s competence as a r e s u l t . I f e e l I learned about my. daughter more, I know about her some certa i n things that I didn't know before. And i t was quite a good experience too....I guess I know her better, that I know what she wants. Like, I got more confidence and tr u s t i n her. Well, i t ' s interesting to know that he would much rather work with a grouping of people than s o l i t a r y . . . One of the students experienced what she perceived as negative ' f a l l o u t ' from the session. While most students were inte r p r e t i n g increased family communication about career as something of an improvement, t h i s daughter f e l t her father became too concerned with following up on the session. Apparently he i n i t i a t e d conversation with her every day afterward, for about a month, u n t i l she f i n a l l y protested. While she did see t h i s as a negative experience, she also f e l t her father grew to understand her more c l e a r l y a f t e r the session. This was espe c i a l l y true pertaining to her i n t e r e s t s and l e v e l of commitment. She f e l t her father had l i s t e n e d more attent i v e l y ( p a r t i c u l a r l y i n session) than i n t h e i r usual conversations. 81 I t wasn't bad, except for a f t e r [my dad] had t h i s obsession, l i k e we should t a l k about t h i s , t h i s i s such a wonderful thing, l e t ' s go through the booklet together, and every single day...so i t was d r i v i n g me insane....It only lasted u n t i l I screamed at him to leave i t alone....So i t kind of went back to normal. I think my dad...I think he learned more about me and what I r e a l l y am interested i n as compared to what I j u s t t a l k about. Like I can say I'm interested i n getting into a career i n acting, but I don't think he ever r e a l l y l i s t e n s . Over half of the parents commented on t h e i r own r o l e i n parenting and communication after the session, though each who d i d had a unique r e f l e c t i o n to o f f e r . One mother f e l t she understood her daughter's personality better, and was now putting more e f f o r t into t r y i n g to encourage her rather than push so much. Another parent modified her own career advising somewhat, r e a l i z i n g i t would be better to encourage broader exploration rather than influencing her daughter towards having one choice alone. I guess at t h i s stage i t ' s maybe pretty much the same...Sometimes we t a l k about i t . A l l I can do i s encourage her to do more, or d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s . . . I was r e a l l y s t r i c t , for one way [one career choice]. But a f t e r the session, i t broadened my mind too. And then I asked her to look at d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s . One father expressed disappointment at not having followed up more with his daughter afterward. He would have l i k e d to have had directed conversations with her about her career planning, but f e l t t h e i r family s i t u a t i o n during the months post-PICE made that very d i f f i c u l t . I was hoping that I would be able to follow up with her d i r e c t l y . And we do that i n snatches, but I f i n d i t ' s very...you can't s i t down for an hour and say, 'Let's work through t h i s . ' The environment wasn't there. 82 This same father related being encouraged i n h i s thinking about t r y i n g to have a 'coaching' r o l e as a parent i n h i s daughter's career planning process. I guess seeing that work i n that [session], i t reinforces what I think, i s that your r o l e as a parent i s more of a coach. Like any coach, you help someone with t h e i r strengths and c u l t i v a t i n g those, and doing some support of the not-as-strong areas, to help them to the goal they want to achieve... 7. ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CHANGES The issue of attributions for change was not addressed by a l l pa r t i c i p a n t s . A few participants did have ideas about the l i n k s between s p e c i f i c aspects of the process of t h e i r PICE session and res u l t s they observed. While these r e f l e c t i o n s were sought, they were not probed i n depth due to time r e s t r i c t i o n s . I t should be noted as well that these thoughts were offered 'on-the-spot', not as products of a prepared assignment. One a t t r i b u t i o n for how students perceived the PICE session achieved what i t did for them related to hearing other student's problems and issues. This opportunity seemed to lessen t h e i r sense of i s o l a t i o n ; perhaps i t also changed t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n of individual 'problems' to general 'obstacles' i n a normalizing sense. Mostly what helped was noticing the s i m i l a r i t i e s [between my issues and the other student's]. I didn't r e a l i z e that other people are having problems with the same things that I was. As an example, being d i l i g e n t about homework. Being w i l l i n g to work r e a l l y hard to reach short-term goals. Another explanation of a s i g n i f i c a n t mechanism of 8 3 impact had to do with gaining insight about career during the session. For some, t h i s came about through pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercise, especially as i t re l a t e d to t h e i r e x t r a c u r r i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s . For others, a p a r t i c u l a r contribution from another participant seemed to s t r i k e a chord and become an important way to view t h e i r career planning. Seeing t h e i r own patterns of preference or s t y l e i n l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s analyzed alongside t h e i r thoughts about occupations and career planning helped them put things together i n a new way—to see themselves i n a new way. Some students gained a greater awareness of these dimensions of themselves and were able to then r e l a t e them to s p e c i f i c ideas f o r career paths. With the other student and his mom putting t h e i r input in...some of the stu f f l i k e there's more a range of pathways to careers and thi n g s . . . l i k e i t never occurred to me to be a lawyer. Another type of insight gained had to do with broad versus narrow occupational options. Some students saw v i a the pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercises (and heard the message reinforced by the f a c i l i t a t o r ) that a p a r t i c u l a r pattern of in t e r e s t s , s k i l l s , preferences etcetera, could be pursued i n many d i f f e r e n t ways. This seemed to be a freeing i n s p i r a t i o n for a few of the students, even i f they were s t i l l encouraged i n the general d i r e c t i o n they had had p r i o r to the PICE session. One student was quite vocal about the intervention being spoken rather than written. In her opinion, having to 84 think spontaneously and speak of her ideas and goals c l a r i f i e d her thinking more than written work would have done. One other thing that I l i k e d how i t was spoken [versus written] was you had to think things through i n your mind before you said them, so i t ac t u a l l y c l a r i f i e d yourself just having to explain your career goals to someone else. This quick thinking forced students to be more candid than they might have been with more time to prepare answers. Students may have also appreciated the spoken nature of the session due to the advantage of feedback. The range of feedback f o r written work would p o t e n t i a l l y s t a r t at zero (no feedback at a l l ) , while spoken int e r a c t i o n would contain at the very least the feedback of nonverbal reactions, l i k e l y more (encouragement and/or challenge). In any event, t h i s student f e l t t h i s format had been instrumental i n givin g her greater c l a r i t y . Further along similar l i n e s , the session did enhance the confidence l e v e l of a couple of students. One i n p a r t i c u l a r related t h i s s p e c i f i c a l l y to being put i n the po s i t i o n of having to 'think on her feet' and speak to a group of people. After being successful i n the session she f e l t better about her speaking a b i l i t y , and also began to f e e l she could consider new career options involving public speaking. The conducive atmosphere of the session as compared with classroom speechmaking l i k e l y has to do with the attentiveness and politeness of the audience (and s i z e 8 5 of the group). This explanation for a gain i n confidence was echoed by a couple of parents as well (eg., "...because she expressed herself i n front of a couple of people..."). F i n a l l y , the power of a metaphor used by the f a c i l i t a t o r was mentioned by some students as an explanation for t h e i r own altered perspective on career paths. For example, one student was struck by a metaphor using a stone thrown into a pond to symbolize the movement through l i f e of a unique i n d i v i d u a l ; d i f f e r e n t r i p p l e s i n the water symbolized d i f f e r e n t p o s s i b i l i t i e s for expressing s i m i l a r i n t e r e s t s , values, etcetera. With another student, the f a c i l i t a t o r ' s use of metaphors from her own previously described l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s helped her see herself i n a new l i g h t with regard to career options. He t o l d me i t was l i k e , i n a pond when you drop [a stone], there's d i f f e r e n t ripples...one r i p p l e could be teaching, and another one could even lead into english or something. Because you have to know some english and s t u f f to run computers. 8. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT As indicated above, participants were asked d i r e c t l y at the end of the interview for any suggestions they may have had f o r improving the PICE technique. No preparation was involved, so these comments were, again, very spontaneously offered. Obviously the suggestions were offered as a r e s u l t of being the most accessible ideas; whether the ideas would also be judged the most c r i t i c a l ones upon further 86 r e f l e c t i o n i s open to question. The reader w i l l note below that par t i c i p a n t s had a range of opinions on the best ways to enhance the effectiveness of the PICE approach. STUDENTS Nearly two-thirds of the students mentioned some desire for a follow-up session. Some expressed the r e c o l l e c t i o n that they had questions ari s e i n the days or weeks a f t e r PICE which perhaps could have been addressed at a follow-up meeting. Others f e l t they needed a b i t more help i n terms of putting together an action plan to make use of t h e i r i n s i g h t s afterward. Some students thought the follow-up could be an optional extra for those who desired i t ; others thought i t might be good to have the same student p a i r s meet again with the counsellor. One student s p e c i f i c a l l y suggested that the follow-up be either one-on-one with the counsellor, or with another student as well, but not with parents present. The general consensus seemed to be that parents would not need to be present for a second session. Next time maybe you should have a follow-up session so you can ask any questions you might have afterwards. . . . [ f o r questions] or things you wanted to add about yourself that you didn't think of before....Yeah, j u s t a follow-up would be helpful a couple of days l a t e r to l e t the information percolate. I know I came up with a l o t of s t u f f that just came to mind. I think another session aft e r the i n i t i a l one...so you have kind of time to sink i n what happened and have ideas about how you want to incorporate your ideas into the step-by-step plan. I think another...half-hour or 45 minute session just to s i t down and plan i t a l l out, that would be best. 87 Related to the above, one student suggested that whether or not there were a follow-up session, perhaps more emphasis could be placed on working out some goals and action plans to walk away with. I think I would l i k e i t more i f he would have sat down and started working out goals and some plans with me....I would have appreciated i t more i f I had a step- by-step plan that I could or could not have followed depending on how I f e l t a f t e r i t . I would have l i k e d that. Two students r e c a l l e d getting together i n a group to t a l k about what they had gotten out of the PICE session. These students f e l t i t had been a pos i t i v e , useful experience and suggested future students have that opportunity; t h i s was the case even though exactly what came out of i t was not clear i n t h e i r minds ("I don't remember what we said, but i t was a good thing to t a l k about i t " ) . In terms of some of the l o g i s t i c s , most f e l t the time frame and context was about r i g h t . One student had wished for a shorter time length, while one other student thought her session could have been longer to accomodate further progression. I t should be pointed out here that not a l l students who expressed a desire for extra work i n the session said anything about having a longer session; obviously there would be a strong r e l a t i o n s h i p between the adding of session content and the need for further session(s). The whole session was a b i t long...probably about 3/4 of that time would be good. 88 I kind of f e l t l i k e i t wasn't long enough because I was sort of getting into i t and s t a r t i n g to r e a l l y think and then i t ' s over. Three students mentioned concerns about the sense of being observed i n the session, recommending fewer observers and no videotaping. Most were not bothered by the videotape, but for these few i t was a hindrance. I didn't l i k e so many bystanders personally. I didn't f e e l l i k e they a l l had a ri g h t to be there. I t was quite claustrophobic... Yeah, I didn't r e a l l y care. They were a l l kind of di s t r a c t i o n s , because there were a l o t of people going i n and out. I didn't r e a l l y mind that they were there i f they had just stayed and sat qui e t l y and watched. But they were having t h e i r discussion i n the back q u i e t l y but you could s t i l l hear them. F i n a l l y , some students suggested provision f o r further p r a c t i c a l help with t h e i r exploration. One student r e c a l l e d wishing she had gained some contacts to follow up s p e c i f i c occupational options. Another student wanted to go further i n the session towards s p e c i f i c ideas for occupational options for her, as well as getting information on p a r t i c u l a r occupations and educational requirements. Like maybe we could have a contact or two, l i k e a phone number that you could contact and s t a r t working your way through... Maybe a b i t more, l i k e , suggestions f o r p a r t i c u l a r careers...putting l i n k s between everything, l i k e , with an english degree you can do teaching, or journalism...like how do I get there, what kind of courses I have to take. PARENTS In terms of preparation for the session, a few parents would have l i k e d more advance knowledge, perhaps using the 89 Career Pathways booklet as a primer. They f e l t more advance preparation may have helped both them and t h e i r son/daughter to get the most out of the session possible. Others, however, expressed an opposite view, that the very 'unpreparedness' of the session was key^to having the student give candid responses instead of coming prepared to give the 'standard answers'. Because i t was my f i r s t time I didn't r e a l l y know what i t was about,...I guess maybe i t would be a good idea i f they knew what the questions would be about. No, I don't think so. With other people, perhaps. But I l i k e d the way i t went, because, l i k e I say, I discovered things about my son that I wasn't r e a l l y cognizant of. I think i t might not be a bad idea to send the k i t out beforehand. This saves you doing two sessions. ...So have a l i t t l e homework for parents and students. Then you come to the session; that becomes sort of a reinforcement exercise. Half of the parents agreed follow-up of some kind would be an excellent addition. Most f e l t such a further session would be perhaps more useful with just the students and counsellor meeting. One parent suggested an avai l a b l e but optional follow-up format; another suggested yearly appointments i f desired, to help prepare for course s e l e c t i o n better. Two parents expressed opinions that a follow-up session would not be useful, one having f e l t the same information would l i k e l y have come up; the other parent thought the students could simply c a l l the f a c i l i t a t o r l a t e r with questions i f they so desired, since he had given out hi s number. 90 Why not just have the students themselves, a couple more [sessions], and they can express themselves. And then they learn from others' ideas too. I guess for me, one time for parents i s good enough too. Maybe next year I would l i k e to do that again, but e a r l i e r i n the year. So possibly [my son] can have a taste of the courses he's taking and how he's progressing... I think that was enough. ...If a second interview was arranged two weeks la t e r , i t would be the same. No, I didn't have any questions. He said you could c a l l him i f you had questions. He wrote out hi s phone number and everything. Note that, although participants were t o l d they could c a l l the f a c i l i t a t o r afterward i f they had further questions, they did not a v a i l themselves of the opportunity despite several students' expressed desire for follow-up. Given the adolescent developmental position, t h i s contrast i s l i k e l y to be expected. One parent added an additional rationale f o r follow-up: If parents and t h e i r son/daughter know they w i l l be going to a further session i n 'x' weeks, there would be a heightened sense of motivation for them to discuss career planning together and make progress i n the interim. At lea s t i t would make tangible a time period and those who wanted to continue with the conversations would be further prompted to do so, rather than automatically l e t t i n g i t s l i d e as another important, but not urgent, thing to do i n l i f e . I t would probably be good to actually indicate at the session that you would be doing a follow-up v i s i t . Because i t also tends to focus you on saying, 'Let's t a l k about t h i s . ' So I think those things would get 91 more value out of the actual time spent. One parent suggested probing to further depths with students' feelings about t h e i r career issues. In h i s opinion, t h i s was s t a r t i n g to be a p o t e n t i a l towards the end of t h e i r session. Of course, a longer session would then be required, which may present l o g i s t i c a l challenges. However, contrasting opinions were held by parents, those thinking the session shouldn't go any deeper, others thinking i t would have been b e n e f i c i a l to do so. I thought i t was perhaps a l i t t l e short. I t could have gone a b i t longer. I t struck me that i t didn't get a chance to get enough into the meaty issues kind of thing. Because there's a certain amount of i c e - breaking involved... They were s t a r t i n g to express feelings and that. I think i t ' s good for them to f e e l what they say i s valued by t h e i r parents [and others]. I think that part i s valuable and you do need that a d d i t i o n a l length. However, one parent recommended that the PICE sessions be kept to pairs of students rather than i n d i v i d u a l sessions. As she r e f l e c t e d on the session she thought having two students kept the focus o f f one person i n a way that made i t a more po s i t i v e experience ( i e . , prevented the content from getting 'too deep' for comfort). I think i f i t were too 'one-on-one-ish' i t might get a l i t t l e too deep. Judging by p a r t i c i p a n t s ' r e f l e c t i o n s on t h e i r experience of the session, i t appears a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s would agree with the words of one parent who exuberantly said, "Keep i t informal!" The informality of the session i n terms 92 of atmosphere, language, a t t i r e , and attitude seemed w e l l - appreciated by a l l involved. Some of the parents (in a similar proportion as students) recommended that sessions not be videotaped i n the future. Not only some students, but parents as well, can be adversely affected by such a 'presence'. These parents were not simply halfheartedly 'suggesting' t h i s be the case; one indicated she would not have participated i n the o r i g i n a l session at a l l had she not been able to influence that. Incidentally, the o r i g i n a l session she was involved i n was not videotaped, at her request. Audiotapes were put forward as a po t e n t i a l compromise by one of these parents. I f taped records were desired for some reason they could also double as a record for participants of t h e i r session. This would allow further r e f l e c t i o n by both student and parent l a t e r , enhancing the impact of PICE. I t would r e a l l y , r e a l l y bother me i f they had a camera or video. ...quite honestly, i f [my son] had advised me that i t was going to be videotaped when [he] o r i g i n a l l y c a l l e d , I don't know i f I would have participated. One parent f e l t confined, and suggested the sessions be held i n a larger space, with freedom to move around. This would l i k e l y be more of an issue with parents due to the fa c t that they are l i s t e n i n g for most of the session. The room was very hot. We were sequestered i n t h i s l i t t l e room. I didn't f e e l l i k e I could get up and walk around, which I tend to do. Another suggestion related to the dynamics and 93 procedure of the session was to make i t possible f o r parents and t h e i r sons/daughters to have some time together afterward. The parent suggesting t h i s had taken her son out of school for lunch afterward and f e l t i t was a good way to end o f f — k i n d of a further way of saying, 'I think you and your plans are important, and I'm wanting to t r e a t you as a young adult' [author's paraphrase]. In terms of the student pairings, a few parents thought d i v e r s i t y i n student pairing was important for maximum learning (eg., boy with g i r l , new immigrant with other). They f e l t i f students were too similar they would not learn nearly as much as seeing things from another's point of view and personality. ...I have an idea that most of the time the g i r l s w i l l chat a l o t , r i g h t . They are buddies, they t a l k , exchange ideas, but i t ' s very good for a boy and g i r l to s i t together and exchange ideas. Because maybe they don't have much chance to discuss these kinds of topics o f f i c i a l l l y . ...they would not s i t down and put t h e i r thoughts together on t h i s topic. I f two new immigrants come together, they have the same f e e l i n g . If the young people from d i f f e r e n t backgrounds, afte r the discussion they can understand more. One parent raised an issue which i s not s p e c i f i c to PICE, but deserves note nonetheless. In his view, what students r e a l l y need i s more r e a l - l i f e information (and people), not more theory. Granted, PICE u t i l i z e s students' r e a l - l i f e experiences to analyze t h e i r patterns and personality, but for career guidance i n general he f e l t that the real-person resource was sadly underutilized. There may 94 or may not be a way to address t h i s i n PICE beyond using the r e a l - l i f e experiences, but i t i s c e r t a i n l y a notable issue for career programming i n general. What I think i s r e a l l y important i s [to have parents] come i n and t a l k about t h e i r careers. What do they do, what motivates them, why did they choose that career themselves, and then i t ' s r e a l , i t ' s tangible.... That's my strongest recommendation on career planning: Less theory and get a r e a l , l i v e person i n there. F i n a l l y , one mother of two very d i f f e r e n t children r a i s e d the issue of how PICE would work with d i f f e r e n t populations. She wondered how i t could work i f students were not very verbal, or were very shy, for example. This p i l o t project u t i l i z e d participants who were, for the most part, motivated, verbal, and s o c i a l . Her suggestion was to t r y PICE with a diverse group of students to determine who i t might be most appropriate (and inappropriate) f o r — a n excellent suggestion indeed. I t would depend on the kid though. These kids i n Incentive are d i f f e r e n t than other kids. ...they're quite w i l l i n g to t r y new things...and they're quite outgoing, a l o t of them. I think i t ' s important to t r y with kids who don't volunteer...A l o t of kids sort of d r i f t around and don't r e a l l y have any idea what they want to do, and don't r e a l l y think about i t . A l o t of people don't want to t a l k about things as much either...but i t would s t i l l be better than what they're getting now. Results indicated some general patterns and differences i n experience and impact of the PICE intervention. The r e s u l t s are summarized below i n Table 1. 95 Table 1 KummarY of PICE Experience CATEGORY RESPONSE TYPE REPRESENTATIVE COMMENTS Goals Examine goals ...just to sort of examine my career goals Come to a career decision I kind of expected i t to be a b i t more specific, l i k e , l e t ' s f i n d a career... Make any progress . . . i f i t helps me, i t helps me; i f i t doesn't, I'm not losing anything. Evaluation of Process P o s i t i v e — general I thought he did a r e a l l y good job. He was r e a l l y encouraging and everything. P o s i t i v e — parents I enjoyed i t more, because i t ' s the kind of stuff we don't r e a l l y t a l k about. Neutral—parents It was l i k e half and half. I want her there, but I don't want her there. Pos i t i v e — o t h e r student ...I found that I had a l o t of common ground with him. It was pretty amazing...enlightening. Evaluation of Content P o s i t i v e — analysis method I didn't realize i t was a l l connected, l i k e sports and career...Yeah, i t didn't say, "Play tennis for a career," i t just said, "This i s your personality in sports and ... also . . . i n your career. It acted as a beginning point, whereas a lot of programs act as an end. It didn't say, "What do you want to be?" It just got the b a l l r o l l i n g and started me thinking. Parent: ...I saw the results of the interview being a structure applied to what I think were just random thoughts and feelings... Impact on Career Perspective Broadened options . . . i t just took what I was interested in and showed me different routes that I could take instead of just one s p e c i f i c thing. Increased motivation for school & experience 1 . I took i t more seriously when I was choosing courses for next year. 2 . It made me more motivated to get a part- time job...'experiences'. 3 . Parent: It turned him around. I think I've even written that down. Decreased worry Before I was just kind of thinking...I've got to get there right now, ...But...I can slow down and think about i t . . . Provided a focus ...now I have a l i t t l e b i t of a focus happening and a direction to go—...to look for something that would r e a l l y spark my interest. P o s i t i v e — s c h o o l career planning I was interested [in career planning] before, but now I'm more curious... Negative—school career planning I hated [my career planning class] even more afterward even....They give you a l l these tests...just to categorize you... 96 Impact on Career Actions Increased exploration a c t i v i t y . . . i t actually got me more motivated to find out more. Because I talked to different lawyers and asked for advice... Modified occupat ional goal ...he kind of brought the r e a l i z a t i o n that maybe that career wasn't for me, and helped me re a l i z e maybe something else was better... No change I think i t ' s more the thinking process that's changed more than anything I've done. Impact on Family Interaction Increased communication Right after the session i t was r e a l l y good because you could t a l k about what you wanted to do in l i f e . But as the days went by you just kind of stopped talking about i t . . . Greater understanding I liked having my dad there. It sort of gave us a common ground when we talked about stuff later, l i k e we were on the same wavelength. Because he had to l i s t e n to what I had to say and I had to l i s t e n . . . Change i n parent's role I was r e a l l y strict...but after the session i t broadened my mind too. And then I asked her to look at different directions. No change No, i t didn't make much of a difference. What she said in the session was pretty much the same... Negative fal l o u t It wasn't bad, except for after [my dadj had this obsession, l i k e we should t a l k about this...every single day... Attribution for Changes Insights about connections between career and hobbies ** See Content comments above ** Insights from other student I didn't re a l i z e that other people were having problems with the same things that I was. C l a r i f i c a t i o n v i a thinking on- the-spot ...you had to think things through in your mind before you said them, so i t actually c l a r i f i e d yourself just having to explain your career goals to someone else. Suggestions for Improvement Follow-up for action-planning I think another session...so you have kind of time to sink in what happened... I would have appreciated i t more i f I had a step-by-step plan... More privacy- I didn't l i k e so many bystanders personally. I didn't feel l i k e they a l l had a right to be there. Advance preparation I think i t might not be a bad idea to send the k i t out beforehand. This saves you doing two sessions. Pair diverse students ...very good for a boy and g i r l to...exchange ideas. Because maybe they don't have much chance to discuss these kinds of topics... 97 Chapter V Discussion The r e s u l t s of t h i s investigation suggest a p o t e n t i a l l y c a t a l y t i c e f f e c t of the PICE innovation. Although the reported impact was modest, the gains seem s u r p r i s i n g given the duration of the intervention as well as the small group approach. In t h i s f i n a l chapter some of the main convergent and divergent experiences are discussed, along with speculation as to potential reasons for divergence. Implications for further development of PICE w i l l be discussed, as well as implications for research, theory, and p r a c t i c e . F i n a l l y , limitations of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n are noted and followed by concluding remarks. Convergence and Divergence i n PICE experience With the present participants, goals and expectations for the PICE session were i n i t i a l l y unclear, made more conscious through r e f l e c t i o n s and evaluations of impact. There was a general desire for progress toward s p e c i f i c occupational choice, often as quickly as possible. One gets the impression that some l e v e l of unexpressed expectation existed that one session would produce an occupational choice/direction. Certainly participants were looking for encouragement, i n s p i r a t i o n and progress toward occupational planning choices. Students and parents shared a p o s i t i v e experience of 98 the PICE session, r e l a t i n g t h i s evaluation to both interpersonal dynamics and the content of the session. The f a c i l i a t o r ' s approachable and relaxed s t y l e , the session's informality, and the interaction with the other family were nearly u n i v e r s a l l y appreciated. Participants also expressed a high value on the personal contact approach of the PICE technique, focussing on the student's uniqueness, as compared with previous career planning experiences. These observations, along with the emotional nature of the comments support M i l l e r ' s (1996) argument for a less decision-focused career intervention strategy: Frequently, t r a d i t i o n a l , standardized instruments inadvertenly hurry c l i e n t s through the career counseling process by of f e r i n g them, too early, a host of s p e c i f i c occupational t i t l e s as scores for the c l i e n t to consider" (p. 44) . There was also a high valuation of other family's presence i n the session, p a r t i c u l a r l y the student p a i r i n g . This may be seen as r e f l e c t i n g the interpersonal needs of adolescents i n adult company, as well as combining some of the benefits of group process with i n d i v i d u a l counselling. A number of participants reported gaining s p e c i f i c i n s i g h t s due to the j o i n t p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the other student, a pattern which was somewhat supported by interpretations of change process a t t r i b u t i o n s . Another common experience reported was the gaining of career and personal insight through the pattern 99 i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercise and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , the focus on l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s . Again, t h i s insight process was also r e f l e c t e d i n suggestions related to a t t r i b u t i o n s for change. As discussed above, the benefits of anchoring patterns of s e l f - a n a l y s i s i n actual c l i e n t experience has much merit. In addition to the benefits of using c l i e n t s ' experiences for analysis, there i s the further p o s s i b i l i t y of drawing on t h e i r experiences to create meaningful and insight-generating metaphors. For example, the student who was very active i n sports gained new insights about her career planning at least i n part due to the use of sports metaphor i n the career realm. The use of mataphor i n counselling does have application i n a wide v a r i e t y of ways ( C i r i l l o & Crider, 1995). The most common impact participants reported was having a broader perspective on career choice options. This was seen as a p o s i t i v e step, a motivation-enhancing change which allowed more freedom to explore and act. P a r a l l e l l i n g t h i s impact was the r e l a t i v e l y common experience of a heightened desire f o r career exploration. Granted, some students who claimed heightened motivation admitted they had not a c t u a l l y done what they expected to do as yet, but they did see the change as an increment i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n . Some increase i n family communication regarding career was also a common experience, though t h i s e f f e c t d i d not carry on past a matter of weeks or months. Both students 100 and parents r e f l e c t e d back on the session as having been a po s i t i v e experience to r e f l e c t back on or a common reference point to i n i t i a t e conversation l a t e r . Students shared substantial agreement i n a desire f o r further follow-up and/or p r a c t i c a l assistance, whether i n a longer session, or a further meeting, without needing the parents' attendance. These r e f l e c t i o n s suggest.not only the u n f u l f i l l e d nature of student service needs, but also the po t e n t i a l they observed i n the PICE i n t e r v e n t i o n — "jus t a l i t t l e b i t more to get me over the next hump". F i n a l l y , the interpretions of impact offered by students were somewhat supported by parents' observations. Though parental observations were less marked than students' reports, i t may be expected that the observing distance accounts for such discrepancies. Note again that parents were not given t h e i r c h i l d ' s interview comments and asked to val i d a t e them; both sets of r e f l e c t i o n s were on a r e c a l l basis. Further, no concretely discrepant observations of impact were voiced by student/parent p a i r s . Since students are at somewhat d i f f e r i n g career developmental stages, i t would be l i k e l y u n r e a l i s t i c to expect s i m i l a r progress with students who already have s p e c i f i c occupational ideas or goals, as opposed to students who have not progressed to that point as yet. Thus, some students who came to the PICE session with concrete career plans to consider l e f t with s i m i l a r l y concrete encouragement 101 or modification. Others who came with no clea r d i r e c t i o n , l e f t f e e l i n g they had a foc a l point to use i n exploration (eg., being more observant towards what she r e a l l y enjoys doing). Career interventions do need to address each c l i e n t where they are and a s s i s t them to progress from that point; an occupational choice i s not l i k e l y appropriate for a number of adolescents, given t h e i r need for further experience and r e f l e c t i o n . Participants d i f f e r e d i n t h e i r preferences for multiple student/family presence, r e l a t i n g largely to language b a r r i e r issues. Si m i l a r l y , although nearly a l l students were p o s i t i v e about t h e i r own parent's presence, some were more neutral due to drawbacks of language, i n h i b i t i o n , or lack of input. Some participants did not seem to learn anything new about t h e i r patterns, or t h e i r son/daughter's patterns. Possible reasons for t h i s lack of new information may include the PICE session being too b r i e f and/or d i l l u t e d i n analysis, or a family i n t e r a c t i o n a l dynamic involving u n r e f l e c t i v e distancing. Divergent experiences were reported i n the area of career choice focus as well as concern. Some students increased i n seriousness of career attitudes, others decreased i n concern l e v e l . Most broadened t h e i r career prospects, though a few f e l t they should become narrower. While these contrasts may appear ubiquitous at f i r s t , i t should be a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of useful interventions that they 102 address i n d i v i d u a l s ' unique needs, rather than applying a 'Procrustean bed' framework. For example, we may argue that those students who had been overly concerned needed to "lighten up", while those who had been lax i n career planning a c t i v i t i e s needed to "get serious." S i m i l a r l y , students who are planning exclusively for one narrow occupation need to know that plans may regularly need r e v i s i o n , while students who have no focus at a l l need encouragement to have provisional plans i n order to f a c i l i t a t e action. The main facet here i s that each student reporting such a s h i f t did report i t i n a manner that r e f l e c t e d t h e i r own pos i t i v e evaluation of the change. Though most students reported a noticeable impact on t h e i r thoughts and attitudes about career, some did observe increases i n t h e i r career a c t i v i t y or s p e c i f i c career choices. I t i s l i k e l y that those students who were at a further stage of developmental "readiness" were the students who exhibited these bahaviours. Impact on family interaction dynamics was not uniform, though there was a uniformly posi t i v e evaluation of having p a r t i c i p a t e d together i n the experience. With such a b r i e f intervention, i t i s l i k e l y u n r e a l i s t i c to expect measurable e f f e c t s on family interaction, though the l i m i t e d increases reported i n family career communication did p a r a l l e l the e a r l i e r reports of Whiston (1989) and Castricone et a l (1982). Students were more l i k e l y than parents to report an 103 increase i n family communication about t h e i r career planning. This discrepancy may c a l l into question the students' observations, however i t may also stem from a greater investment on the part of parents to project a p o s i t i v e family image to the interviewer. While adolescents are i n the process of separating (and p o t e n t i a l l y devaluing), they also do not have the same association between family reputation and the image of parental success. F i n a l l y , while most families reported neutral or p o s i t i v e impacts, one student related a somewhat negative experience of the parent becoming "obsessive" about follow- up a f t e r PICE. Such a s i t u a t i o n may provide data to address p o t e n t i a l parameters for the optimal u t i l i t y of the PICE approach. However, the example may also simply h i g h l i g h t a need f o r further d i r e c t i o n to parents regarding f a c i l i t a t i v e follow-up (and potential dangers). In terms of the effectiveness of the intervention, i t appears from participant reports that the PICE project was judged a successful p i l o t for t h e i r own career development purposes, though there were concrete suggestions for improvement. As discussed e a r l i e r , evaluation properly centres i n the experience of the c l i e n t s ; at t h i s stage, the b r i e f PICE technique seems judged a "success" worthy of further refinement and testing. 104 Implications for Further Development of PICE The experience of participants provides support f o r career intervention which, although b r i e f , moves at a slower pace, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the exploratory stages. The approach resonates with M i l l e r ' s (1996) recent comments about appropriate career counselling: Thus, a refocus on the client-centred aspect of career counseling deliberately slows down the process by stimulating c l i e n t s to look inward to describe themselves before proceeding with decision-making behaviors" (p. 44). Modifications strongly indicated include adding eit h e r a planned follow-up component, or lengthening the session to allow for progression into action planning. Follow-up would not require the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of parents, through i t i s unclear whether students would benefit from the same student-dyad context. Some students appear to have benefitted from a l a t e r group feedback session, which may be b u i l t into the approach with the appropriate resources. The o r i g i n a l f a c i l i t a t o r may not necessarily need to lead such a group discussion, leaving room for either peer leadership or other para-professionals. F a c i l i a t a t o r s may need to give more d i r e c t i o n to parents and students regarding the dynamics and pot e n t i a l patterns i n follow-up together afterward. This may s i g n i f i c a n t l y decrease the l i k e l i h o o d of negative f a l l o u t . Although some requests for preparatory material were made, the arguments for a "clean s l a t e " approach to the session are compelling. 105 As f a r as l i m i t a t i o n s and parameters for the PICE approach, i t seems reasonably obvious that a c e r t a i n l e v e l of language proficiency i s required for useful p a r t i c i p a t i o n (both speaking and l i s t e n i n g ) . The l e v e l of necesssary verbal a b i l i t y on the part of students i s unknown; although the approach has been u t i l i z e d with a range of students, volunteers for t h i s study were largely from the academically oriented population. Due to the reported appreciation of student p a i r i n g dynamics, i t would be wise to r e t a i n such a feature. However, some neutral attitudes or h e s i t a t i o n regarding parental involvement suggest that there may be family patterns which would delimit the benefit of parental involvement. I t would be useful to explore these parameters with varying family and parenting s t y l e s , although the p o s s i b i l i t y does also e x i s t that the PICE approach could be modified to s u i t p a r t i c u l a r family s t y l e s . Implications for Future Research The present study supports the value of further pursuing and exploring the potential of the PICE approach and i t s v a r i a t i o n s . Future evaluation would do well to u t i l i z e both quantitative and q u a l i t a t i v e methods of assessment. Longitudinal research, combining s e l f - r e p o r t measures and observational data would be b e n e f i c i a l i n promoting further refinement of e f f e c t i v e and c a t a l y t i c 106 intervention. The r e s u l t s also support exploration of the PICE technique with d i f f e r e n t personal and family i n t e r a c t i o n a l s t y l e s , i n order to delimit i t s most useful parameters. Theoretical Implications The present study lends support for the e f f i c a c y of b r i e f interventions, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the career counselling f i e l d . The increase i n student's career exploration motivation and behaviour supports the e f f i c a c y of the intervention, as well as an attachment theory and systems approach. This r e s u l t i s r e f l e c t i v e of Blustein's (1989) work r e l a t i n g career decision making s e l f - e f f i c a c y to p o s i t i v e exploratory behaviour. Additionally, r e s u l t s support the notion that parents may be seen as providing much more than simply instrumental assistance i n career planning (Blustein, Prezioso, & Schultheiss, 1995): ...an active approach on the part of one's parents may provide more than instrumental assistance with career development tasks. From an attachment perspective, i t i s conceivable that involved parents, by being available and responsive i n the negotiation of impending career and educational t r a n s i t i o n s , enhance the adolescent's experience of f e l t s e c u r i t y " (p. 421). The PICE technique i s an example of an approach which f a c i l i t a t e s and empowers students to understand themselves better, and fosters greater freedom to explore, plan and act. The p o s i t i v e experience of participants i l l u s t r a t e s the usefulness of approaches which have the aim of f o s t e r i n g 107 agency i n c l i e n t s , rathering than guiding them i n s p e c i f i c d i r e c t i o n s (eg., Kush & Cochran, 1993). Implications for Career Intervention The PICE approach also i l l u s t r a t e s the p o s s i b l i t y of b r i e f , but powerful career intervention for adolescents which may involve parents i n a structured format, f a c i l i t a t i n g movement to the next step of career development. The approach seems to appropriately r e s i s t pushing c l i e n t s to decision making before they are ready ( M i l l e r , 1996). I t also provides a means of g i v i n g c l i e n t s e x p e r i e n t i a l l y a lesson i n viewing career development not as a s i n g l e decision task, but as a continual process of adapting to a l i f e of work. Career counsellors may take note at the reported benefits of student pairings, as well as the parental involvement. There may indeed be other intervention arenas where such structuring may prove useful. F i n a l l y , the PICE technique and others l i k e i t may prove a p o t e n t i a l c a t a l y s t f o r useful family process communication, along with career development f a c i l i t a t i o n . Limitations F i r s t , the sample used was not randomly selected, and not a l l who i n i t i a l l y agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e were interviewed. Selection bias i s always a factor when s e l f - 108 s e l e c t i o n methods are used, aggrevated by p a r t i c i p a n t drop- out rates. Although t h i s study may suffer c r i t i c i s m on the basis of being another small, nonrandom sample of s e l f - selected, homogeneous participants (Larson, 1995), i t s purpose has been to provide q u a l i t a t i v e data on the impact of an innovative intervention. Future inves t i g a t i o n would do well to broaden the sampling methods used here. Another potential l i m i t a t i o n i s the non-anonymous s e l f - report method for impact assessment. There may indeed be personality influences, l e t alone c u l t u r a l biases not to say anything negative about a supposed service the p a r t i c i p a n t s received. The fact that one-half of the pa r t i c i p a n t s were of Asian decent also argues for caution i n i n t e r p r e t i n g the lack of s i g n i f i c a n t negative data, as does the adolescent- adult status d i f f e r e n t i a l i n the interview. Although attempts were made to establish rapport and give d i r e c t permission to report negative r e s u l t s , t h i s issue remains a p o t e n t i a l contaminant with face-to-face interviews. Maturation e f f e c t s are always a p o t e n t i a l l y competing explanation for career development over time. We may expect students to get more serious about career, more wise i n t h e i r planning and perspective. A l l follow-up and lon g i t u d i n a l research involves such d i f f i c u l t i e s with p o t e n t i a l maturation or history explanations. Although caution must be urged, i t i s noted that p a r t i c i p a n t s ' own r e f l e c t i o n s of the impact of PICE on t h e i r career 109 development have t a c i t l y taken into account t h e i r observations of peers who did not pa r t i c i p a t e i n the project. Though i t i s not often addressed as a l i m i t a t i o n , the use of one f a c i l i t a t o r with the PICE intrervention argues for caution i n interpreting the impact. Since research on counselling effectiveness has often pointed to the importance of the person of the counsellor, the impact of the PICE technique may vary s i g n i f i c a n t l y with each f a c i l i t a t o r using the approach. The present f a c i l i t a t o r was a career counsellor with many years of experience i n research, teaching, t r a i n i n g , and i n counselling intervention. Similarly, the effectiveness of p a r t i c u l a r techniques i s pa r t l y dependent on the uniqueness brought by the c l i e n t ( s ) , as supported by the process and outcome study of Kirschner, Hoffman, and H i l l (1994). With t h i s design we are not i n a po s i t i o n to argue for causation of variables, such as PICE leading to s p e c i f i c gains i n self-awareness or agency. Obviously there are a myriad of events and other processes going on i n families and schools over the course of a school year. What I hoped to do was to probe, i n depth, the meanings which various p a r t i c i p a n t s have made of t h e i r PICE experience i n l i g h t of the ensuing school year. At t h i s exploratory stage I am most interested i n what impact students and t h e i r parents believe t h e i r involvement i n PICE had on t h e i r career 110 development. I t w i l l be l e f t for future study to examine other t e s t s of any claims, no doubt expanding on the present design by adding multi-method assessment of variables, both pre- and post-test. Another issue relates to the long time delay between the i n i t i a l PICE sessions u n t i l interviews i n which pa r t i c i p a n t s were asked about t h e i r experience of the sessions. However, t h i s time delay may also be seen as a p o s i t i v e factor i n the sense that any immediate "halo e f f e c t s " would be minimized. Further, what was of most i n t e r e s t was not an accurate r e c o l l e c t i o n of sessions, but students' (and parents') ensuing b e l i e f s and interpretations about how the sessions affected and f i t into the flow of t h e i r l i v e s around issues of career development. Future evaluations may wish to involve participants i n journal- keeping as part of process investigation. The previous group feedback session may be expected to have had some e f f e c t on the career planning thoughts of students who participated i n e a r l i e r sessions. One might view such an event as a potential contamination of data r e l a t i n g simple involvement i n PICE to career development. Another way to deal with t h i s s i t u a t i o n , however, i s to consider the focus group as a part of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r PICE intervention. Interview questioning of students should take t h i s into account and probe for the place of the focus group discussion i n t h e i r development process as well. Thus fo r I l l t h i s s p e c i f i c group, what has happened over the past s i x months i s not simply that students received a career session; they also continued to be stimulated by others receiving the sessions (and t a l k i n g about i t ) , and they p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a group discussion about i t . We may expect the process to have augmented t h e i r e f f o r t s at r e f l e c t i o n on PICE impact. Further research should attempt to control and monitor the e f f e c t s of such focus group discussion i n an i n t e n t i o n a l manner. A f i n a l l i m i t a t i o n relates to the researcher's own r o l e i n t h i s type of evaluation. As discussed under methodology above, q u a l i t a t i v e data c o l l e c t i o n methods nearly always involve a p o t e n t i a l l y skewing e f f e c t of the data c o l l e c t o r being associated with a p a r t i c u l a r agenda. Although e f f o r t s were made to l i m i t the participants' perceptions that the researcher was looking for only p o s i t i v e data, future research should include an investigation at more 'arm's length' through anonymous surveys, for example. Conclusion This study investigated the perceptions of process and impact which a p a r t i c u l a r career intervention (PICE) had upon the career development of adolescents. The one-session intervention involved pairs of students and parents. The major component of the intervention was the u t i l i z a t i o n of a p a t t e r n - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n technique for s e l f analysis, then 112 applying the analysis to further thinking about the world of work. Eight students and six parents were interviewed regarding t h e i r perceptions of t h e i r experience i n PICE and the impact i t had on t h e i r career planning and family i n t e r a c t i o n . Results indicated participants f e l t students had made small, but meaningful gains i n t h e i r career planning process as a r e s u l t of PICE p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Gains usually related to productive changes i n perspective or at t i t u d e towards career planning, less frequently to observed career actions. These r e s u l t s were discussed i n terms of support for the promise of the PICE approach and others which may incorporate both students and t h e i r parents i n career intervention programming. Clearly, the family of o r i g i n i s c r u c i a l to career development. The PICE approach has shown considerable promise i n addressing adolescent career development with a b r i e f systems-oriented approach. Although PICE has not been proposed as a replacement for more comprehensive career development programming, i t brings to mind the importance of empowering c l i e n t s to take charge of t h e i r own change, as well as the f a c t that c l i e n t s have, under c e r t a i n conditions, been measurably more s a t i s f i e d with b r i e f intervention than therapists are (Steenbarger, 1992). Such b r i e f approaches do merit further attention, evaluation and inves t i g a t i o n . 113 References Amundson, N. E. (1995). Pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n exercise. 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Narrative structure and parental influence i n career development. Journal of Adolescence. 17 f 173-191. Young, R. A., Friesen, J. D., & Dillabough, J. M. (1992). Personal constructions of parental influence r e l a t e d to career development. Canadian Journal of Counselling. 25(2), 183-189. Young, R.A., & Valach, L. (1994). Evaluation of career development programs from an action perspective. Canadian Journal of Counselling. 28(4), 299-307. Zingaro, J . (1983). A family systems approach f o r the career counselor. The Personnel and Guidance Journal. 62. 24- 27. Appendix A 121 CLEARINGHOUSE O N Counseling Student JZjJlS Services ERIC DIGEST 1995 EDO-CG-95-69 Pattern Identification Exercise Norm Amundson Overview Career exploration typically involves the investiga- tion of personal factors: interests, aptitudes, values, and personal style.(Amundson, 1989). This investigation along with labor-market considerations, can require con- siderable time, particularly if counselors use qualitative or standardized measures to investigate each factor. Given the time limitations of most counseling situations, and the desire to be efficient and comprehensive; there is a growing need for new methods of career assessment (Amundson, in press; Eckert, 1993). One such approach- the pattern identification exercise (PIE)-has been used ef- fectively in both individual and group career counseling (Amundson & Cochran, 1984; Amundson & Stone, 1992). PIE starts with past experiences and, through an in-depth questioning process, seeks to identify personal patterns which are of relevance in establishing career pathways. Discussion The guided inquiry procedure, developed in the field of rhetoric by Young, Becker, and Pike (1970), served as a starting point to develop the PIE method. These authors used a wide range of perspectives and questions to ex- plore and understand new languages and situations. This was the stimulus for a structured questioning method (PIE) which could be utilized in career exploration. A premise underlying PIE is that the experiences which form the basis for career exploration can come from any aspect of life. The experiences of each person are unique and a detailed and careful examination of these experiences will reveal some common life patterns. To illustrate, a leisure activity, such as playing tennis, can be appreciated for its social elements, the physical activity, the opportunity for competition, or some other reason. The way in which a person plays (during good times and during challenges) may reflect patterns about motivation, planning, attitude, and self-concept. Uncovering these patterns can reveal important personal insights which have direct relevance to career choice, job search, and job satisfaction. This process of exploring experiences is as important as the questions which are used to stimulate discussion. The client is actively involved in the generation of infor- mation, the interpretation of meaning, and the applica- tion of new insights. A collaborative working relation- ship between counselor and client must be maintained throughout (Gelso & Carter, 1985). The client is respected as the final authority in the identification of patterns. The counselor has an opportunity to provide input, but this is always done in a tentative manner, after the client has had a full opportunity to identify patterns. The number of experiences to be analyzed varies, de- pending on motivation level and the amount of time avail- able. Typically, the analysis would not extend beyond two or three experiences. Each analysts has the potential to add new patterns, but there also will be considerable over- lap. The counselor plays an important role in introduc- ing the exercise, but the expectation is that the client will be able to work independently or with other people in a group to conduct further analyses. The client is learning a method of inquiry in addition to learning how to iden- tify particular patterns. Steps In Conducting PIE PIE involves client and counselor in a defined explo- ration sequence. A considerable amount of information is generated prior to identifying patterns. It is often help- ful for the counselor to take notes. If note-taking is used, it should be discussed with the client who should have full access to the information. The steps of inquiry which characterize PIE are as fol- lows: 1. Ask the client to think about some activity from lei- sure, education, or work which is particularly enjoyable. Ask the client to think about a time when this activity was very enjoyable and a time when the activity was less en- joyable. 2. Have the client sequentially describe in detail the positive and negative experiences. Some open-ended questions can be asked at this point to facilitate a full de- scription. Some of the issues to explore include the people involved, feelings, thoughts, challenges, successes, and motivations. Also, what are the dynamics that differenti- ate the positive and negative dynamics? Depending on the situation, it may be helpful to question some of the contextual issues. Questions in this regard focus on how the client's interest developed over time and what the cli- ent projects for the future. 3. After a full discussion, have the client consider what types of patterns are suggested by the information. Give the client every opportunity to make connections and pro- 122 vide him or her ongoing support and encouragement Ask how each specific piece of information reflects something about the client (i.e., goals, values, aptitudes, personal style, interests). 4. At this point, the counselor can provide some input. Counselor statements should be tentative and linked posi- tively with client comments. While this can be an opportu- nity for reframing, it is important not to lose sight of the client's contribution. 5. Connecting the above information and analysis to spe- cific career themes can now be addressed. As above, the cli- ent speaks first, followed by the counselor. The question here is how personal information relates to career choice and ac- tion planning. The above sequence of inquiry can be repeated for sev- eral activities. The counselor serves as a guide for the analy- sis, but at some point clients should be encouraged to con- duct their own independent inquiry (perhaps as a homework assignment). In group counseling, the counselor starts by demonstrat- ing the inquiry process with a member of the group. Partici- pants are men paired off and instructed to follow the steps of analysis with one another. The counselor serves as a consult- ant while the members discuss and analyze their experiences. After a designated period of time, the group comes together for debriefing. Positive reports have been obtained from a wide range of clients. Comments often refer to the surprisingly potent nature of the activity, particularly when focusing on leisure activities which initially seemed of little consequence. When teaching the PIE method to counselors, it has been important to illustate the activity through experiential exercises. As with clients, the counselors have been impressed with the quality and quantity of information that con be generated through the intensive examination of relatively innocuous experiences. Conclusion PIE represents a comprehensive method for exploring career themes in that is uses experiences as the raw material for analysis. Exploration is client-centered, with the counse- lor assuming a facultative rather than an "expert" stance. Through this mode of inquiry the client identifies patterns of, action which relate to goals, values, interests, aptitudes, and personal style. There are several advantages to using the PIE approach. The most obvious advantage is that PIE offers one procedure to evaluate the client's interests and values. The inquiry has credibility since it is based on life experiences, which are in- terpreted and validated by the client Through this approach, clients engage in an activity which not only provides insights, but also teaches a procedure for ongoing self-analysis. References Amundson, N. E. (1989). A model for individual career coun- seling. Journal of Employment Counseling, 26,132-138. Amundson, N. E. (in press). Perspectives on career assess- ment journal of Employment Counseling. Amundson, N. E., & Cochran, L. (1984). Analyzing experi- ences using an adaptation of an heuristic model. Cana- dian Counsellor. 18,183-186. Amundson, N. E., & Stone, D. (1992). Vancity career develop- ment program. Vancouver, BC: Vancity Credit Union. Eckert, P.A. (1993). Acceleration of change: Catalysts in brief therapy. Clinical Psychology Review, 13,241-253. Gelso, CJ.,& Carter, J. A. (1985). The relationship in counsel- ing and psychotherapy: Components, consequences and theoretical antecedents. The Counseling Psychologist, 13. 155-204. Young, R. E , Becker, A. L., & Pike, K. L. (1970). Rhetoric: Dis- covery and change. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Norm Amundson, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Coun- selling Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. HUC Digests are in the public domain and may be freely reproduced and disseminated. This publication was funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Of f ice of Educational Research and Improvement, Contract No. RR93O0MO4. Opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the positions of the US. Department of Education, OERI, or ERIC/CASS. For information on other ERIC/CASS products and services, please call toll-free (800) 414-9769 or (910) 334-4114 or fax (910) 334-4116 or write ERIC/CASS, School of Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412. 123 Appendix B Parent Involved Career Exploration: Steps i n the Counselling Process (Amundson, 1996; pp. 6-9) 1. Introduction. The f i r s t step i n the counselling process involves an i n v i t a t i o n to students and parents to p a r t i c i p a t e i n an innovative career exploration a c i t i t y . In o f f e r i n g t h i s i n v i t a t i o n i t i s important to indicate that t h i s i s only a s t a r t i n g point for career exploration. There i s the assumption that some follow-up a c t i v i t i e s w i l l be undertaken depending on the si t u a t i o n . An explanation needs also to be provided to students and parents with regards to t h e i r respective roles i n the counselling session i . e . t h i s i s the students' career counselling session, parents are i n v i t e d as observers. When the students and parents come together (two students and t h e i r respective parents) there i s a need for introductions and to review the goals for the session. 2. Pattern I d e n t i f i c a t i o n Exercise. The next step i n the counselling process i s designed to imbed career exploration within the " l i v e d experience" of the students. A Pattern I d e n t i f i c a t i o n Exercise (PIE) helps students to i d e n t i f y personal patterns of action (strengths as well as weaknesses) which have relevance to career development (Amundson, 1995). As a rationale for t h i s a c t i v i t y , the analogy between psychological patterns and physical patterns 124 (DNA) may be put forward. The following procedure i s followed for the PIE exercise: a. The student thinks about a l e i s u r e a c t i v i t y and gives a detailed description of a s p e c i f i c time when i t went very well and a time when i t was less p o s i t i v e . The contrast here allows students to see patterns of weakness as well as strength. Depending on the fu l l n e s s of the description, the counsellor may need to ask some supplementary questions. Some of the elements to be elaborated include the people involved, feelings, thoughts, challenges, successes, and motivation. b. After a f u l l description i s outlined the student i s encouraged to consider what types of patterns are suggested by the information that has been provided. How does the information r e f l e c t various goals, values, aptitudes, personality t r a i t s , and interests? I t i s important i n making these connections that the student be provided with support and encouragement to make the connections by him/herself. Tentative questions can be used by the counsellor as long as they are linked p o s i t i v e l y with the students' observations. c. The f i n a l step i n t h i s process focuses on how the patterns that have been i d e n t i f i e d r e l a t e to the career choices that the student i s facing. Again, the student takes the lead i n making these connections and the counsellor o f f e r s support, encouragement and some tentative 125 ideas. Upon concluding t h i s exploration process the counsellor turns to the parent(s) and asks for any addit i o n a l comments. This provides a good opportunity for the parent(s) to confirm what has been discussed thus far and to add any other perspectives. Each student completes the PIE a c t i v i t y p r i o r to moving ahead to the next step. 3 . School Preferences and Performance. At t h i s point the discussion turns to what the students l i k e about the courses they are taking and how they are performing i n the courses. Some of these preferences may rel a t e to the patterns that have been i d e n t i f i e d e a r l i e r . In providing t h i s information the studetns are encouraged to i l l u s t r a t e t h e i r points with concrete i l l u s t r a t i o n s . As before, at the conclusion of the discussion with each student there i s time for parental feedback. 4. Perspectives on Educational and Labour market Opportunities. As students consider t h e i r options with respect to further education or the labour market they need an opportunity to discuss the current s i t u a t i o n . Some of the issues f o r discussion include: labour market trends; the need f o r f l e x i b i l i t y ; bridging a c t i v i t i e s i . e . work experience, information interviewing; anxiety about the future; admissions procedures and standards, and so on. Parents are asked to contribute to t h i s discussion and to s p e c i f i c a l l y provide t h e i r perspectives about changes i n the 126 labour market and any coping strategies that they would recommend. 5. Setting the Next Step (Action Planning). P r i o r to concluding the session, students and parents are given information about some of the resources i n the school and community (people and materials) and are provided with the Career Pathways exploration workbook (Amundson & Poehnell, 1995) that they may want to complete l a t e r . After a short discussion of the available resources, students are asked to specify what they need to do next i n order to act upon some of the ideas that came up i n the career counselling session. Some of these plans may involve parents working along side them as partners, where t h i s i s the case there may be a need to c l a r i f y roles and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . 130 Appendix F Interview Introduction S c r i p t Thank you for agreeing to meet today. I just want to give you a chance before we begin to read and sign t h i s consent form i f you are i n agreement. I want to h i g h l i g h t that your p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s study i s voluntary, and there are no consequences whatsoever should you decide you want to withdraw at any time. I'd l i k e to remind you that the information you provide today w i l l be treated as c o n f i d e n t i a l , and no i n d i v i d u a l s w i l l be i d e n t i f i e d i n the reporting of r e s u l t s . You also have the option during the interview of choosing not to answer any s p e c i f i c questions you may f e e l uncomfortable with. For students, written parental consent and verbal consent from the student i s required. Any student whose parent has not provided consent simply w i l l not be interviewed. Please take time to read the information and consent now. I f you s t i l l would l i k e to proceed, you may sign one copy and keep the other for your records. Let me just highlight that what we are interested i n i s not a majority opinion, but each individual's perspective on how t h e i r involvement i n t h i s program has affected them. We expect there w i l l be some s i m i l a r i t i e s and some differences i n people's s t o r i e s . Please f e e l free to speak candidly from your own point of view. 131 Appendix 6 Interview Transcripts PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 101 2 STUDENTS, AT SCHOOL Why volunteer? 1 I didn't know about the session. The counsellor came and she asked i f I was interested i n doing t h i s as an experience. I thought, well, i t would be fun to t r y out, 'cause some of the counsellors that I've had before weren't as good, not as responsive to my opinions and s t u f f , so I thought maybe a one-on-one thing would be better than having you j u s t go and ask for help, cause they have so many students going to them, so I thought i t would be fun and worthwhile. Some of the previous counsellors were at school, some outside of school. Some of them were not too good. 2 I heard about i t on the P.A., and I thought i t would probably be more interesting and more relevant to me than anything else has been, because the program i n place now (CAPP) i s r e a l l y generic and time-wasting. So I j u s t rushed down here and signed up. Goals? 2 Not r e a l l y , I r e a l l y wanted to sort of see what else would be relevant to me than f i l l i n g out a l i t t l e form — Oh, well these are your interests — I wanted to f i n d out more. [A more f l e x i b l e approach] eh, t a l k i n g to a person rather than a questionnaire. 1 Eh, I was thinking of being an emergency room doctor when I went into the session. And through what he talked about and how he ????????????? i t turned out that maybe I ' l l be better o f f with s p e c i a l i z i n g i n sports instead, because I love sports, I l i k e doing them and I enjoy being around people who l i k e sports. And being i n emergency kind of i s , l i k e , s t r e s s f u l , and maybe sometimes I'm not up to the stress. And maybe he kind of brought the r e a l i z a t i o n that maybe that career wasn't fo r me, and helped me r e a l i z e maybe something else 132 was better. So that's good. [Did think you might get that challenged?] Eh, that's what I wanted. What was the session li k e ? 1 I thought i t went r e a l l y well, because the method he used was so unique, l i k e I'd never seen that happen before, and i t r e a l l y helped you c l a r i f y what you want and how you behave i n ce r t a i n situations, and he used sports l i k e a metaphor kind of thing. Cause I l i k e sports and he understands that, and he used that and so I understand more, better. So that's good. Except my parents don't r e a l l y understand what was going on because they don't understand english that well. So that's kind of confusing for them, but i t was very good for me. Yeah, I enjoyed that he was dealing with what r e l a t e s to me, not just a piece of paper saying, "What do you l i k e ? This i s what you l i k e " and s t u f f . So I l i k e basketball, and he used, l i k e , "What do you f e e l when you're s t i c k i n g your shot, what do you f e e l when you are d r i b b l i n g down the courts" And I experienced i t , I can r e l a t e i t to my l i f e , i t connects. 2 I thought i t was great. One of the things that r e a l l y helped me was hearing another student, what they f e l t , because I think that students r i g h t now are quite i s o l a t e d . They're not t a l k i n g to each other. Yeah, just sort of hearing from somebody else, not just my goals and s t u f f , but t h e i r goals, and how they f e e l . . . [ i t address that f e e l i n g of i s o l a t i o n , f e e l i n g less alone]. [Mostly what helped was noticing the s i m i l a r i t i e s . ] Some of the challenges were the same. I didn't r e a l i z e that other people are having problems with the same things that I was. As an example, being d i l i g e n t about homework. Being w i l l i n g to work r e a l l y hard to reach short-term goals. What was i t l i k e to have your parents there? 1 She didn't quite understand. For me, personally, i t was l i k e h a l f and ha l f . I want her there, but I don't want her there. I don't know what meaning i t was f o r her, because she doesn't understand what was going on. ... So she gives the input, cause she knows me better than I know myself kind of thing. But i f she wasn't there maybe I can 133 forget about what I say and just say what I want to say. Because I don't want to offend my mom or whatever. I t ' s jus t a f e e l i n g that, "Don't say something wrong, or else I might get into trouble l a t e r on." So i t was good to have her there, but i t wasn't excellent to have her there. [If I were to go again] I'd probably go without my mom, because she even t o l d me that she didn't understand the session that well. And she said that i f she had to again, she won't go. So maybe i t ' s better i f I were to go myself. 2 Actually, personally, I l i k e d having my dad there. I t sort of gave us a common ground when we talked about s t u f f l a t e r , l i k e we were on the same wavelength. Because he had to l i s t e n to what I had to say and I had to l i s t e n to what he had to say. So we just b e s i c a l l y came to more of an understanding. [So I enjoyed the controlled communication.] Other people observing i n the room? 1 I don't think i t mattered too much. They're counsellors, so they're q u a l i f i e d to be there. So i t wasn't a big factor. 2 I didn't l i k e so many bystanders personally. I f e l t r e a l l y l i k e there was a l o t of people watching. I didn't f e e l l i k e they a l l had a ri g h t to be there. Because there wasn't just the one counsellor, there was a whole bunch of other people standing there watching. There was a couple other counsellors, plus the vice p r i n c i p a l or something. I t was quite claustrophobic, quite small. 1 With me there was only one counsellor watching, so I guess that was d i f f e r e n t . What was i t l i k e to have another student there? 1 She was i n grade 10 also, and i n incentive program too. So kind of a bond between us. So I knew her personally beforehand, so ...maybe because she's a female too, and I guess females bond better than males. And so the things she t a l k s about I can r e l a t e to my l i f e , and s t u f f that I t a l k about she can r e l a t e to her l i f e , so i t ' s l i k e an interconnection going on. So the problems she has, I have too. I t ' s nice to know I'm not the only one. 134 2 The other student i n my session was a guy, not i n incentive program. But actually I found that I had a l o t of common ground with him. I t was pretty amazing. I wouldn't have expected to f i n d that. I t was enlightening. Impressions of what the session did for you? 2 I t was r e a l l y good. I t started me thinking a b i t more. I kind of expected i t to be a b i t more s p e c i f i c , l i k e , "OK, we'll f i n d a career for you," or something l i k e that. But i t wasn't r e a l l y . I t was l i k e , " l e t ' s f i n d out who you are f i r s t , " which i s , I think, more important, but i s overlooked a l o t . So i t sort of handed i t over for me to decide what I wanted s t i l l . [It did help me put together a b i t of who I am and what I might l i k e to do.] I t ' s sort of l i k e I had a point to s t a r t on. Before I didn't r e a l l y have somewhere where I could focus, but now I have a l i t t l e b i t of a focus happening and a d i r e c t i o n to go. That focus i s just to look for something that would r e a l l y spark my interest, because i f I'm not interested then I don't r e a l l y care at a l l , and I won't do i t . 1 What she said i s r e a l l y relevant to me too. But I also found that the counsellor kind of helped me narrow my career choices down to just one and make me r e a l i z e that i t was something that I r e a l l y , r e a l l y , r e a l l y want to do, and I ' l l do almost anything to t r y to achieve that. And so since that session I've been getting information about f i n a n c i a l aid, about getting into university, seminars about how to get into university. I t was kind of l i k e a r o l l e r coaster, kind of, and that was the s t a r t i n g point and j u s t on my way to my ending point, just a career. So that r e a l l y helped me r e a l i z e that i f I wanted to do something I had to focus on one thing and just go for i t , not have f i v e d i f f e r e n t things and t r y to f i n d out a l l about those. Too much time and not worth your while. 2 I kind of f e l t l i k e i t wasn't quite long enough because I was sort of getting into i t and s t a r t i n g to r e a l l y think and then i t ' s over. 1 Questions you think of afterward and you want to ask... 2 Yeah, or things you wanted to add about yourself that you didn't r e a l l y think of before but would be r e a l l y relevant. The time was about 70 minutes. 135 E f f e c t on career planning? 1 Well, i t was r e a l l y r e a l l y good for me, cause before I was thinking emergency room doctor, and that was where I was planning on going to, but now that I think about i t a f t e r the session we kind of thought that, "emergency room = st r e s s " and I don't handle stress too well at times, so maybe that wasn't such a good occupation for me. So I'm thinking...cause I r e a l l y want to be a doctor, cause I r e a l l y l i k e helping people and being around people. And he made me r e a l i z e that being i n sports r e a l l y i s something that I l i k e too, and combining those two together would be a r e a l l y big thing for me. So that was a r e a l l y good help. And also I thought that next time maybe you should have a follow-up session so you can ask any questions you might have afterwards. And maybe not have so many people i n the room, maybe just the counsellor and another student. Because with the student there you don't f e e l as s e l f - conscious of your answers as you would one-on-one. So that would be good. Yes I have s p e c i f i c ideas on combining my in t e r e s t s , perhaps team doctor or team trainer, cause I love watching sports and I f e l t that i f I could help athletes to perform better then i t would be better sports to watch. I r e a l l y l i k e being around organized sports and organized teamwork. 2 Well, at f i r s t I was r e a l l y motivated and I was l i k e , "OK, I'm going to do something f i n a l l y , " but i t kind of wore of f because there r e a l l y wasn't a chance for a secondary discussion or whatever. I'm sort of thinking, I'm looking at my inte r e s t s and what I l i k e doing, and I'm kind of leaning towards a teaching career because I l i k e to be able to be creative and express myself i n a l o t of d i f f e r e n t ways. And also I l i k e ... when you're around younger chi l d r e n when you're t r y i n g to teach them something you sort of get a sense of f u l f i l l m e n t or whatever, and you r e a l i z e that you've sort of enriched t h e i r l i v e s i n some sort of way. 1 I guess I kind of followed up on myself because I'm i n the career prep program here i n school and one of the requirements i s to have 100 hours of volunteer work i n your chosen kind of occupation thing. And so I've been t r y i n g to contact Dr. Ross Davidson for the Canucks and t r y i n g to get a p o s i t i o n helping him. I wrote two l e t t e r s , made two phone c a l l s , I'm s t i l l waiting for answers back. So that's kind of l i k e a big follow-up for me. And I know he's also 136 working at UBC, and I'm t r y i n g to get an address there... Any impact of relationship with parents i n terms of t a l k i n g about career? 2 At f i r s t i t did, but I think i t ' s kind of been forgotten. But while i t lasted i t was pretty good because we sort of came to an understanding so i t was easier to just s t a r t t a l k i n g instead of ... t r y i n g to understand, we could keep going, we could just go straight to what we wanted to t a l k about. So things got a l i t t l e b i t more c i v i l on everything. [Sort of l i k e the s t u f f we talked about i n the session provided a background for continuing to t a l k ] , but we haven't been t a l k i n g about that l a t e l y , i t ' s been " l e t ' s j u s t f i n i s h grade 11 f i r s t " type thing. This e f f e c t lasted about 2-3 months, I'd say. 1 Right a f t e r the session i t was r e a l l y good because you could t a l k about what you wanted to do i n l i f e . But as the days went by you just kind of stopped t a l k i n g about i t and then... we don't t a l k about i t any more. Now i t ' s b a s i c a l l y the same as i t was before. I think i t ' s kind of the same, maybe a l i t t l e b i t better, because they know what I want. But b a s i c a l l y the same as before. Any changes i n experience of CAPP program? 1 Before the session I thought the CAPP was kind of h e l p f u l , because the teacher I had was r e a l l y into i t and he r e a l l y t r i e d to make us aware that t h i s was important to our l i f e . He gave us things that were r e a l l y relevant to us. But there was too much paperwork, not enough i n t e r a c t i o n with people. That was kind of not too good. Afterward I think i t was about the same, because he gave us work as a r e s u l t . We talked about resume writing and cover l e t t e r , which was kind of irrelevant because we already knew that from l a s t year. Now we're not doing anything, j u s t reading, kind of t a i l e d o f f at the end of the year. So I thought i t was helpful before. A f t e r the session I kind of looked at i t and thought i t was kind of h e l p f u l but not relevant to me; i t was relevant to the general public. 2 I thought CAPP was a waste of time before and I s t i l l think i t ' s a waste of time and I ' l l stand by that opinion. 137 Anything else you've done? 2 I was i n a mentorship program. Everyone came back knowing more and I came back knowing I r e a l l y r e a l l y don't want to be an architect. That was l a s t year, though. So the place I'm at i s tr y i n g to figure out what would r e a l l y i n t e r e s t me. [My focus r i g h t now i s tr y i n g to f i n i s h school and get my grades up.] Any other suggestions? 1 I was hoping that i n the session i f I figured out which career I wanted I was hoping that he would give us some contact to s t a r t making progress into the career. Like maybe he would have a contact or two, l i k e a phone number that you could contact and st a r t working your way through, that would be r e a l l y good. 2 Yeah, just a follow-up would be h e l p f u l a couple of days l a t e r to l e t the information percolate. I know I came up with a l o t of st u f f that just came to mind type thing. 138 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 102 1 Student, at school Why volunteer? I didn't r e a l l y volunteer. They came around to cl a s s the same day and I wasn't busy, so I agreed to do i t . I c a l l e d my mother and father and they were just going to leave so I just caught them. Goals? I only had about an hour to decide, so I didn't have much time to think about i t . What was i t like ? I t was interesting. There was another student there, a guy. I t was intere s t i n g to see what kind of things he was interested i n compared to me and st u f f l i k e that. What was i t l i k e to have a parent there? Not a big difference. My mom didn't r e a l l y say that much eith e r . Other people i n the room? The counsellor, another student & parent, and a school counsellor. Also another interviewer. Did i t do anything for you? There's a l o t more p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Like i t opened i t up. Like I just wanted to be a teacher then i t sort of opened i t up that i t could be maybe open l i k e a tutoring business or whatever. Like i t sort of opened i t . And there was another career choice l i k e a lawyer or something. Any e f f e c t on career planning? 139 I guess you could say that I'm doing more ... l i k e I used to be r e a l l y nervous when I'm speaking i n front of a whole group. But then because I want to become a teacher or possibly a lawyer, I don't know, i t ' s a l o t easier f o r me now. So I don't stutter, or shake, or anything l i k e that. I t comes a b i t naturally. I t might be related to being i n the session, because I didn't know anybody there except my mom. I t sort of, l i k e , helped me overcome that fear. How d i d the session help that? Well, I guess because i t was also because i t was a small group, not a huge group and i t was l i k e they were ac t u a l l y s i t t i n g there l i s t e n i n g , instead of l i k e a class presentation where some people always t a l k , r i g h t . I don't know... i t was more comfortable. Did i t help you to see yourself doing that more i n the future? Actually, yeah, i t did. He gave me a chance to express my opinions and feelings and stu f f without having to, l i k e , I don't know. The st u f f just sort of came to my head and I had to say i t . I didn't know what kind of questions he was going to ask i n the f i r s t place. [kind of on the spot], you got to think f a s t . I wasn't r e a l l y nervous, because I didn't know what to expect. Like i f I know what was coming, I'd be sort of nervous and I'd get a b i t scared. Any influence on r e l a t i n g with parents? No, didn't make much of a difference. What she said i n the session was pretty much the same as what she said to me a l l the time. [I didn't r e a l l y learn from her input i n the session.] Afterwards, i t just stayed about the same. With the other student and his mom putting t h e i r input i n , I was l i k e , some of the stu f f we already knew, but then some of the s t u f f l i k e , there's more a range of pathways to careers and things. I t ' s more wide. Like, i t never occurred to me to be a lawyer. I t never occurred to me l i k e that. How d i d that come out? 140 I don't know. I'm more of a humanities person than a science person. So then with being a lawyer then I can a c t u a l l y f i t i t i n with having an english degree plus a law degree. I t was just before I chose my courses for next year. So then I also chose law 12 for next year. Career pathways booklet? I sort of browsed i t . I haven't r e a l l y sat down and used i t because I've been r e a l l y busy. Any change i n how your parents advise? Not r e a l l y , cause my mom usually leaves a l l the s t u f f l i k e homework to me. It's only when when my marks drop that she a c t u a l l y pushes me. Parents' occupations? My dad's a draughtsman, and my mom's...I don't know what she i s . She just hides around the house sometimes and goes shopping. Sometimes s h e ' l l do occasional work because she used to own a business, a grocery store. Anything you've done about your career since the session? Ac t u a l l y I've been doing my work experience. I was at an elementary school l a s t Friday, spent the day there getting the f e e l for teaching. I r e a l l y l i k e i t , I r e a l l y l i k e kids a l o t . This i s also for my Career Prep requirements, and that was my f i r s t day. Any difference i n CAPP experience? I was interested i n i t before but now I'm more curious, and l i k e I want to learn more things about i t . I'm not just looking toward the teaching d i r e c t i o n , I'm also looking towards being a lawyer and everything. I t ' s an i n t e r e s t , r i g h t , but I'm not necessarily going to go through that path. I went into the session without a clue of what to expect, but i t sort of opened my mind a b i t more. Suggestions for improving i t ? 141 Maybe a b i t more, l i k e , suggestions for p a r t i c u l a r careers. We talked about my hobby — reading — and he sort of directed i t towards reading, but i t didn't exactly connect i t to any of the careers. So, ...I don't know how to say i t , but...more information on the career. Putting l i n k s between everything, l i k e , with an english degree you can do teaching, or journalism, or working for a magazine, . . . l i n k i n g i t together somehow. [Information on occupations related to your interests.] [And even more s p e c i f i c ] Like what kind of j o u r n a l i s t , and how do I get there. What kind of courses I have to take. [Hope to get just a b i t further towards knowing how to check i t out, yeah.] What led to you deciding to volunteer with the community centre t h i s summer? I took a leadership t r a i n i n g course and we needed a c e r t a i n number of hours. I l i k e d i t and so I signed up again f o r the summer. Anything else you'd re l a t e to having been i n the session? Not r e a l l y . That's a l o t of time ago. Anything of short-term effect? Actually, I'm more w i l l i n g to work for things, knowing that I ' l l be able to achieve that goal afterwards. I t ' s sort of up and down, up and down. I sort of learned some things, and some things I already knew. I wanted to learn more things, and do more things. More w i l l i n g to get to what I wanted. Any example? The f a c t that I l i k e reading, and i f I l i k e reading I can always read up on things. I f I l i k e reading I l i k e learning ... they go together. 142 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 103 1 Student, at school Expectations? We heard that t h i s professor from UBC that was coming would t a l k about jobs and what we want to do i n the future, and apparently he was going to give us strategies or ideas about how to go about achieving goals to get that job. That sounded good to me. Afterwards...he gave us that workbook [Career Pathways], that we could work through, and kind of set objectives. I think i t helped me, because I began to r e a l i z e that there were s p e c i f i c goals I would have to set, and there were more broad ways that I could take to a c e r t a i n path. Yeah. I t opened my eyes to s t u f f that I would have to do to get there. The session introduced strategies, and the book kind of was more s p e c i f i c . I think that was the way i t was. What was your experience of the session? I guess i t was interesting, because I got to hear what the other student had to say. I enjoyed i t , because I learned s t u f f about myself, I learned what my mom had to say about me that we normally don't r e a l l y bring up. Yeah. I l i k e d i t . Other people i n the room? The two school counsellors. I'm f i n e t a l k i n g i n front of people, so i t didn't r e a l l y bother me. Your mother being there? [It was neat to hear some things she had to say] — B a s i c a l l y sums i t up, but I enjoyed i t more, because i t ' s the kind of s t u f f we don't r e a l l y t a l k about. We t a l k l i k e , "Oh yeah, I want to go into human k i n e t i c s , " but she doesn't say, "Maybe you should do t h i s , or maybe you should do that to get there." And that was what she was maybe t r y i n g to say more... that maybe you should think about doing t h i s 143 before you do that and s t u f f . So, yeah. I t helped me more to hear what she had to say, instead of just on-and - o f f t a l k about i t . Her l i s t e n i n g to you? I don't know, I guess from her perspective i t was probably pretty good because l i k e I said before, we don't r e a l l y t a l k about i t , so she was probably pretty interested i n what I had to say too, I would assume. She's my mom. Appreciated hearing another student? Yeah. Because i t turned out that I was more into the a t h l e t i c side of things and she was more into the arts side so I had a chance to see i t from both perspectives. And i f I was the only one there I would have only been able to look at i t from my eyes, but she gave me the chance to see how i t might be for another route too. Overall e f f e c t on career planning? I don't know. Before I was just kind of thinking, "I'd better s t a r t doing t h i s now," and "I've got to get there r i g h t now," because grade 12's coming f a s t and I have to apply or whatever. But he made me r e a l i z e that when I get to the end of grade 12 I might not want to do what I want to do now, and he made me see that I can slow down and think about i t and plan i t out and take each step at a time instead of rushing into i t a l l at once. You kind of thought you had to get to a decision sooner. Yeah. Impact on how you t a l k with your parents about career? Not r e a l l y . I don't know. I guess, that night we talked about i t . We said, yeah he's r i g h t , I can slow down and think about i t ; I don't have to rush into i t , and we didn't r e a l l y t a l k about steps to be taken. I mean, I thought about i t myself, but not a l o t . [So there was kind of a difference i n how you interacted with your mother during the session and immediately afterwards, but aft e r that] , yeah, i t went back. They don't r e a l l y care what I go into as long as I'm 144 happy with i t , and I guess they think that everything i s up to me. They do care that you've got to get moving i n t h i s subject and get your mark up so that i t w i l l be ok to get you i n . And maybe you should focus on t h i s course more now, but i t ' s nothing r e a l l y d i r e c t with what I want to get into a f t e r high school, i t ' s more what I'm dealing with now to get me there. We don't r e a l l y t a l k about careers too much now. We talked about i t i n the spring more. I guess i n A p r i l we were t a l k i n g about what i f your marks aren't good enough for t h i s , what are you going to do i f you can't get i n here, as an alternative. I didn't r e a l l y have any answers, I had never r e a l l y thought about i t . So i t got me thinking along those l i n e s . But now the focus i s pretty much on school and f i n a l s . Anything you've been doing that you re l a t e to the session? Yeah, actually course selection was i n February and I based a l o t of i t on his philosophy of taking your time to get there. And I was kind of working out the steps that I was going to take because I had to figure out the courses that I could use to get into human k i n e t i c s , and i f not, courses that I could also use to get into something else. And h i s time frame that he kind of explained i n terms of t h i s step and then t h i s step, and t h i s step...made me think that I can do these courses now and then when I get through them I can see what marks I get and then I can go into t h i s or t h i s , maybe instead of just t h i s . Talked to anybody about the f i e l d ? Not r e a l l y . I've done quite a b i t of research into what i t i s . On the internet there's quite a b i t on human k i n e t i c s . I read a l o t about i t , about what i t i s , and what you can do, and careers that branch o f f a degree i n human k i n e t i c s . But I don't know. I'd probably only be looking for a bachelors i n human k i n e t i c s there and then go into physiotherapy a f t e r that. Yeah, I'm looking into i t . Anything else you re l a t e to that session? I t made me more motivated to get a part-time job. He kind of talked about experience, and i f experiences are going to help you l a t e r on, and i f you get experience at a younger age you can carry i t with you and just add on. And, I guess I kind of figured that my a t h l e t i c s were experiences, but only i n one area. I thought maybe a part- time job would broaden i t . So I started applying i n A p r i l 145 and s t u f f . Career Pathways he l p f u l , used? I went through i t and I did a l o t of the a c t i v i t i e s that were i n there and I found i t was for people who already had experience. And that's how I came to understand more of what he was t a l k i n g about after going through there. Because he was t a l k i n g about what have you done, and what would you l i k e to do, and how are these things going to go together to get you what you want and s t u f f . The book kind of made i t more clear about what he was t a l k i n g about experience-wise. [I went through that on my own, not with my mom.] Parents' occupations? Dad i s a professor of food science, mom a food technician i n food science. Anything else you r e l a t e to the session or January? Yeah. I t kind of helped me r e l a t e to my friends. They're always t a l k i n g about how we've got to do t h i s now, because I want to be doing t h i s by t h i s time next year. And I could kind of say after that, "you don't have to do that," because you've got a l o t of time s t i l l . And I don't know, i t kind of helped me to t e l l them that just wait here, you don't have to keep going just a l l the time. You can stop and take your time at things you want to do. And i t gave me a better understanding of how to t e l l them that and everything, because that's what he was t a l k i n g about. [So kind of a slowing down aspect i n terms of decision making, or the s p e c i f i c decision, but a thinking farther ahead i n terms of getting experience...putting those two together.] Yeah. Any suggestions? I think I would l i k e i t more i f he would have sat down and started working out goals and some plans with me. He kind of t o l d me how I can go about doing i t and s t u f f . But I think I would have gotten a l o t more out of i t i f I had some material to come out with. I mean, I had the book and s t u f f , but, I would have appreciated i t more i f I had a step-by-step plan that I could or could not follow depending on how I f e l t a f t e r i t . I would have l i k e d that. 146 Length was f i n e . I t gave me plenty of time to discuss how I f e l t and what I thought, and I l i k e d that because I didn't have any time constraints on what I could say and s t u f f , so that was good. Keep the other student i n there? Yeah. Oh yeah. That's part of what I l i k e d about i t , that I had someone else to r e l a t e to that was there, instead of a room f u l l of adults. Would you keep the parents in? Yeah. Because you could kind of t a l k about s t u f f that normally doesn't come up anyways. And you got to hear what your parents thought. And they were t a l k i n g to other adults so they could r e l a t e to other adults. I t was kind of l i k e you were i n on a conversation that you wouldn't normally hear anyways. Yeah, I l i k e d that. Counsellors i n the back? Yeah. I t didn't r e a l l y bother me that they were there. More sessions? Yeah. I think an extra session afer the i n i t i a l one, but i n a close amount of time after i t , l i k e a week. So you have kind of time to sink i n what happened and have ideas about how you want to incorporate your ideas into the step- by-step plan. I think, another, I don't know, about a hal f hour or 45 minute session just to s i t down and plan i t a l l out, that would be best. How long after? A few days would be ok, anything past seven days i s kind of too long past the interview and discussion. You s t a r t to forget. 147 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 104 1 Student, at school Remember why you volunteered? Not exactly, i t just sounded l i k e a unique opportunity. Nothing l i k e that has ever come to our school before. Mr. Boisvert t o l d me about i t . He came to our Incentives class and announced i t . He said the f i r s t person to get there w i l l get to. He took a l i s t of a l l the other people who wanted to and we got a chance to do i t l i k e that. Expectations? I didn't r e a l l y go i n with any expectations. I guess to sort of examine my career goals and ...yeah. What was i t li k e ? I t was kind of interesting, because i t was very i n t e r a c t i v e , i t wasn't l i k e . . . w e l l , i n the fac t that he l e t everybody speak and we sat i n sort of a group, so i t wasn't as i f he was, l i k e d r i l l i n g us. [It was me, and another student and t h e i r parent, and a school counsellor watching some of the time.] What was i t l i k e to have your mother there? I t was neat. Some stu f f she said, I never knew she thought that before. Like what? I don't know, just something about how you had to be focused on your career, and she's never r e a l l y talked to me about the options before. So you enjoyed having her there, and i t f e l t useful? Oh, yeah. Did you think she had a chance to hear new things from you? Yeah. Probably. What about having another student there? 148 I t was interesting, because then you'd hear t h e i r comments and i t would, l i k e , spark ideas i n yourself. I t was easier to t a l k because i t wasn't l i k e everything was focused on you. There was, l i k e , two people t a l k i n g . How the session worked for you? I t acted as a beginning point, whereas a l o t of programs act as an end. I t didn't say, "What do you want to be?" I t j u s t got the b a l l r o l l i n g and started me thinking. I think that was r e a l l y important. I didn't r e a l i z e i t was a l l connected, l i k e , sports and career. I l i k e tennis. [So i t brought together the things I l i k e to do with things I could do as occupations.] Yeah. I t didn't say, "Play tennis for a career." I t j u s t said t h i s i s your personality i n sports and t h i s i s also going to be your personality i n your career. And that t i e I had never made before, that connection. So i t was i n t e r e s t i n g . Anything you've been doing i n career planning since then? We did t h i s thing c a l l e d Choices on the computer, but i t i s n ' t very useful. This PICE, i t started me thinking, whereas the s t u f f we do at t h i s school, i t ' s r e a l l y , i t ' s not u s e f u l . I t ' s l i k e , "Are you cheerful? You are going to be a f l i g h t attendant." [It s l o t s you into a box, t e l l s you what to do.] The PICE s t u f f was actually relevant. And the fact that i t was spoken was also important, because with the CAPP program when you write i t down i t seems very f i n a l , that t h i s i s what you want to do. But because t h i s i s just spoken word, i t ' s more of a thinking process. Anything you've done since regarding career that you r e l a t e to PICE? Well, through Incentive we do t h i s mentoring program. And the mentor I worked with was the career I want, or I think I'd l i k e to do at t h i s point. That was a p s y c h i a t r i s t . (The Incentive program i s a class which i s taught d i f f e r e n t l y . The same group of students gets math, science, english, s o c i a l s together. I t ' s d i f f e r e n t than our regular classes, i t ' s more int e r a c t i v e . I think the material i s a 149 b i t more advanced, but we don't take notes much. We learn more by doing. Any impact on how you t a l k with your parents about career? Probably not. We haven't done a l o t of t a l k i n g at home. Well, r i g h t a f t e r the session my mom was t a l k i n g a l o t about careers and s t u f f , but now i t ' s back to normal. [That lasted probably about a week.] Overa l l . . . [Rather than getting sent off to do t h i s and that, the session gave me a d i f f e r e n t perspective on l i f e and careers.] Yeah, i t gives you a whole new perspective on things. Suggestions for improving i t ? No, I think i t was good the way i t was. Having two students there and t h e i r parents. We had a follow-up session afterwards, and I think that was r e a l l y useful. We got to hear everyone's opinion. There were eight or ten people i n that group. Any difference i n how you approach CAPP now? Well, my teacher dropped i t , and we just read books now. I don't think the teachers take CAPP very s e r i o u s l y . Some choose not to, some choose to give everybody A's. Career Pathways useful? I didn't do every a c t i v i t y , but I looked through i t . Yeah. [I did that within the week afte r the session, not with my parents.] I t seemed, even the written s t u f f i n the PICE program seemed more useul than the CAPP s t u f f , because i t ' s more open. I t doesn't focus as much on careers as on what you want. We didn't do very much CAPP, but i t was l i k e , "What are your three goals i n l i f e , what are your s k i l l s , what are your personality types?" There was no thinking involved, j u s t f i l l i n g i n forms. 150 [It's hard to look at a piece of paper and choose those things.] Anything you've been doing since November that you r e l a t e to PICE? Well, I think i t ' s more the thinking process that's changed, more than anything I've done. I t opens you up to new perspectives. I didn't look i t that way. Parent's occupations? Mom's a pharmacist, and dad's a mechanical engineer. Compared to others' suggestions... I f e l t i t was pretty good. But one other thing that I l i k e d how i t was spoken, was you had to think things through i n your mind before you said them, so i t a c t u a l l y c l a r i f i e d yourself just having to explain your career goals to someone else. You're not too much on the spot because the other student was there. So i t ' s not l i k e the s p o t l i g h t was on you. And the parents t a l k too. [I think the timing was about r i g h t , i n terms of proportion between students and parents.] 151 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 105 2 Students, at school. Why volunteer? 1 I t just sounded l i k e something i n t e r e s t i n g . There wasn't any r i s k , there was nothing I could lose by doing i t . I figured I'd just t r y i t , see what i t was l i k e . Mr Boisvert t o l d me about i t , our Incentive 10 c l a s s . The f i r s t person with parental consent could do i t . What were your career ideas l i k e at that point? 1 Acting and teaching. S t i l l not pretty sure, but that's the general f i e l d . So who knows what the session would do. I also wanted to see d i f f e r e n t paths I could take. 2 I did i t because i t was for career, and r i g h t now people^ a l l need t h e i r careers and s t u f f . So I said I might as well take i t . If i t helps me, i t helps me. I f i t doesn't, I'm not losing anything. Other expectations? 2 When I found out i t was going to be videotaped I was kind of scared. I t ' s kind of hard to t a l k when you have a camera focused on you. I thought maybe i f i t was there my answers would have been d i f f e r e n t . 1 I wasn't r e a l l y expecting anything. I didn't know what to expect. What was i t l i k e to be i n the session? 1 I t was a good formation. They did the inner c i r c l e / o u t e r c i r c l e thing. I t was a good formation, but the camera was very nerve-wracking. 1 There was also a couple of other counsellors observing. I t wasn't bad, but i t made everything a l i t t l e more uncomfortable. The other student? 152 1 I didn't r e a l l y mind, because I kind of know her. I f i t was someone I didn't know at a l l i t would be harder. I don't r e a l l y know her very well, but I know her to say h i to and s t u f f . I t was kind of nice because we're r e a l l y d i f f e r e n t and i t ' s nice hearing d i f f e r e n t opinions and views on things. 2 One other counsellor was there, as well as the school counsellor. I t didn't bother me. 2 I kind of knew the other student so i t was ok. I t didn't r e a l l y matter; i f she hadn't been there i t would have been the same. What about your parent being there? 2 I t was normal. I mean, everyone t a l k s i n front of t h e i r mom. But i t was kind of the same s t u f f that we normally t a l k about. 1 I t wasn't bad, except for af t e r he has t h i s obsession, l i k e we should t a l k about t h i s , t h i s i s such wonderful thing, l e t ' s go through the booklet together, and every singl e day he'd ... oh, i t went on and on, so i t was d r i v i n g me insane. But aside from that, I didn't r e a l l y notice he was there. They didn't r e a l l y say much, the parents. Career Pathways... 1 Only lasted u n t i l I screamed at him to leave i t alone. I went through the book on my own. I didn't p a r t i c u l a r l y f e e l that he needed to ... that I needed hi s help to go through i t . 1 I t was ok. I t wasn't extremely t h r i l l i n g , but i t wasn't d u l l and boring either. I went through most of i t . I went through-it whenever I had the time, over a couple of weeks. Overall what the session did for you? 2 I t showed me what other careers I could take, instead of taking the one I want, which was computers. He said that I could probably even get into a career i n teaching, or even some other s t u f f . [It didn't take away the idea of computers], j u s t broadened i t out a b i t . I t showed me that you could do a whole bunch of 153 d i f f e r e n t s t u f f instead of just concentrating on the one thing. How did that come about? 2 He t o l d me that i t was l i k e , i n a pond when you drop water, there's d i f f e r e n t r i p p l e s . So each r i p p l e i s something d i f f e r e n t . So he said one r i p p l e could be teaching, and another one could even lead into english or something. Because you have to know some english and s t u f f to run computers. What the session did for you? 1 I think i t b a s i c a l l y gave me more options, s i m i l a r to what he said. I t just took what I was interested i n and he showed me d i f f e r e n t routes that I could take instead of just one s p e c i f i c thing. Acting, teaching and psychology are the things I've been thinking of. Anything else you've done d i f f e r e n t l y since then? 1 Not r e a l l y . [My perspective i s a b i t broader], but I've been going along pretty much the same, normal l i f e . 2 Pretty much the same. So f o r you, with your dad, there was a b i t of a negative impact... 1 Yeah. I t lasted for about a month. We never r e a l l y talked about i t since then. But i t ' s not l i k e we usually do t a l k about that, though. So i t lasted for about a month, and we haven't r e a l l y talked about i t since. So i t kind of went back to normal. 2 We s t i l l sometimes t a l k about i t but i t ' s not l i k e she's t e l l i n g me I have to get a career, but I know I do. Not r e a l l y any change i n how we inter a c t about i t . [Nothing r e a l l y came up i n the session that we hadn't talked about already.] \ I think my mom r e a l l y knows me inside out, so she knew most everything. 1 I think my dad... I think he learned more about me and what I r e a l l y am interested i n as compared to what I just 154 t a l k about. Like I can say I'm interested i n getting into a career i n acting, but I don't think he ever r e a l l y l i s t e n s . Any change i n how you f e e l about CAPP or your approach? 2 Well, I s t i l l think i t ' s a load; i t ' s useless. 1 Yeah. I s t i l l haven't changed. CAPP hasn't changed. I think i t ' s boring and i t ' s a waste of time. Use of Career Pathways book? 2 Now and then I'd pick i t up and read b i t s and parts of i t . Probably over a month or so. I think they should leave i t i n . 1 I don't r e a l l y think i t ' s es s e n t i a l , but I think i t ' s there. I t ' s a good extra to have. But I don't think i t ' s a d e f i n i t e l y important thing. Parents' occupations? 1 Dad's a computer systems manager, mom's a dental r e c e p t i o n i s t . 2 Mom works for Ikea and dad's a bus d r i v e r . Suggestions for improving the approach. 1,2 t S c r a P the videotaping.] Time length? 1 The length was was f i n e . 2 I t didn't drag on or anything. I t was f i n e . One-shot deal...more sessions? 2 I think that i f a person wants to do i t more, they can, but i f they can, they don't have to. [For myself, I didn't f e e l I needed more.] Bystanders? 155 1 Yeah, I didn't r e a l l y care. They were a l l kind of d i s t r a c t i n g , because there were a l o t of people going i n and out. I didn't r e a l l y mind,that they were there i f they had jus t stayed and sat qui e t l y and watched. But they were having t h e i r discussion i n the back qui e t l y but you could s t i l l hear them. 156 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 106 1 Student, at school How did you f i n d out about the session? School counsellor came to english class, then the other counsellor came to me personally and asked. I'm not sure why me, s p e c i f i c a l l y . Any goals or expectations? Not r e a l l y . I didn't have a s p e c i f i c goal for the session, but I learned a l o t . I didn't t o t a l l y understand what the session was before I did i t . Career plans before that? Well, I planned to go to university and get my Bachelor of Arts. Then I want to go to law school. What was i t l i k e i n the session? I t was good to have my parents around and another student and t h e i r parent. Because a l o t of times I think that i t ' s only me that's doing a l l these hard things. But i t ' s good to have another student to express themselves. I t ' s good to have a r e f l e c t i o n , to think, to see that ... I don't know... [Part of i t i s r e l a t i n g to what the other student says,] and and because I am a person who gives up e a s i l y , and i t ' s good to see that I'm not the only one. Before the session I actually thought that working on my own was better than i n a group. But then I found out, I thought a f t e r the session that i t ' s good to communicate with people, and that you can get more ideas. Enjoyed having the other student there? Yeah. And the parents. [That was good.] 157 The whole session was a b i t long, but other than that i t was good. Other people watching? Counsellors, i n and out. I didn't mind. I knew them, the school counsellors. Length? I thought i t was a b i t long. I can't remember exactly how long i t was, but probably 3 / 4 of that time would be good. Overall impressions? Mr. Amundson helped me to analyze very d e t a i l e d . He analyzed my personality, my goals, my weaknesses, my strengths. I think i t ' s a good thing, because somethimes I jus t couldn't get i t untangled i n my head, and i t ' s good to have someone t e l l me. [Things got a l i t t l e more clear for me.] What things did you t a l k about i n the session that you l i k e to do? I l i k e to sing, I l i k e to write, I l i k e to draw. Ef f e c t s of the session on career plannning? Not a great ... because i t didn't change much. Mr. Amundson ju s t cleared something for me. He talked about u n i v e r s i t i e s . . . He presented me with more facts so I am more informed. ...just about going to u n i v e r s i t i e s . . . I can't remember s p e c i f i c a l l y . . . the session turned into a group discussion for a b i t . Broader career plans? Yeah, he said that. My goals,... I didn't have much information about other things. So he helped a l o t i n that. 158 Anything you've done d i f f e r e n t l y since then that you r e l a t e to the session? I took i t more seriously when I was choosing courses for next year. And I thought about i t c a r e f u l l y . Because he stressed that we have to have a broader preparation. So I took that advice and i t helped me. Yeah, actually the session actually stimulated me to ... i t a c t u a l l y got me more motivated to f i n d out more. Because I talked to d i f f e r e n t lawyers and asked f o r advice and what i t ' s l i k e to be a lawyer, and the education required. So i t got me stimulated to motivate myself to f i n d out more. [The lawyers were people my family knew.] Any changes i n family t a l k about career? Not much. But I have a close r e l a t i o n s h i p with my mom. We talked about t h i s before, so i t didn't change much between us, no. Temporarily? Not r e a l l y . But one thing with my mom, i s I talked to her a b i t before that about me being a person who gives up e a s i l y . And i t just happened the student i n the session with me gives up e a s i l y too! And my mom always thinks that I'm the only one who's doing these stupid things. A f t e r the session, well, she found out that i t ' s not only me. So, i t got better, the attitude. [She seems more understanding, more tolerant of i t . ] Differences i n how she advises you? I remember she said something about my career, and she refer r e d to what Mr. Amundson said, but I can't remember what i t was. Any changes i n your experience of CAPP? Oh, I hate i t . I hated i t more afterward even. I think the CAPP program i s useless. They give you a l l these t e s t s , personality and s t u f f . Just tests to categorize you int o . And i t ' s always not true for me, sometimes i t ' s t o t a l l y not true. I think that students, not every student, but a l l 159 students that want help with career planning should have a chance to do t h i s , the session ... would be a perfect idea. I t ' s more personal, and with professionals. With you and Mr. Amundson. We would have more f a i t h . Any use of Carer Pathways? I looked through i t a b i t . Not a l l of i t , but some. Probably over about a month. I did i t by myself. Parents' occupations? Father i s i n Hong Kong, an entrepeneur, a businessman. And my mom i s a r e a l t o r . Suggestions? I l i k e d everything. Maybe shortened a b i t . Career Pathways was good too. The a c t i v i t i e s were more r e a l i s t i c . Follow up? I t would be nice too. We did have a session with a l l the students. I don't remember what we said, but i t was a good thing to t a l k about i t . I t ' s reasurring to know that everyone hates CAPP. 160 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 107 1 Parent, at her home. Circumstances of participation? My daughter asked me about i t , asked me i f she could go to the interview, and asked i f I would come too. Any hopes, goals, expectations at the time? I'm not sure. I thought she might get some benefit i n making career choices. Your daughter's career plans at that point? I guess she knows what she wants i n the future, and she plans i t out l i k e she wants. I think i t ' s quite ok so f a r . She doesn't know r e a l l y i f i t ' s r i g h t or not, so I guess i t ' s ok. Generally I know what she wants, but I don't r e a l l y know i n d e t a i l what she i s going to do. [Before the session I didn't know s p e c i f i c a l l y what she was thinking.] Did you hear anything from your daughter that was new? Yeah. She said she wants to be a teacher, and she l i k e s reading a l o t , and then she expressed h e r s e l f the kind of f e e l i n g she got afte r reading. Some of them I can't r e a l l y remember, but I got the f e e l i n g of i t . What was i t l i k e for you to be there? Enjoyable, or... Yes, I quite enjoyed i t . And I know, at lea s t I know what she's thought of something. It's more clear, j u s t t e l l i n g me d i r e c t l y . I f e e l I learned about my daughter more, I know about her some ce r t a i n things that I didn't know before. And i t was quite a good experience too. Another student and parent there too? 161 I think i t ' s good, l i k e , a group of people, a discussion. I t ' s good for a l l the kids i f they can express themselves. But too me, my personality i s l i k e , well, maybe my english i s not r e a l l y good, so I can't r e a l l y express myself. But I guess for people who r e a l l y t a l k t h i s language, and they don't mind speaking out, I think i t ' s a good experience for them too. [For me, i t probably would have been better with j u s t the counsellor, my daughter and me.] Other observers there? Another teacher, and another counsellor with Dr. Amundson. She was from Calgary or something l i k e that. [It didn't matter that they were there.] I t was quite a good experience for me. I had never been i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n before. Anything said by other parent or student s i g n i f i c a n t ? Not r e a l l y . But the other kid expressed what he wanted and I thought i t was quite interesting. Overall impressions of impact for your daughter? I don't see any impact. But since then I know my daughter has her own idea. I t gives me more confidence that I know what she wants, what her goal i s . Did she gain anything from i t ? I guess so. Yeah, because she didn't r e a l l y t a l k very much to me. But I guess she knows. I guess, for example, the idea was to be a doctor, I mean, to be a teacher. And then other people talked about l i k e , you've got a bigger f i e l d ; you can go i n d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s . And I know she got the idea that, oh, maybe I w i l l go that d i r e c t i o n , or the other d i r e c t i o n too. [So she was very s p e c i f i c , and she broadened out.] Any e f f e c t s on how you talk about career planning with her? I guess at t h i s stage i t ' s maybe pretty much the same. She's only i n grade 11 now. Sometimes we t a l k about i t . A l l I can do i s encourage her to do more, or d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n . To me, I don't 162 think I can do anything r i g h t now, because she has to graduate f i r s t . She has to do well i n school f i r s t . [That's the number one p r i o r i t y now.] Does she understand you a b i t better? I don't know. The only thing I can do i s encourage her. Look more i n the future to what she r e a l l y wants to do. We didn't r e a l l y t a l k much about i t . Any change i n how you think about helping her? To me, I was r e a l l y s t r i c t , for one way. But a f t e r the session, i t broadened my mind too. And then I asked her to look d i f f e r e n t directions. But I don't r e a l l y mention that often. You know young kids, they don't want you to nag them. They don't l i k e i t when you t a l k too much, push them too much. I guess I know her better, that I know what she wants. Like, I get more confidence, and t r u s t her. Any observations of things she's been doing because of the session? I guess more of a framework. I guess one thing i s she can t a l k to a stranger and then she has more confidence for he r s e l f . You f e e l l i k e she gained some of that through the session? Yes. Because she expressed herself i n front of a couple of people who she knows. I don't know. I f e l t i t at that time too. I thought, "Gee, i n front of a stranger," and then she r e a l l y , r e a l l y can t a l k , you know. At home she ta l k s too, but i t ' s not l i k e that, and then she r e a l l y got confidence, and she knows what she's doing, she knows what she wants i n the future and she expressed herself. And I guess she gained confidence too, when she knew she talked. Any observations of how your daughter i s approaching CAPP class? No, i t seems the same. 163 Any use of the Career Pathways booklet? No. Maybe she has i t , but I don't remember seeing i t . Any suggestions? [Seemed about righ t , for length, with other student/parent there.] I guess i t ' s up to, l i k e , time constraints. I f you want an hour, then two students, but i f you wanted more students, then more time. [The few observers didn't bother me.] But i t would r e a l l y , r e a l l y , r e a l l y bother me i f they had a camera or video. Desire for follow-up? Because i t was my f i r s t time I didn't r e a l l y know what i t was about, and that I guess maybe i t would be a good idea i f they knew what the questions would be about. [Or maybe meet once i f there were questions a f t e r . ] Anything else? Why not just have the students themelves, a couple more, and they can express themselves. And then they learn from others' ideas too. The main thing i s for the students to know more about t h i s s t u f f . The parents ... I guess for me, I got more understanding of what she thought. But for the k i d s ' benefit maybe more people, and they can express themselves, and then what they think... So maybe one week with parents, and a f t e r that j u s t students? Yeah, urn humm. I guess for me, one time f o r parents i s good enough too. And after that for the students, i f they t a l k about i t they can know more about other students, what they think. 164 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 108 1 Parent, at his home. Circumstances of volunteering? She volunteered...I'm not sure. She was very excited when she phoned. She needed a parent to go and i t was a quick rush to sign up. So she went barreling down to sign up. I think she i s very concerned with what she's going to do, perhaps even unduly so. And so i t seemed quite an important focus for her to sort of figure out what she wants to do. She's i n the Incentive program. She's doing well, but not...works hard i n math and sciences as well, but i s very much into the english l i t e r a t u r e . She l i k e s her theatre and drama so. I think she just wanted to get a sense of how that would p u l l together for her possible career. I t was during the day, so i t was kind of awkward for parents to get there, ...[but I wanted to support her.] We had about a week's notice before the session. Your goals? I was hoping i t would give her a sense of d i r e c t i o n , or perhaps even give her a sense of maybe not worrying about i t quite as much. In a sense I f e e l with kids these days, because of tough economic times, kids are concerned with what they are going to do when they're i n grade 10. And frankly, when I was i n grade 10, l i k e , i t never occurred to me to even worry or care. I was busy having fun...It was r e a l l y only the end of grade 12 that I kind of put any thought to i t and I had some vague idea that I wanted to be i n sciences somewhere, and that was about i t . But kids now, i t seems l i k e they have to know what they're going to do. I guess I thought that perhaps part of i t might give the perspective that i f you have your interests and strengths and that, i t w i l l work out, but you don't have to get yourself iron-clad or lose a l o t of sleep over i t at t h i s point. What was i t l i k e being i n the session? I found i t very educational. I was impressed with the kids that were i n there. They actually, a number of them 165 had very, very s p e c i f i c goals, and they were pursuing e x t r a c u r r i c u l a r things to help them get t h e i r goals. They talked about t h e i r interests and I was impressed with just how sharp they were. Mind you, a number of these kids were from the Incentive program, so you probably had a s e l e c t group there. And I thought the idea of kids l i s t e n i n g to other kids' values probably would carry much more weight. At t h i s age i n p a r t i c u l a r , parents are t o t a l l y uncool. No c r e d i b i l i t y whatsoever. I don't know whether i t ' s for everyone, but c e r t a i n l y . . . my son perhaps wasn't as much so, but my daughter i s definitely...she wants to make her own mind up. But i f she sees i t i n her own peer group, or hears an affirmation of her own thoughts from a peer, then ... What about having the parents there? I t might also be good hearing other parents. Because the other part i s , of course, the b i o l o g i c a l parent has low c r e d i b i l i t y , and yet hearing other parents and t h e i r perspectives probably car r i e s a l i t t l e more c r e d i b i l i t y . Anything you appreciated/not for yourself? I t was f i n e . Would you do i t again? Sure. Absolutely. How about the time length? I thought i t was perhaps a l i t t l e short. I t could have gone a b i t longer. I t struck me that i t didn't get a chance to get enough into the meaty issues kind of thing. Because there's a c e r t a i n amount of ice-breaking involved, and getting a r o l e . . . How do you f e e l the session worked for her? That's hard to say, because we talked about i t , afterwards, and, she's going through a personally d i f f i c u l t time because she's sort of got two houses and I don't think she's r e a l l y happy i n either one, so she sort of has t h i s , ... here i t s ' sort of a blended family s i t u a t i o n and there's some problems there and yet back at home, her mom i s a l i t t l e more, sort of, authoritarian/rules-based and her 166 older brother i s , frankly, a jerk. I t ' s not just the brother-sister s t u f f ; he's r e a l l y i n s e n s i t i v e , and Laura i s quite se n s i t i v e , so she's r e a l l y l o s t r i g h t now. She's a c t u a l l y coming over for the summer and we'll see how i t goes. But coming over, perhaps, reluc t a n t l y , i f not...this i s the lesser of two e v i l s . So I'm hoping we'll have time over the summer to give her a comfort l e v e l i n some form. So i n that sense, I don't think the follow-up i s what I wanted i t to be. Career s t u f f overshadowed? Well, I think she's got enough on her plate. We've talked about i t , she's r e a l l y t h r i l l e d , she's taking her english l i t s and writing next year. I t ' s a l l focused towards some kind of career that w i l l have something to do with drama or performing arts. Perhaps teaching or something and doing that. So i n that sense, i t i s working. She i s f e e l i n g a l i t t l e more comfortable, but... The process...in the f a l l she wasn't r e a l l y able to focus on i t very well. You were hoping to follow-up with her? I was hoping that I would be able to follow up with her d i r e c t l y . And we do that i n snatches, but I f i n d i t ' s very...you can't s i t down for an hour and say, "Let's work through t h i s . " That environment wasn't there. What about your hope that she would lighten up a b i t ? I don't know. That's a tough c a l l to make. I think she's a l i t t l e more comfortable with her inte r e s t s and that. In her mother's house she has much more focus on getting a job and earning money sort of thing. She dwells on that quite a b i t . Like, she's looking for a summer job kind of thing. And I guess that colours her to some extent. My own values are more...I think a small part-time job i s ok, but your f i r s t job i s being a student, and doing a good job at that. You know, working a night a week at McDonalds or something, that's ok, but that's a l l i t should be. Enough to have some pocket money, and not sort of beginning to saving now for university sort of thing, or putting that sort of pressure on. ...I know I put myself through univ e r s i t y t o t a l l y . . . but nowadays, e s p e c i a l l y for a g i r l , I don't think there's that many jobs that are p l e n t i f u l , unless you get a union job or i n d u s t r i a l . So I think there's that aspect as well as l i k e , i f I have a career I want, w i l l I ever have a job i n i t ? I personally have a l l kinds of people ask me about t h e i r kids, 167 well should they go into computers? My stock answer i s they should go into what they want to do. You know they hear there's good money i n computers and that, but...give me a break, that's just not how you do i t . You want to go to work and have fun. I f you r e a l l y enjoy what you're doing, your enthusiasm w i l l f i n d you something. You won't actually be working; y o u ' l l be having fun and t h e y ' l l be paying you for i t . Any differences i n how you t a l k about career with your daughter? Well the existence of the session i t s e l f , of course, was a very good spot to sort of open things up, i n discussion. Did you hear anything new from your daughter? I thought the session kind of gave enough breadth that i t didn't channel us off into the very t r a d i t i o n a l sorts of l i m i t e d l i s t s of things you obviously think of. There are other ways of getting there. The discussion sort of broadened that up a l i t t l e b i t . I thought that was u s e f u l . Rather than the standard sort of career counselling see a counsellor, and you f i l l i n a l i t t l e sheet of your i n t e r e s t s and the computer says you should be a ... So giving them the idea that i t i s n ' t a standard formula; there are a number of ways they can turn. Because I don't think you can give anyone the answer. And i t ' s not something you have to get overly concerned about. Did you have a chance to express yourself? Yeah. There were a couple of rounds where they had some comments from parents. And I did make a comment the e f f e c t that I think that because of the economy, kids get r e a l l y overly focused on i t , and they don't have the time to enjoy being a student without carrying the weight of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of a job, as well as, i n that grade area they're going through ... a l l kinds of things are happening for them. We had talked about i t before, but probably not as much i n as focused a way. So i t very much helped to give that perspective. I think that l e f t her f e e l i n g a l o t more comfortable doing her performing arts s t u f f which she does e x t r a c u r r i c u l a r l y . That's good for her and something i s going to work out. 168 Any changes i n how you think about your part i n her planning? I t ' s hard, I guess i t depends... change from what? I guess seeing that work i n that [session], i t reinforces what I think, i s that your role as a parent i s more of a coach. Like any coach, you help someone with t h e i r strengths and c u l t i v a t i n g those, and doing some support of the not-as- strong areas, to help them to the goal they want to achieve, as opposed to being more directed, which perhaps might be the way someone might look at i t more. So I found that coaching approach works a whole l o t better. Sort of a low- key r o l e and i t ' s a dialogue, and the way i t [the session] was c a r r i e d out reinforced that. I tend to be that way anyway. Yeah. You sort of have to step in...the only place where I t r y to sort of be a l i t t l e more structured i s where there are choices that would greatly l i m i t a future d i r e c t i o n that she might make. Then you t r y to be there and say you want to cover off your math or whatever kind of thing. Just because i t may lead to a closed door. Because some things, obscurely enough, require i t . I t may only be grade 10 l e v e l , i t ' s not a big deal. Certain things you do cut choices o f f . Other than that, that's the only place I think "that you want to be there. Kids w i l l not think long- term enough, or t h e y ' l l be very sure at the moment. And t h e y ' l l change t h e i r minds 10 times between now and grade 12, or maybe re-focused. Anything you've observed her doing that you r e l a t e to the session? I can't think of anything. Now she's been at her mom's pretty much that whole time. I do see her occasionally, ...but I more conversational times. She's done some sort of career mentoring...she was very excited about that and i t was neat. She c e r t a i n l y had a whole l o t of i n t e r e s t i n exploring things that were completely out there, that I don't think she would have had quite the i n t e r e s t i n . So you f e e l there was some relationship to her exploring a wider v a r i e t y of things... Yeah. She was r e a l l y quite keen. She's s t i l l searching for kind of whatever i t i s that w i l l give her some comfort, the holy g r a i l or whatever. I don't think there i s one, or i t c l i c k s some time l a t e r , for some people not f o r well a f t e r they've graduated, they r e a l i z e they're i n the 169 wrong f i e l d . Do you know anything of the Career Pathways booklet? Yeah, I have i t . I photocopied i t for her, and kept a clean copy, cause i t ' s actually useful for other purposes. She didn't want to do that r i g h t now, so I l e f t i t with her, but I don't think I ' l l follow up on i t . I, think the way i t i s structured, i t does walk you through a l o t of the st u f f about where you're at, your values, and i t takes you... I thought the values part i s useful, because a l o t of professions a l i g n themselves with c e r t a i n values. Certain professions that might deal with biology, forestry, ... certain values go with that. I f they're very much i n harmony with your own, that's a very p o s i t i v e thing. On the other hand, you may have the same sort of s k i l l set, say i n promotional sales, i f that i s n ' t you, you're not going to be very happy. I thought that was an i n t e r e s t i n g twist, because I haven't seen that show up before. Anything else you can think of i n terms of impact? Again, i t raises the issue, and gives you a p o s i t i v e experience to r e f l e c t back and t a l k about as a f o c a l point. Something more than the run of the m i l l standard sort of career counselling you get i n high school. So the father daughter experience, and also the peer thing as well. I t just i s a very d i f f e r e n t way of approaching. I appreciate i t probably i s very labour intensive. Any suggestions for improving i t ? The booklet was kind of an add-on at the end. I think i t might not be a bad idea to send the k i t out beforehand. This saves you doing two sessions. Now the booklet i s n ' t student-specific; you may want to t a i l o r i t so i t i s n ' t overwhelming or whatever. So have a l i t t l e homework for parents and students. Then you come to the session; that becomes sort of a reinforcement exercise. And I would do the follow-up sooner than you're doing i t now. Probably not more than a couple of months from the actual time; I think you'd get better feedback, more accurate feedback. I t would probably be good to actually indicate at the session that you would be doing a follow-up v i s i t . Because i t also tends to focus you on saying, "Let's t a l k about 170 t h i s . " So I think those things would get more value out of the actual time spent. You'd keep the parents i n there? Yeah, I would. The kids there seemed very much ok with that: Bystanders? Yeah, there was quite a c o l l e c t i o n back there. There may have been as many as six back there, but they were far enough back that i t wasn't a problem. Video? I don't think i t matters. Now that you've got the video, what good i s i t ? (Aside from research) I don't see the help of i t . Was there anything you wished had been i n the session? I guess the length. There were so many areas to touch on. They were s t a r t i n g to express feelings and that. I think i t ' s good for them to f e e l what they say i s valued by t h e i r parents and the people. I think that part i s valuable and you do need to have the additional length. And I guess I would always want to emphasize there's no magic b u l l e t . I t ' s a process of exploring and there i s n ' t a r i g h t and there doesn't have to be an answer. I t j u s t has to give you a sense of how you might orient your own compass. You don't have to go away thinking i f I s t i l l f e e l unsure then maybe I won't do anything. Some people know r i g h t from grade 8 or something, but some people are interested i n a l o t of things, but nothing sort of has a magical c l i c k to i t . And that's ok. 171 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 109 1 Parent, at her home. Circumstances of volunteering? They apparently asked some kids, only i n the Incentive cl a s s I think, which I think was a mistake, just for volunteers. My daughter phoned me at work and wanted to do i t and she needed me to go too, and I said f i n e . She said they needed somebody r i g h t then, at l e a s t for permission. I t was a while before we a c t u a l l y did i t . Daughter's goals? She just thought i t would be fun to do. I don't think she planned to get anything out of i t . Because she already had a f a i r l y good idea of what she wanted to do. That's a l l . Did you have any goals? No. I just went because she needed me to go. What was i t l i k e to be i n i t ? I t was f i n e . I think he did a r e a l l y good job. What was i t l i k e to have that other parent and student there? I t was ok. I mean, i t ' s no big secret, the things you're t a l k i n g about. I t would depend on the k i d , though. These kids i n Incentive are d i f f e r e n t than other kids. I t ' s not so much an accelerated program, but they're quite w i l l i n g to t r y new things, and they're not any smarter than other kids, but they're w i l l i n g to t r y new things, and they're quite outgoing, a l o t of them. They're j u s t w i l l i n g to put more e f f o r t into things, that's a l l . My son, he's a l o t more shy, he doesn't have much to say about anything, l e t alone what he wants to do, to somebody else. I could see some of the questions, l i k e , what was some good experience i n your l i f e , I'm sure he wouldn't l i k e to answer questions l i k e that. So I'm sure i t depends on the k i d . 172 What about the people watching? I think there were three people there. I t wasn't a big deal. What d i d the session do for your daughter? I t ' s hard to say, because she already had a f a i r l y good idea of what she wanted to do and i t didn't change her idea at a l l . She wanted to go into human k i n e t i c s and that's s t i l l what she wants. He was r e a l l y encouraging and everything. I t was good, he t o l d them just to go for i t . . . The other g i r l didn't have such a cle a r idea and he sort of helped her think about what i t was. I t was good. What was i t that was encouraging for her? [Both the process of t a l k i n g about her i n t e r e s t s and things he said were encouraging.] The process showed that she was probably on the ri g h t track. She's just kind of a performer; she just l i k e s to do these things. I don't know that she had any purpose i n mind. She just thought i t would be fun to do i t . Any impact on how she's planning? Maybe. I don't know. She's s t i l l thinking about other things, and I guess she's thinking about other options now too. Like, she's sort of broadened her outlook a b i t , l i k e she doesn't have to get into t h i s , she's thinking of other things. S h e ' l l use what he showed her how to do to decide, I think, for sure. I t was good, I thought. I'm not sure that i t would work with a l l kids, but i t might. I'd l i k e to see i t done with a d i f f e r e n t kind of k i d . Like I don't know why they said that... at that school I don't think they should have said that they had to be Incentive kids. Like, they just went into an Incentive c l a s s and ...I don't think that's a very representative sampling of kids, because those kids have gone through interviews and a l l , that's why they're i n there. How d i d you t a l k about her career planning before/after? 173 We don't t a l k about i t a l o t . I mean, she's the one who's going to decide that, not me. Unless she was thinking of something that I thought she was t o t a l l y unsuited f o r , I would not say anything. So, i t i s n ' t up to me to decide what she's going to do, so... I don't think there's any difference i n the way we t a l k about i t . Maybe she talks about i t a l i t t l e more because she's getting older. Anything she's been doing d i f f e r e n t l y since then? I don't think so. [Just f e e l i n g more encouraged, and possibly considering more broadly.] Any use of Career Pathways? I looked at i t some, but she took i t and she read i t . It ' s i n her room and ... i t w i l l never come out, probably! Anything else? I mean, I can't t e l l . She thinks about a l l these things herself, so I don't know. And she always does a r e a l l y good job of thinking things through herself and, I mean, she's careful enough about thinking about things, so whether she's changed the way she looks at things, I don't know. I l e t her do that. Any suggestions for improving the approach? I don't know. I thought i t was r e a l l y good. He never t o l d them what to do, which i s what he can't do. He can't do that, and I thought that was good. Which i s what they do now, they give you these stupid tests, and t e l l them that they should be...they t o l d her she should be a for e s t r y worker or something, and that's t o t a l l y not suitable for her. And so I think that's a l l a waste of time. And I think the way he did i t was r e a l l y good, i f you can get them to think about what i t i s that they want to do, and make sure that i t matches what t h e i r personality i s , that's r e a l l y good. I mean, I thought i t was r e a l l y good. I'm not sure that the counsellors i n school would do that, though. I don't know. If they'd do that instead of the CAPPs program, i t would be much better. I don't think they're getting anything out of the CAPP program. I t ' s just a waste of 174 time. The teachers don't l i k e i t either, because they don't know what they're supposed to be doing. I f they could do that instead of the CAPP program, they would have the same man-hours there, I'm sure they'd have enough time to do that. They should be able to get through a l l the students with those hours. Did the videotape bother you? No, and I'm sure i t didn't bother her eith e r . Follow up? No, I didn't have any questions. He said you could c a l l him i f you had questions. He wrote out h i s phone number and everything. I think you could have c a l l e d him i f you had any questions. Anything else? I think i t ' s important to t r y i t with kids who don't volunteer, l i k e kids that r e a l l y need... My daughter i s a r e a l l y clear thinker and she'd already thought out a l l t h i s s t u f f h e r s e l f . A l o t of kids sort of d r i f t around and don't r e a l l y have any idea what they want to do, and don't r e a l l y think about i t . A l o t of people don't want to tal k about things as much eithe r . I f you asked them questions about themselves, they wouldn't be able to answer i t as c l e a r l y as some kids. I think i t would be interesting. You know, my son w i l l go to school and come home and nothing happened at a l l ! And he has . . . i t ' s a l o t harder to get things out of him; I don't know how i t would work with kids l i k e that. I t would be in t e r e s t i n g to see. But i t would s t i l l be better than what they're getting now. 175 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 110 1 Parent, at her home. How much notice did you have? Not even three days, since I had to change my schedule. Any sense of your son's hopes or goals for the session? I think he would do something l i k e that. He's interested i n a f i e l d that, frankly, I don't know a l o t about — computer. I think... but he's multi-talented. He's discovering i t now. Was he hoping for something i n particular? He didn't t a l k about i t . Did you have any hopes? Well, anything would be a benefit, don't you think? I t kind of c l a r i f i e d things for me. I was glad to s i t i n and l i s t e n to his opinions and thoughts, because they were kind of new to me. Although some of the l i f e experiences he had been through, say, being on a team, and having some of his friends go to another minor hockey association, how that affected him — that was very i n t e r e s t i n g . I didn't r e a l l y see that i n him at the time I guess. I didn't r e a l i z e i t had upset him. Yeah, i t was very good, informative. How about the other parent and student being there? She was very proud of her daughter, and when you read a parent's pride i n a c h i l d , i t ' s very recognizable. And you related to that because you f e e l proud of your son? Of course. Of course. Always have, always w i l l . Any observers there? How was that? One of the school counsellors. That wasn't a problem for me. 176 Did the videotape bother you? Yeah, i t did. My son kind of sprung i t on me at the l a s t minute, and quite honestly, i f he'd advised me that i t was going to be videotaped when he o r i g i n a l l y c a l l e d , I don't know i f I would have participated, because I'm that type* j u s t l i k e I say. I don't l i k e having my picture taken. Overall impressions of the usefulness of the session? I t ' s always good to hear adults speak. You kind of hope they're t e l l i n g the truth. Did you think i t was of some benefit for him? I think so. I r e a l l y do. Just that he's kind of maturing, so he could carry on a conversation, recount his feelings on things, and not be embarrassed or too shy or things l i k e that. The working world i s a rough, tough place, and i f you can't carry yourself i n a conversation or meeting people or s o c i a l things l i k e that, sometimes i t s r e a l l y rough on people. E s p e c i a l l y i f they're incredibly shy. I don't think my kids are shy. Has h i s plan for career changed at a l l ? We haven't spoken about i t . Well i t ' s interesting to know that i n the previous interview that he would much rather work with a grouping of people than s o l i t a r y , on his own. Like a l o t of times you have to have that comraderie between people to make i t work. Like I've had my share of cooperative learning... Any sort of impact on how you might t a l k with him about career plans? I mean, he could do a complete turnaround and be into something else. Although he doesn't have a language, and h e ' l l graduate without 12 math. But then that's cool. So i t takes him a year longer. Big deal. As fa r as the language i s concerned, i f he chooses something that requires i t , I'm sure the desire w i l l be there to learn i t and master i t , rather than being prodded into doing i t . He's that type of k i d . Anything he's been doing that you r e l a t e to the session? 177 School-wise, yeah. I t seems that i t ' s more important. For a while there he was very concerned about getting a job and s t u f f l i k e that. I t was soon afte r that. I said as long as h i s marks were up he didn't have to worry about that. So he seemed to be a l i t t l e more serious about getting good gades... Yeah, i t did. I t turned him around. I think I've even written that down. Any use of Career Pathways? He took i t . I'm not sure what's i n i t . Anything he's been doing about career? I know he wants to make a l o t of money. So I guess that's what he's shooting for, but I s t i l l think he's kind of young, ... he hasn't r e a l l y had that taste of having the summer job and the cash. And once that comes, i t ' s "who wants to go to school, who wants to do t h i s , I just want to make money, have a car and d r i v e . " But he's kind of had a taste of that through h i s cousin, who went to BCIT, did very well, now he's a moving man. Any suggestions for improving the approach? Keep i t informal. [It was nice to have the other student and parent i n there.] I t was kind of nice to hear someone else's ... j u s t to l e t you know... I think i f i t were too one-on-one-ish i t might get a l i t t l e too deep. Do you think homework beforehand would have helped? No I don't think so. With other people, perhaps. But I l i k e d the way i t went because, l i k e I say, I discovered things about my son that I wasn't r e a l l y cognizant of. Time for students versus parents? I think i t was f i n e . I t ' s easy for someone to hog the conversation, so I'd l i k e to hear the kids t a l k . 178 Length? The room was very hot. We were sequestered i n t h i s l i t t l e room. I didn't f e e l l i k e I could get up and walk around, which I tend to do. Follow up? Well, follow-up would require more thought. Maybe next year I would l i k e to do that again, but e a r l i e r i n the year. So possibly he can have a taste of the courses he's taking and how he's progressing with that, because that d r a f t i n g thing was a waste of time. Usually i f he l i k e s what he's doing, he excels. Anything else? Location, probably good for kids to be at school, but you're s t i l l i n that school environment, and when t h i s thing i s over, you're going back to school. That's why, i t was very close to lunch, and I took my son out to lunch and we c a r r i e d on our conversation. I t was l i k e a l i t t l e window opening. I t kind of made him f e e l a l i t t l e more grown up. That was neat. Now I kind of regret i t not being audioed. Because I would l i k e to l i s t e n to i t again. But l i k e I say, I did write i t down i n a l e t t e r , l i k e my impressions and things. So I could r e f e r to i t i f I wanted to. But i t ' s l i k e , h i s l i f e . 179 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER-EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 111 1 Parent, at her home. Circumstances of volunteering? When I was together with my daughter, she t o l d me that I was being i n v i t e d to an interview with her. I had no idea what i s was, I just showed my support to her and went with her. I j u s t knew one day ahead. I didn't know what was going on. [I didn't know what to expect there, or have any s p e c i f i c goals for i t . ] Do you remember what your daughter's goals were? She didn't discuss i t . What was i t l i k e ? She seemed to enjoy i t very much. Me too. Another student and parent? What was that l i k e ? Yes. Two young people can share t h e i r opinions as well as from the parent. I t i s a good idea to exchange... [I don't remember any other observers.] Yes, that was good [for the others to be there.] And the other parent? Yes, that was good for them to have a chance to express t h e i r f e e l i n g s . Especially what I remember that the other student was a boy, and he and my daughter could look at the same thing from d i f f e r e n t points of view, d i f f e r e n t angles. [Some things they saw d i f f e r e n t l y , some the same.] Yes, exactly. Did the session do anything for your daughter? Not anything very obvious, but I think i t was good to have a chance given to her so that she can speak out and 180 then before she i s to be interviewed she has to take some time to review herself, and think over again, what her goal and career i s . . . and have a chance to share with the opinions with other young people. And at the same time the parents can s i t with her and speak openly and frankly; I think t h i s i s very good too. A chance to be put on the spot, to speak out loud her plans? Exactly. Actually, my daughter and I are very close, and she always exchange her thoughts with me, but t h i s was the f i r s t time we sat together i n front of people so that we can t a l k . This was a very good experience. Did the other parent say anything good for your daughter to hear? Yes, that's good. Sometimes she always gets the opinions from her parents, but she maybe gets used to i t . To have a chance to l i s t e n to other parents or kids, that's good. Anything you enjoyed hearing? Because I always f e e l that young people are very aggressive, they have t h e i r goals and they work hard for i t , but t h e i r weakness very often i s they very often don't know how to solve the problems and they give up. This i s what I am concerned about for my daughter. But from that interview I heard...I didn't rai s e up t h i s issue, but the other boy shared t h i s f e e l i n g ! Yes, he t o l d us that, the worst of a l l i s i f you t r y hard to do something, for a long period of time, and you can't handle i t to the point you l i k e , then I give up; I cannot control. Then I f e l t , l i k e , t h i s i s not the problem with j u s t my daughter; i t ' s very common. We have to learn to encourage them, how to solve t h e i r problems. Any e f f e c t on how your daughter thinks about career planning? No, I. don't think any e f f e c t on her. I t j u s t helped her review herself, to organize her thoughts, put her head together before she talked, or before she was interviewed. Probably no change i n how you t a l k about her career with her? The same. We t a l k once i n a while, because we are very 181 close. She w i l l share with me what her goal, her thinking or her f e e l i n g i s . Any new ideas aft e r that about how to encourage her? Yeah. I think that I have to do something, but s t i l l I don't know how to encourage the young people. I'm s t i l l i n the learning process. Even ourselves, not only young people. Anything she's been doing with career planning afterwards? No. She has no time. Because of exams, and everything. [She thinks about i t , but that's about i t . ] Any use of Career Pathways? I'm not sure. Any other thoughts about impact with your daughter? Not r e a l l y . Any d i r e c t suggestions for improving t h i s method? Because career counselling i s very new to me, i t ' s d i f f i c u l t for me to give any very good suggestions. Length? I t wasnft too long. Because the people involved were w i l l i n g to share t h e i r opinion, I think i t was good. Having the other student/parent there? Yeah, I think so. You see, I have an idea that most of the time the g i r l s w i l l chat a l o t , r i g h t . They are buddies, they t a l k , exchange ideas, b u t . . . i t ' s very good for a boy and g i r l to s i t together and exchange ideas. Because maybe they don't have much chance to discuss these kinds of topics o f f i c i a l l y . Even when they are at school, maybe they play, they have a good time, but they would not s i t down and put t h e i r thoughts together on t h i s topic. Yeah. Es p e c i a l l y , l a s t time the arrangement was good. We are new immigrants, we've been i n Vancouver for just s i x years, and the other boy has 182 been here for long, and then the two young people can share t h e i r point of view from d i f f e r e n t angles. I f two new immigrants come together, they have the same f e e l i n g . I f the young people are from d i f f e r e n t backgrounds, a f t e r the discussion they can understand more. Did you wish for a further session? I think that was enough. An hour's interview i s good enough. At least, the time i s enough for four of us to voice our opinion. I f a second interview was arranged two weeks l a t e r , i t would be the same. It's on the same to p i c . Did the videotaping matter? Not to me, no. 183 PARENT-INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS INTERVIEW SUMMARY 112 1 Parent, at his home. Remember the circumstances about getting into the session? Yeah. My daughter asked me i f I wanted to p a r t i c i p a t e i n i t . Someone had asked for participants i n some classroom s e t t i n g . Beyond that I don't know who asked... I t was, l i k e , days before going there. Any sense of what her goals were? I know her general interests, but as f a r as goals go, no, not r e a l l y . I t was just presented as being an interview regarding careers and career choice. And your own sense of goals? Yeah. I just went into i t with an open mind. I had no preconceptions because I wasn't given any information about i t . So we just went i n and hoped that our opinions counted towards organizing something... What was i t l i k e to be i n the session? I thought i t was f i n e . Cordial, relaxed, informal. There was another student and parent there. I'm sure j u s t one other one. I t was very busy i n the background, people coming and going, f a i r l y busy, a changeover time. That wasn't a disturbance or anything. What was i t l i k e to have that other student/parent there? I didn't f e e l any ambivalence, I didn't f e e l r e s t r i c t i v e , or that I was worried about what I was saying or anything. In fact, I believe we had quite a good dialogue between us. Both the students t a l k i n g to each other, and myself and the other father. We both talked between us and so did the kids, so I ... i f anything, i t drew out more discussion. 184 Overall sense of what i t may have done for your daughter? I believe i t c r y s t a l l i z e d one thing for her i n her mind. And that i s that working today may not have i t s rewards, say, tomorrow. Passing today's exams i s n ' t going to give you some dramatic r e s u l t or change i n your l i f e tomorrow. But that i t i s extremely important as a stepping stone to what might happen i n your l i f e i n 2 years or 5 years or 10 years down the l i n e . I don't know i t i t ' s part of our instant g r a t i f i c a t i o n society, but I believe i t ' s r e a l l y , r e a l l y hard for these kids to see that. In retrospect as a parent, i t ' s c r y s t a l clear to me, because I know where I should have done better, and where I did well, how i t paid o f f . I r e a l l y empathize with kids i n e s p e c i a l l y grades 11 and 12, I r e a l l y do. Any sense of more s p e c i f i c s on how that's a f f e c t i n g her career planning? Again, i t ' s very hard, because i t ' s so long ago. I remember es p e c i a l l y i n the case of the other c h i l d and the other parent that was there, the c h i l d l i k e d e l e c t r o n i c s . And while the c h i l d may not have pursued e l e c t r o n i c s i f that was something he was interested i n , or my daughter i n space, ... that i f i t ' s something you l i k e , pursue i t . You're usually successful at something you enjoy. Maybe that was brought to a head, too. I t was a secondary point. If you l i k e i t , how does that apply to the r e a l world out there, to getting a job, to choosing a career. I f you r e a l l y l i k e plants, maybe i t doesn't make a l o t of sense to be an accountant. I f you l i k e numbers and crunching numbers, then maybe i t does make sense. In the one person's case, he l i k e d electronics. That may mean working i n an ele c t r o n i c s store, i t may mean being an ele c t r o n i c s engineer, but that there would be some application of h i s in t e r e s t s . Any change i n how you and your daughter r e l a t e afterwards? I think we're actually very open i n t a l k i n g about that sort of thing i n our family. And we may be r e a l l y unique that way. For example, she i s interested i n space, so we sent her to a space t r a i n i n g camp, a NASA t r a i n i n g camp i n Alabama so she could experience i t first-hand. So we're very supportive of that and we do have ongoing dialogue. We review every t e s t together, and we review every day. We make a point of having supper together, discussing what you do i n c l a s s . Not just the subjects you learn, but the kids, the teachers, how you f e e l about things. So we may be a b i t 185 unique i n that manner. I j u s t personally believe, my wife and I, that i t ' s realy important to maintain the dialogue. Because then you can know what i s going on. You can support where support i s needed, advise when i t ' s needed, and just p l a i n shut up when that's needed. If you don't t a l k about i t you're going to miss a l l the cues. I think things can block the wheels pretty f a s t t h i s time of l i f e . So pretty much the same as before. I believe as the year has progressed out here and things havew become more d i f f i c u l t and there's become more pressures on her, generally...exams and t e s t i n g and careers and things l i k e that...that I think, I know she f e e l s under pressure. Every one of her friends f e e l s under pressure. And I think f a r more than they need to. I think when I read the paper sometimes and I look at job prospects and things l i k e that, maybe i t ' s j u s t i f i e d . I t ' s hard to say. But I t a l k to a l l her friends, and i t ' s r e a l l y tough on these guys. Any things she's been doing i n career planning you r e l a t e to the session? I t ' s hard to say. She also enjoys swimming. I don't know t h i s f i t s into the picture. She's been a very avid swimmer for years and years. She actually q u a l i f i e d to get her l i f e s a v i n g c e r t i f i c a t e . She was 14 or 15, and you have to be 16 to get i t . So she was kind of marking time on that and she's just gone r i g h t back into swimming, and she's going to wrap up her instructor's t h i s August. But she's been r e a l l y gung ho on i t , very aggressive. Although she's interested i n plants and space and everything, t h i s may be the f i r s t manifestation of actually going out, d r i v i n g home and getting that goal and doing i t . That too has taken a l o t of work...long, long days...but she's been very d i l i g e n t about i t , worked very hard, kept her nose to the grindstone. Yeah. I t w i l l be r e a l l y interesting to see how t h i s a l l manifests i t s e l f . And we're just encouraging her that i f , you know, i f that's what you want to do r i g h t now, then go for i t . You're going with our blessing. You enjoy i t , you're interested i n i t . I t ' s not something that's whimsical. She's not at a l l a whimsical person; she finds what she l i k e s and s t i c k s with i t . Any use of Career Pathways together? I remember thumbing through the book. I didn't read 186 i t . To be honest, I can't even remember whether we took i t home or not. I don't know. I honestly don't know... Any suggestions for improving the approach? Length? I think i t was f i n e . I t was very... i t was a format that worked well, and everybody was dressed casually, which I think r e a l l y helps. There's nothing that would k i l l i t more than white s h i r t s and t i e s and s t u f f l i k e that. I remember the professor at the time just not speaking any of the technojargon, just being very down-to-earth. I t was very casual, and everybody was made to f e e l at ease. There was no pressure, there was just ... I'm looking for your opinion and that kind of thing. I think the length was f i n e . Seemed appropriate. I f i t had to err a l i t t l e b i t , I think maybe i t was a t i n y b i t on the short side. I think i t may just have had to do with the cycle of the classes, but i t was f i n e . Other student and parent in? Yeah, that was great, because I believe i t opened up some dialogue that was useful to both parents and both students. And I think there was a r e a l i z a t i o n . . . p a r t of the conversation was a l o t d i f f e r e n t than just being a t h i r d party to i t and recording i t . I f e l t there was a l o t of commonality between the students, who r e a l l y barely knew each other but for the f i r s t time could t a l k about careers and things. And the same thing with myself t a l k i n g to the other parent. Having emphasized to both our kids i n d i v i d u a l l y the importance of studying and everything else, i t was kind of refreshing to hear that we're both on the same track, saying the same things. We're not only people beating the drum! What about follow-up? I think i f there's going to be some follow-up, i t should be done quicker. I t should have been done i n about 30 days. Now that may be too quick for yourselves to assimilate a l l the information and t r y to make sense of what's been said. But i d e a l l y , from our point of view, the interviewee, I think i f i t was done i n about 30 days that would have r e a l l y helped. I f e e l I've forgotten a l o t of things that were brought up that were quite relevant. Maybe 30-45 days, we'd remember more of the h i g h l i g h t s and more of things that were important that came up. 187 I think we're f a i r l y unique, compared with most parents. We r e a l l y do have a l o t of dialogue. Since that interview, and t a l k i n g about the importance of studying ... the only thing... I think i t ' s pretty important a c t u a l l y . . . In t a l k i n g to her recently, she was one of 12 students i n the e n t i r e school that's been on the honour r o l l every term of every year since grade eight. So she's pretty good. But one of her complaints when she brought home her report card...she i s just bored... I f she's challenged she does r e a l l y well... So that's the only f l y i n the ointment r i g h t now. They did something else rig h t , and that was they positioned the camera a long way away from the people, so i t was not obtrusive. The microphone was up close but i t didn't intrude into t h e i r space... Do you think i t would have been better with preparation homework? I think the answer to that, i t r e a l l y , emphatically, i n my opinion, i s NO. I t was r e a l l y nice to go i n there t o t a l l y cold and fresh, not a n t i c i p a t i n g any questions. I think i f people can anticipate questions or they an t i c i p a t e sort of what d i r e c t i o n things are going to go, and they t a i l o r t h e i r answers accordingly. Subconsciously, i t ' s subliminally done. I know that from my own business, i f you say, "This i s the agenda", and you fax them the agenda, boy, they've come up with the answers they don't even believe i n , but they know that's the one you want to hear. And I think to h i t i t cold l i k e this....that's a l l that needs to be said. I think the fewer ways you prejudice, possibly prejudice the conversation, the better o f f you are. I think y o u ' l l get more candid answers. More spontaneity. What about 'readiness' of the student? I see the cold session as better. Because I saw the r e s u l t s of the interview being a structure applied to what I think were just a random thoughts and feelings and i n t e r e s t s , and just a general potpourri. What the interview did was i t structured a l o t of that and I think i t ' s important to go i n with no preconceptions on structure. To go i n and ask yourself those hard, cold questions and then put i t together. So I f e l t , as did my daughter, Gee, some conclusions did evolve out of t h i s that maybe we even knew of, but hadn't faced, or hadn't r e a l l y thought of. I l i k e the cold approach. It's one I use i n marketing and sales too. You ask questions, you don't t e l l them anything, you j u s t keep asking questions and the person w i l l eventually 188 come to t h e i r own conclusions. Which i s the only advice t h e y ' l l take anyway... Exactly! If you give them too much information up front to be primed on, I don't think you're going to end up with t r u l y unbiased, candid, spontaneous answers. Anything else you wished I'd asked? I think i t would be interesting to see what happens with these guys say, a year, two years, three years from now... I think there should also be...I think i t ' s r e a l l y , r e a l l y important when you tal k about t h i s at a high school, a l l of t h i s i s just theory, r e a l l y . And what I think i s r e a l l y important, i s parents are a huge resource pool... to come i n and t a l k about t h e i r careers. What do they do, what motivates them, why did they choose that career themselves, and then i t ' s r e a l , i t ' s tangible, something you can touch and f e e l . . . Words on paper don't have half the impact as a c t u a l l y f e e l i n g , t e l l i n g , touching, seeing how i t a l l works out... That's my strongest recommendation on career planning...Less theory, and get a r e a l , l i v e person there. 189 Appendix H Interview Data Summaries STUDENT # 1 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS She had been planning on being an emergency room doctor up to t h i s point. She was recruited shortly before the day, and didn't r e a l l y know what to expect. She thought i t would be fun to t r y , and seemed to be attracted p a r t i c u l a r l y by the personal approach she anticipated. Her experience with counselling i n the past had l e f t her with the impression that some counsellors either weren't open to her own ideas, or simply had too many students to deal with to give much attention. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS She f e l t quite p o s i t i v e about the i n t e r a c t i o n o v e r a l l . Her mother didn't r e a l l y understand some of what was going on, due to her l e v e l of english comprehension. She had mixed feelings about her mother being there, and said she would probably go alone another time. P a r t l y she appreciated the chance to have the input, but also f e l t shy to say what she r e a l l y thought. She l i k e d the other student being a part of the session, and remembered things they had i n common helped her f e e l more comfortable. 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES She appreciated the f a c i l i t a t o r l e t t i n g her t a l k about things she r e a l l y l i k e d , then using metaphors from her own experience (sports). She thought the exercises helped c l a r i f y her own patterns of preference and behavior. The a c t i v i t i e s seemed more personally relevant than the career planning i n school (CAPP). POST-SESSION 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES F e l t encouraged to r e a l l y t r y for a career she may l i k e . Realized more c l e a r l y that she wanted to combine her love of sports (especially team sports) and her i n t e r e s t i n medicine. Also came to a r e a l i z a t i o n that the stress of the emergency room may not be the best f i t with her personality. F e l t encouraged that she was not the only one with problems, due to the input of the other student. 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS She was thinking about emergency room medicine, and 190 emerged thinking that a medical career associated with sports would be more appropriate. In fact, i n r e f l e c t i n g on the experience, she f e l t i t helped her see how much she r e a l l y wanted to go i n that d i r e c t i o n , i n a very focussed manner. F e l t more motivated afterwards, went about getting information about university and f i n a n c i a l aid, t r y i n g to contact the Canucks' team doctor for possible volunteer work. 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, Right afterward i t was good because she found i t easy to t a l k about her career ideas, but aft e r a while i t went back to the usual, where they don't t a l k about i t much anymore. I t might be a b i t better, since they know what she wants now. 7. ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CHANGES & INSIGHTS Hearing the other student share problems helped her f e e l more comfortable with her own. She re l a t e s most of the impact to the exercise of observing her own patterns i n her enjoyed a c t i v i t i e s — making her more aware of her strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and r e l a t i n g that to career. 8 . SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Would have l i k e d a follow-up session, perhaps eith e r one-on-one, or with only the f a c i l i t a t o r and other student, for questions which came up subsequently. She would also have l i k e d some sort of contact(s) to follow up on i n exploring career int e r e s t s . 191 STUDENT # 2 INTERVIEW SUMMARY 1. EXPECTATIONS She heard about i t on the school p.a., and thought i t would perhaps be more relevant than her school career planning. She e s p e c i a l l y remembers wanting to t a l k to a person rather than do the paper-and-pencil thing, and was quite interested i n taking part. She did expect that the sessino would bring her further i n terms of having a s p e c i f i c career path. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS She very much appreciated the interaction, and the s t y l e , as well as the makeup of the group. The most memorable thing for her was having another student i n the session. Even though she may have thought they wouldn't have much i n common, she was surprised at how s i m i l a r t h e i r thinking and situations were. This was so strong a memory that her words included, 'amazing' and 'enlightening'. She f e e l s that generally students are not r e a l l y t a l k i n g to one another much (thus isolated) and thought the PICE session eased her sense of i s o l a t i o n a b i t . She r e a l l y enjoyed having her father there, since she f e l t more 'listened to' i n the regulated format. The session also provided material for them to r e f e r to i n l a t e r conversations. POST-SESSION 3 . IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES While she had expected more s p e c i f i c d i r e c t i o n i n terms of occupational choice, she found a new perspective: Backing up and taking a good look at who she i s and what she r e a l l y enjoys as her s t a r t i n g point. She f e l t somewhat overwhelmed by the s i z e of the task before, but found that the PICE session helped give her a focus (looking for what would r e a l l y be i n t e r e s t i n g for her). At the time of follow-up, focus had s h i f t e d to f i n i s h i n g the school year, getting good grades. She f e l t that her school career planning a c t i v i t i e s were i r r e l e v a n t before and after her involvement i n the PICE session. 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS After the PICE session, she f e l t more motivated to work on career exploration and planning, but t h i s faded a f t e r a few weeks. She thinks that a follow-up session may have helped keep up the motivation and give additional guidance i n terms of steps she could take. She i s now occasionally examining her interests, and has been thinking of some career related to teaching. 5. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, She f e l t very good about having p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the 192 session with her father. She f e l t more understood by him afterward, and also appreciated that the experience gave material and an easier introduction to carry on career conversations l a t e r at home. I t was l i k e being 'on the same wavelength'. Though her focus has s h i f t e d to f i n i s h i n g the school year and they're not t a l k i n g much about career these days, they did t a l k with greater understanding and frequency for about 2-3 months afte r the session. 6. ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CHANGES & INSIGHTS She had some observations regarding what helped her i n the session, most notably learning the other student struggled with si m i l a r issues, such as the d i f f i c u l t y i n working hard to reach her goals. Presumably t h i s lessening of her i s o l a t i o n freed her a l i t t l e b i t more to keep working on that struggle. 7. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT She would have l i k e d less observation of the session, more of a sense of privacy. She didn't f e e l the observers "had a r i g h t to be there", and t h i s made her a b i t s e l f - conscious about what she was saying. She would also have l i k e d the session to be a b i t longer, since she f e l t she was, "getting into i t and s t a r t i n g to r e a l l y think," and then i t was over. A follow-up session would have been good i n her opinion, since she had questions afterward and other things she thought of adding to the discussion and analysis. Perhaps a couple of days l a t e r to give the information a chance to 'percolate'. 193 STUDENT # 3 INTERVIEW SUMMARY 1. EXPECTATIONS She didn't f e e l she r e a l l y had any goals f o r the session, since i t was such a last-minute and casual decision for her. She also f e l t that i f she had known more of what to expect, she l i k e l y would have been more nervous about i t . IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS She enjoyed the small group setting, and the attentiveness when she was speaking (compared to her classes!) and described the atmosphere as 'more comfortable'. She found the other student's input i n t e r e s t i n g , both the s i m i l a r i t i e s and the differences between them and t h e i r interests. She also valued the opportunity and challenge to be put 'on the spot' i n answering questions o f f the top of her head, and f e l t i t was quite a confidence boost for her to be able to do that. Her mother didn't say much i n the group, and i t didn't seem c r i t i c a l that she be i n the session, as f a r as t h i s student was concerned. 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES She appreciated the type of exercises i n the session, and f e l t that she had a good opportunity to explain her own thoughts before the exercise moved onward. Not knowing what questions would be asked may have helped her answer more r e a l i s t i c a l l y , spontaneously and see what pattern would come out of i t . The Career Pathways booklet wasn't r e a l l y a major part of the session for her, and she just browsed through i t a b i t l a t e r . POST-SESSION 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES She f e l t the session opened up her thinking i n terms of career options. While previously she had been thinking of teaching, she saw that teaching could be done i n a number of d i f f e r e n t ways and settings. The session also increased her self-confidence for speaking i n public, encouraging her to consider career options l i k e teacher and lawyer which require public speaking. She was interested i n her school career planning a c t i v i t i e s , but f e e l s that the PICE session increased her sense of c u r i o s i t y about careers and planning. She also c r e d i t s the session with increasing her willingness to work hard to reach her career goals. 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS She remembers that she chose her courses shortly a f t e r 194 her involvement i n the PICE session, and that her selections were d e f i n i t e l y influenced by i t (Eg., choosing Law 12). Also, she f e e l s her options broadened out, from simply teaching to a wider f i e l d , including law, and she has f e l t p o s i t i v e about that change. 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, She didn't think the session was d i f f e r e n t i n terms of how she and her mother interact regarding career planning, and has not noticed any differences afterwards e i t h e r . 7. ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CHANGES & INSIGHTS She attributes her own expansion of options to discovering i n the session that there are many d i f f e r e n t career paths, rather than the set standard ones. Part of t h i s came from the s t y l e of pattern i d e n t i f i c a t i o n using her in t e r e s t s , but a big part of i t also came from hearing the input of the other student and parent. 8. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT She would have l i k e d to go further with s p e c i f i c ideas for occupations r e l a t i n g to d i f f e r e n t educational paths, such as an english degree. She also would look for more information on s p e c i f i c occupations and steps towards them i n terms of coursework, for example. 195 STUDENT # 4 INTERVIEW SUMMARY 1. EXPECTATIONS She heard that a professor was going to be interviewing students and giving them help i n making plans to achieve t h e i r career goals. Having a keen in t e r e s t i n a s p e c i f i c and challenging career (in human k i n e t i c s ) , she was very interested i n anything that would help her get there. 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS She enjoyed the session, and appreciated the presence of both the other student and her own mother. She found that the differences between herself and the other student added an extra dimension to her learning. With her i n t e r e s t i n a t h l e t i c s and the other student's i n t e r e s t i n the arts, she had the chance to l i s t e n to the same career exploration technique with a d i f f e r e n t slant. She also appreciated having another fellow student present, so she didn't f e e l l i k e she was alone i n a room f u l l of adults. There i s something comforting about having that other student there, since you can r e l a t e to them i n ways you cannot r e l a t e to the adults. She also appreciated her own mother being there, because the dynamics and content of the session forced a more s p e c i f i c conversation about her career plans—more room for d e t a i l on her part, more room for her mother to give suggestions that she might not normally give. At other times i n the session, she appreciated being able to ' l i s t e n i n on' conversation between the adults. 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES She f e l t the session served as a kind of introduction to strategies for i d e n t i f y i n g her interests and preferences, and that the Career Pathways could serve as a follow-up with more s p e c i f i c application. However, she f e l t that the exercises i n the booklet seem to require a higher l e v e l of experience than she has at present. She emphasized again that she enjoyed hearing what the other student had to say as a part of the session. 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES She f e e l s the session helped her broaden her perspective, to see that there would be many ways i n which she could f i n d an enjoyable career. I t also showed her the importance of short-term steps along the way. She had been quite rushed about the process before the PICE session, worrying about making quick decisions and plans; afterward she f e l t she could afford to relax a b i t i n her mind and take things a b i t more slowly. She f e l t that the session not only helped her see her own career planning i n a more 'step-by-step' way, but also to be able to share t h i s confidently with her friends. 196 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS Pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n the session d e f i n i t e l y affected her course s e l e c t i o n . She remembers applying the philosophy she gained from PICE and taking a more relaxed approach, giv i n g he r s e l f time to t r y things and work out her action steps. She f e l t more free to have a provisional plan, then expect to adjust along the way (Eg., af t e r seeing how the courses go). She has also done quite a b i t of research into human k i n e t i c s on the internet, though she may well have done that i n the absence of PICE involvement. She does c r e d i t the PICE session with increasing her motivation to gain work experience. Both the session content and the workbook showed her how important work experience would be i n the career planning process. 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, She talked about her career planning further with her mother the night af t e r the session, and the conversation reinforced what came out of the session ( i e . , slowing down and taking things a step at a time). The focused conversations seemed to bring more out of her mother, as compared with the normal 'on-and-off t a l k i n g about i t they would usually do. She f e l t i t helped her to hear what her mother did have to say. Her parents seem to be most concerned that she would choose a career that she would be happy with, and they d i d t a l k more about career plans i n the months that followed the session. However, as the year end drew closer, the focus had to be on school, i n order to f i n i s h well. 7. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT She would have l i k e d to actually work together to put down some goals and plans, something concrete to walk away with. Not necessarily that she would be t i e d to the plan, but that i t would be something to work from and adjust. She suggested an extra session not too long afterward i n order to work on such a concrete action plan would be a good idea. That way a person would have time to l e t things sink i n and generate some ideas for steps to take. 197 STUDENT # 5 INTERVIEW SUMMARY 1. EXPECTATIONS She thought i t sounded l i k e a unique opportunity, to meet with a r e a l l i v e person who could help her examine her career goals. Since she didn't know exactly what would happen i n the session, she f e e l s she didn't have much i n the way of expectations. 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS She enjoyed having her mother there, and f e l t that her presence had been very worthwhile. Some of what she heard from her mother i n the session was new, for example, her b e l i e f that one needed to be focused i n a career d i r e c t i o n . This student appreciated having the chance to hear her mother t a l k about her b e l i e f s and d i f f e r e n t career options. She enjoyed the interactive nature of the session, the chance to be listened to as well as hear others' points of view. She found the other student's ideas stimulated her own thought process, and also f e l t that the other student's presence took some pressure off her i n the conversation. In r e f l e c t i n g back on the session, she thinks i t also helped that i t was o r a l , rather than a written analysis. Not only did the spoken nature make i t more spontaneous, but i t also decreased the sense that career planning was a ' f i n a l ' decision process (as compared with CAPP exercises). 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES She has f e l t as though previous career a c t i v i t i e s have tended to prematurely s l o t her into occupations based on a few c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , while PICE acted i n a more freeing manner. While her experience of other programs was that they were 'end' oriented, she f e l t that PICE was more of a proper beginning for her career planning process. The look at her enjoyed a c t i v i t i e s (to observe patterns) seemed more relevant to her, and started her thinking more. She looked through the Career Pathways booklet l a t e r , and also f e l t i t to be more relevant and useful to her than what she'd experienced previously. The exercises seemed to allow her more freedom to explore her own i n t e r e s t s , preferences and values, rather than focusing prematurely on occupational choice. 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES She looks back on the PICE session as having given her a 'whole new perspective on things.' The process they went through i n conversation helped her to see the connection between her inte r e s t and s t y l e i n sports and her personality applied to occupations. She had not made that connection before PICE, and seemed enthusiastic about i t s usefulness. 198 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS She couldn't i d e n t i f y anything that she has been doing d i f f e r e n t l y since PICE, but cre d i t s the session with changing her thinking process somewhat. She f e e l s she has opened up to more options and a new way of decision-making, due to the analysis of her s t y l e i n sports p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, She doesn't t a l k much with her parents about career plans, and that has remained true aft e r PICE p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The session did provide a push (mostly at her mother's i n i t i a t i o n ) to t a l k about career planning for a b r i e f period immediately afterward, but that faded back to normal within a matter of days or weeks. 7. ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CHANGES & INSIGHTS She made the observation that the spoken nature of the session's work seemed to help her c l a r i f y her own thinking more than a written format. She thought t h i s r e l a t e d to being forced to quickly think things through and present them to another person. (Perhaps t h i s also r e l a t e s to the lack of feedback i n most written career exploration exercises.) 8. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT She did not have any suggestions for changing the session content or format, and f e l t i t was ' r e a l l y u s e f u l ' the way i t was set up. This included having the other student and t h e i r parent i n the session as well. She did meet with a group of students afterward for a follow-up discussion, and thought i t was very useful to hear what other students got out of the session, so perhaps that could be a part of everyone's experience. 199 STUDENT #6 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS She was intrigued by the opportunity to p a r t i c i p a t e and, although she didn't r e a l l y know what to expect, f e l t there wasn't any r i s k involved. She had been interested i n acting and teaching, and thought she might get some new ideas f o r career paths she could take. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS She enjoyed the interaction and thought the 'inner c i r c l e ' with students and counsellor was p o s i t i v e , with the parents on the 'outer c i r c l e . ' However, she found the presence of other counsellors and the video camera to be somewhat d i s t r a c t i n g and discomforting ("a l i t t l e more uncomfortable"). She f e l t that i f she hadn't known the other student at a l l she would have been more uncomfortable, but since she 'kind of knew' the other student, she didn't mind her presence. In fact, t h i s student did express appreciation at hearing the other's point of view on various things, since they did have some interesting differences. She didn't r e c a l l that the parents i n her session had much to say, and i t didn't seem to r e a l l y be c r i t i c a l that her father be there. She did f e e l that he had a chance to l i s t e n and understand more of what she i s interested i n , but thought he went a b i t overboard i n t r y i n g to pursue more career planning together afterward. 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES No s p e c i f i c comments about the actual exploration process of the session. She did go through the Career Pathways booklet on her own l a t e r , and f e l t i t was a good supplement to the session (though not e s s e n t i a l ) . POST-SESSION 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES She f e e l s the session expanded her career options, that i t showed her there would be many d i f f e r e n t routes to careers involving her interests, those of acting, teaching, and psychology. She seemed to appreciate the perspective that her career choices do not have to send her along one l i m i t i n g pathway. 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS Other than the broader perspective, she didn't f e e l that she has been doing anything d i f f e r e n t l y as a r e s u l t of the PICE session. 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, 200 This student did experience some negative f a l l o u t as a r e s u l t of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n PICE. Afterward, her father seemed to become 'obsessed' with doing career planning exercises with her every day, while she f e l t pushed into i t . This lasted about a month, u n t i l she had had enough, and she 'screamed at him to leave i t alone.' After that they didn't t a l k about her career planning much anymore, which was more or l e s s , 'back to normal.' She did seem to f e e l that her father had gained more of an understanding of her r e a l interests and how serious she i s , since he had listened to her more f u l l y i n the session than i n t h e i r normal interactions. 7. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT She would not recommend videotaping sessions, since she f e l t self-conscious and inhibited by the presence of the camera. She also would recommend minimizing any observation of the sessions, since she found the background people d i s t r a c t i n g . 201 STUDENT # 7 . INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS He f e l t at the time that whatever he could do to help himself i n terms of career planning would be the smart thing to do. He didn't have any sense that there would be a r i s k involved, so he took a, " I f i t helps me, i t helps me" approach—nothing to lose. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS He was nervous by the idea of a camera, and was glad h i s session didn't get videotaped. In retrospect he f e e l s h i s responses may well have been coloured by the s e l f - consciousness he would have with a camera recording. He didn't f e e l strongly about either h i s mother being there or the other student. Since he 'kind of knew' the other student, i t was an ok thing, but thinks he l i k e l y would have been more self-conscious with someone he didn't know at a l l . He didn't think the presence of the other student r e a l l y added anything to his own experience or learning i n the session. With respect to h i s mother, he thought the information was nothing they hadn't already talked about, so i t seemed very normal for her to be i n on the conversation. Nothing new seemed to have surfaced as a r e s u l t of them being there together, from h i s perspective. 3 . EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES No s p e c i f i c comments regarding the exercises i n the session. He did go through most of the Career Pathways booklet l a t e r over a few weeks' time, and found i t neither "extremely t h r i l l i n g " , nor " d u l l and boring". He d i d f i n d i t useful i n promoting further thinking, and would recommend leaving i t i n the program. POST-SESSION 4 . IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES He has been interested i n computer-related careers, and f e e l s that the PICE session broadened out h i s perspective of career choice. Instead of just looking at d i r e c t l y computer occupations, he saw then that there were many ways to use h i s computer interests i n a career path. For example, he could get into teaching, which he hadn't r e a l l y been considering previously. 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS Other than having a broader perspective on career options, he doesn't f e e l he has done anything d i f f e r e n t l y as a r e s u l t of the PICE session. He has been going along, "pretty much the same." 202 6 . IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, He doesn't think there r e a l l y has been a change i n how they i n t e r a c t about his career planning. Since he i s quite close with h i s mom, he f e l t she knew "most everything" beforehand, and they do t a l k occasionally about the subject. They do sometimes s t i l l r efer back to the session, but h i s mom i s quite careful not to t e l l him what to do. 7 . ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CHANGES & INSIGHTS He related well to a metaphor used by the counsellor, that of d i f f e r e n t r i p p l e s i n a pond being compared to d i f f e r e n t career paths from the same source. For example, he 'saw' i n that graphic way that his computer i n t e r e s t s could lead to something so unexpected as teaching or english, since there would be a connection a f t e r a l l . 8. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT He would d e f i n i t e l y recommend videotaping only i f a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s were ok with i t . He didn't f e e l he needed further sessions at the time, but thought i t might be good to have i t a v a i l a b l e for those who wanted i t . 203 STUDENT # 8 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS She didn't r e a l l y have a clear idea of what the program would involve, so she didn't have a s p e c i f i c goal for the session. She was interested i n whatever help she could get for her career planning, but had no expectations other than that general one. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS She enjoyed having her parents there, as well as the other student and parent. She appreciated the chance to hear the struggles of the other student, to see that she wasn't the only one with problems. In her session she got to hear the other student t a l k about how they had a hard time persevering when problems developed; since that was a big problem for her as well, she f e l t better about herself a f t e r that. Before the PICE session, she believed that working out her problems and planning on her own was preferable, but through the interaction and insights of the session, she came to believe that working at problem-solving i n a group format was also h e l p f u l , perhaps providing more useful ideas. 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES She appreciated that the way the counsellor looked at her a c t i v i t y s t y l e s and preferences, he was able to help her organize information about her personality, goals, and strengths i n a useful way. She f e l t i t had been more confusing before, and that the exercise helped her see he r s e l f i n a way that made sense. She enjoyed the Career Pathways booklet as well, describing the a c t i v i t i e s as "more r e a l i s t i c " than what she'd done before at school. POST-SESSION 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES Though not a huge change, she f e e l s that she emerged with a somewhat clearer picture of herself and how to look at career options i n a more organized way. She also f e l t she gained some useful information about the process of u n i v e r s i t y admission and planning. She f e l t even worse about her school career planning (CAPP) a c t i v i t i e s afterward, f e e l i n g more s e n s i t i v e to the p o t e n t i a l of the tests to funnel her into some d i r e c t i o n which may not t r u l y f i t . 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS She d i d remember taking her course choice more 204 seri o u s l y a f t e r taking part i n PICE. She remembered the idea of a broad preparation and thought about her choices very c a r e f u l l y , f e e l i n g that i t helped her s e l e c t i o n s . She also f e l t more motivated af t e r PICE to do research on something she i s interested i n . She ended up contacting some lawyers and t a l k i n g to them about what the profession i s l i k e , and what education was required. 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, She didn't think that the session had much impact on t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n about her career plans. She f e e l s she has a close r e l a t i o n s h i p with her mother, and that they have always talked about t h i s type of thing. However, her mother did seem more understanding afterwards, more tolerant of her weakness i n giving up too e a s i l y , due to the presence of the other student (with the same problem) i n the session. She thinks both of them f e l t better about i t , seeing that she wasn't the only one struggling there. 7. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT She f e l t the session went a b i t longer than i t needed to, perhaps i t could have been 3/4 of what i t was. A follow up probably would be good for everyone. She did get together with a group to t a l k about the experience, and f e l t good about having that opportunity. 205 PARENT # 1 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS Before the session she didn't r e a l l y know exactly what her daughter was thinking i n terms of career plans. She f e l t she knew her daughter's general ideas, but thought perhaps she would gain some help i n making her career choices. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS Though she rated the experience as anjoyable and useful one, she thought the session probably would have been better with j u s t the f a c i l i t a t o r , herself and her daughter, due to language challenges. She did f e e l that she learned some new things by hearing what her daughter had to say i n the session. For example, she learned more about her daughter's i n t e r e s t i n being a teacher, as well as her depth of enjoyment i n reading. What the other student shared seemed in t e r e s t i n g , though nothing said by the other family seemed p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t for her own s i t u a t i o n . She did f e e l that i t was good fo r the students to share the experience together. POST-SESSION 3. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES She didn't f e e l that the impact was great, but d i d notice that her daughter had a new perspective on her career planning than before the session. While her daughter was thinking of teaching p r i o r to the session, she gained a broader perspective on career options that would f i t with some type of teaching. She was also impressed with her daughter's a b i l i t y to express herself i n the session, and saw her daughter's confidence grow as a r e s u l t . She f e e l s her daughter f e l t more confident about her a b i l i t y to plan her career and. to communicate as well. 4 . IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, Again, the impact didn't seem great; they do t a l k about her daughter's career plans sometimes, and she encourages her daughter to t r y things and consider d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s , but she t r i e s not to 'nag' about i t . However, there were some posit i v e changes i n her own perspective that she noticed after the session. She f e l t more confident that she knew her daughter better—what she wanted, and that her daughter knew what she was doing i n her exploring and planning. She saw herself as s t r i c t l y encouraging her daughter to pursue one thing before the session, but afterwards she was 206 able to also have a broader perspective i n what she encourages her daughter to check out. 5. ATTRIBUTIONS FOR CHANGES & INSIGHTS She attributed her daughter's gains i n confidence to the fa c t that she was put i n a position where she had to think and express herself i n front of a small group, and she did w e l l . She was then more able to see herself as a good communicator and to consider careers requiring that. 6. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Keep the session without video camera—too much nervousness would r e s u l t . She thought she may have preferred knowing more ahead of time, such as the types of questions that would be asked. In terms of follow-up, she suggests that having just the students meet together l a t e r would probably meet t h e i r needs; parents wouldn't need to be there again. This would allow the students the chance to learn from what other students thought as well as from t h e i r own session. 207 PARENT # 2 INTERVIEW SUMMARY 1. EXPECTATIONS He r e c a l l s that his daughter was quite excited about the opportunity, and he has f e l t that she has been very concerned about her career decisions, perhaps too much so. He thought she was wondering how t h i s might help, what type of occupations her interests might lead her towards. His own hope was that the session would help give her a sense of career d i r e c t i o n , but that i t would also encourage her that she didn't need to worry about i t so much. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS He enjoyed the session and found i t a learning experience as well. He was impressed with the ideas, actions and goals of both students. He f e l t the parents had adequate opportunity to express themselves, and appreciated that both the other parent and student can have greater c r e d i b i l i t y i n the eyes of one's own c h i l d ( p a r t i c u l a r l y at t h i s age). He also found the interaction to provide more of an intense focus on career exploration and planning than t h e i r normal modes of conversation. That seemed h e l p f u l i n gaining a greater understanding of her thinking and i n t e r e s t s . 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES He was pleased i n general with the.content of the session, and was quite emphatic that he would "absolutely" do i t again. He also appreciated the 'broadening' e f f e c t of the approach; the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of patterns i n l e i s u r e and subject interests did not "...channel us o f f into the very l i m i t e d sort of t r a d i t i o n a l . . . " occupations. The exercises rather seemed to allow for multiple pathways which she could explore without being slo t t e d into what she 'should' be. His daughter didn't seem interested i n going through the Career Pathways booklet r i g h t away, so he l e f t i t with her to pursue on her own. He did look through i t and appreciated the format, which includes consideration of a person's values. This was something he thought was missing i n career exploration materials he had seen before. POST-SESSION 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES He found i t d i f f i c u l t to follow up with her, or to judge any sort of impact, since he hasn't had constant contact with his daughter. He feels the year has been a tough one for his daughter primarily concerning family issues, so career planning hasn't been a very present concern or topic of conversation. His daughter was going to 208 be l i v i n g with him (and new family) for the summer; he hoped things would s e t t l e down and they could have some good talks then. He did think she l e f t the session f e e l i n g more comfortable with spending time on performing arts which she enjoys, perhaps because the session r e a l l y encouraged following one's interests. Aside from becoming more comfortable with her interests, he wasn't sure i f she had lightened up at a l l on the issue of career. He seemed hopeful that the greater comfort would be a step i n that d i r e c t i o n . 5 . IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS He couldn't think of s p e c i f i c actions r e l a t i n g to the session, but thought perhaps her growing i n t e r e s t i n english courses was encouraged there. She has done some career mentoring that she was excited about and did appear to be interested i n exploring a wider range of options than before. He did r e l a t e t h i s expanded i n t e r e s t to having participated i n the session, at l e a s t as a conjecture. She seemed " r e a l l y quite keen," s t i l l searching for^something that w i l l r e a l l y i n t e r e s t her. 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, Although he had been hoping to follow up with h i s daughter afterward that didn't materialize, due to her concerns with other issues as well as less-than-ideal contact. When they would have time together, i t was d i f f i c u l t to bring up the subject with what time they had. I t did provide a p o s i t i v e experience together to r e f l e c t back on, and he valued the session i t s e l f for the shared, focused experience. The dynamics of the session also reinforced h i s own b e l i e f regarding the parental r o l e as 'coach' f i g u r e s — supporting strengths, helping with weak areas, a s s i s t i n g them i n reaching t h e i r own goals. 7 . SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT He thought the session could have probed to a further depth, however given the need for ice-breaking at the s t a r t , the session would have to be lengthened. I t seemed that the students were s t a r t i n g to express deeper issues involving t h e i r f e elings, but the session ended shortly afterward. The Career Pathways booklet might be useful as a primer before the session, for both students and parents to work through. That might also eliminate the need fo r a second session. The booklet might also be re-worked to be s p e c i f i c to the student population, since i t was more general. F i n a l l y , he suggested that participants be expecting a follow-up session a f t e r a certain period. That would add a b i t more incentive for the student (and parent) to t a l k and work through further exploration and planning—knowing the follow-up meeting was coming. 210 PARENT # 3 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS She did not r e c a l l any s p e c i f i c goals or hopes f o r the session, neither her own nor her daughter. She f e l t her daughter l i k e l y volunteered more for the fun of the experience, rather than for any s p e c i f i c assistance with her career planning. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS Overall, she thought the f a c i l i t a t o r did a " r e a l l y good job" and she seemed to appreciate that h i s manner was very encouraging for the students. 3 . EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES The way her interests were talked about, as well as the f a c i l i t a t o r ' s attitude and comments, were very encouraging for her daughter. She appreciated that the f a c i l i t a t o r was not overly d i r e c t i v e , as may be the case with t e s t s that seem to t e l l people what they should be. Instead, the technique focused more on helping them think about what they l i k e d doing, and t h e i r personality i n those a c t i v i t i e s . POST-SESSION 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES Her daughter already had a f a i r l y good idea of a career path, and she seemed to be more encouraged i n her d i r e c t i o n , however, she also seemed to s t a r t considering other options as well. She seems more comfortable that i f her o r i g i n a l plan doesn't work out that there are other choices she can make. Her daughter also learned the general technique of the session and w i l l use i t i n making her career decisions. Apparently the other student i n the session didn't have a very cl e a r idea of what she wanted and the exercise seemed to help her make some progress i n that d i r e c t i o n . 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS Her daughter has not seemed to be doing anything d i f f e r e n t l y as a r e s u l t of the session, just perhaps f e e l i n g more encouraged and considering broader career options. 6 . IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP There doesn't appear to have been any change i n how they i n t e r a c t around career planning. They do not t a l k about the subject much, and she fe e l s her daughter needs space to make her own decisions. Only i f her daugher needed some d r a s t i c feedback about a " t o t a l l y " unsuitable career would she consider speaking to her about i t . Her daughter has seemed to gradually t a l k about career plans more, but 211 t h i s mother relates that more to maturation. 7 . SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT She suggested t r y i n g the approach with a more diverse group of kids. Most of the kids who pa r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s program were i n the Incentive program, so they are more outgoing and w i l l i n g to take r i s k s . She'd l i k e to see how i t would work with some students who don't volunteer for things, have a harder time communicating, or who don't r e a l l y have any idea what they want to do. She did not f e e l a formal follow-up session was necessary, since the f a c i l i t a t o r had given out h i s number for anyone who wanted to ask further questions. 212 PARENT # 4 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS She did not have much p r i o r knowledge of the program, so there was not much i n the way of expectations. She f e l t that any assistance i n the subject would be useful. Her son had not r e a l l y talked about any goals or expectations he may have had. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS The session seemed to be a pos i t i v e experience f o r her. She was obviously very proud of her own son, and rela t e d strongly to the other parent's pride i n her daughter. She f e e l s she gained a greater understanding of her son because of the opportunity to l i s t e n to him speaking i n a focused conversation about his own thoughts and opinions, and h i s fee l i n g s about s i g n i f i c a n t events i n the past. She added her own conclusion to the experience of the session by taking her son out to lunch afterward away from the school. She thought he had appreciated the time and f e l t treated more l i k e an adult i n the process. 3 . EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES One comment she made r e l a t i n g to a c t i v i t i e s r e l a t e d to the spontaneity of the session, with no homework ahead of time. She thought that while some may benefit from such an arrangement, her learning of new information about her son may have ac t u a l l y been aided by the fact that they hadn't worked through a booklet ahead of time and prepared answers. POST-SESSION 4 . IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES She was quite sure the session provided some benefit to her son. What seemed evident to her was a kind of encouragement he received from being able to express himself i n the conversation, to share his career thoughts and fee l i n g s with adults and strangers without being too nervous. She thought that confidence and s k i l l i n t h i s area was very e s s e n t i a l to success i n the working world. 5. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS They have not spoken much about the session or career planning since, but she has observed that he seemed more motivated to get some work experience a f t e r the session. He also started to get more serious about doing well i n school, and she had s p e c i f i c a l l y noted t h i s observation i n a l e t t e r afterward. 213 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, She didn't think the session affected how they i n t e r a c t and communicate about his career planning, though she did learn more about h i s thoughts and feelings, as r e l a t e d above. A couple of examples she related were learning about h i s preference for working i n a group rather than on h i s own, and hearing how a d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n with one of h i s sports teams had affected him more s i g n i f i c a n t l y than she knew before. She takes a relaxed approach to her son's career decisions, because she feels that his ideas could l i k e l y grow and change much in the next years. He may end up needing to pick up certain types of courses l a t e r , but she i s confident that he w i l l have the self-motivation to do whatever w i l l be necessary to get where he chooses to go. 7 . SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT The informal nature of the interaction was excellent and she would highly recommend that i t stay that way. She also doubted whether she would have par t i c i p a t e d had the session been videotaped, although she now wishes she had an audiotape of the session to r e f l e c t back on and r e c a l l s i g n i f i c a n t portions. The room seemed quite small and very hot; she would have l i k e d a b i t more space and freedom to move around as well. She recommended keeping the other student-parent p a i r i n the session, f e e l i n g that the content of the session might s t a r t to go deeper than some people's comfort zone i f the i n t e r a c t i o n were more intensely one-on-one. A follow-up wouldn't be s t r i c t l y necessary, but thought such a session each year might be good i f i t could be timed to give students a chance to make the most out of analyzing t h e i r course experiences and making t h e i r next se l e c t i o n s . I t might be an idea for other parents to consider 'doing lunch' afterward with t h e i r teen. 214 PARENT # 5 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS She had no s p e c i f i c goals, since she didn't know what to expect. Her daughter hadn't t o l d her much about the program, and she simply went along to be of support for her daughter i n something she wanted to do. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS They both enjoyed the session very much, having the opportunity to share t h e i r own thoughts as well as hear those of the other student and parent. She f e l t i t was very important i n p a r t i c u l a r for the two students to have a chance to hear each other's points of view. Since the other student was a boy, that added an extra dimension to the learning, since boys and g i r l s probably do not t a l k together i n the same way that g i r l s might with other g i r l s . Having another parent i n the session also could reinforce what they might say to t h e i r own daughter, but i t was nice for the opportunity to hear i t from a d i f f e r e n t source t h i s time. POST-SESSION 3. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES She has not observed any p a r t i c u l a r changes, but s t i l l very much valued the opportunity for her daughter to review and express her career thoughts and goals, both with strangers and also with her own parent there. She f e e l s her daughter must have gained something p o s i t i v e from the experience. 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS Again, she f e l t that the e f f e c t was not very concrete, but that the session helped her review and organize her thoughts about her career planning. Her daughter has been most focused on doing well i n school, so she hasn't seemed to have the time at t h i s point to think much about career decisions. 5. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP, She hasn't f e l t that they communicate any d i f f e r e n t l y now, but that they have always been very close. Her daughter would normally share her thoughts, f e e l i n g s , and goals with her. Talking i n the group was a p o s i t i v e experience for them to have together though. She did f e e l she understood her daughter a b i t better and was more tolerant of her weakness for giving up on things. This came about because the other student shared a s u r p r i s i n g l y s i m i l a r weakness and i t helped t h i s mom r e a l i z e 215 that her daughter wasn't so unusual a f t e r a l l . Now she i s t r y i n g to focus more on learning how to encourage her daughter, to help her become better i n her problem solving. 6. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT The idea of career counselling i s a new concept for her, so she i s s t i l l getting used to i t . She d e f i n i t e l y thought the p a i r i n g of a boy and g i r l was useful for them, as stated above. She also would suggest that new immigrants be paired with a family who had been her longer, since that would also add to the d i v e r s i t y of viewpoints. She hadn't thought a follow-up session was necessary for them, rather that i t had done what was possible at that time; another session too soon afterward would have j u s t brought up the same things. 216 PARENT # 6 INTERVIEW SUMMARY PRE-SESSION 1. EXPECTATIONS Before the session he f e l t he knew hi s daughter's general i n t e r e s t s , but not necessarily her s p e c i f i c goals for the program. He wasn't sure what the session would involve, but went into i t simply hoping that i t would be of some benefit i n terms of her career planning process. IN-SESSION 2. EVALUATION OF PROCESS/DYNAMICS He appreciated the informal atmosphere, and didn't f e e l i n h i b i t e d by the presence of any of the p a r t i c i p a n t s or observers. He f e l t the students had some good conversation between them, and he ended up with some good i n t e r a c t i o n with the other parent as well. The f a c i l i t a t o r helped make everyone f e e l at ease, and was very "down-to-earth". The organization of the session made i t useful for both the parents and the students, es p e c i a l l y becoming more aware of the things they shared i n common with t h e i r counterparts. As a parent, i t was good to hear that the other parent was also encouraging t h e i r kids to take t h e i r studies s e r i o u s l y and learn to work hard: "We're not the only people beating the drum!" 3. EVALUATION OF CONTENT/ACTIVITIES He f e l t most emphatic that homework ahead of time would have deterred from the session's goals, rather than enhanced them. Without the p r i o r warning, participants had to be much more candid and spontaneous; they couldn't prepare what might be considered 'right' answers, so they had to give t h e i r own on the spot. This i s what he's observed i n h i s business experience, and i t seemed to work here as well. The session worked to apply a structure onto what at f i r s t may have seemed to be a random c o l l e c t i o n of thoughts, f e e l i n g s and interests, and i t worked well. I t did lead to some new ways of looking at things that we hadn't f u l l y seen before. POST-SESSION 4. IMPACT ON CAREER PERSPECTIVE/ATTITUDES One thing he observed was that i t c r y s t a l i z e d the idea i n h i s daughter's mind that working for short-term goals today ( l i k e exams) w i l l have i t s rewards further down the road, even i f i t i s hard to see that far ahead. I t i s hard for kids to see the longer-term perspective and the session helped her make that connection better. He has noticed also that as the year progressed she had to devote more time and energy to school work and the pressure has been mounting i n terms of getting good grades 217 and thinking about the future. 5 . IMPACT ON CAREER PLANS & ACTIONS I t was d i f f i c u l t to say what impact the session has had on her s p e c i f i c career plans, but he suspected that she may be more encouraged to pursue something she would r e a l l y l i k e , as opposed to making other values more predominant. The other student i n the session had a f a i r l y i d e n t i f i a b l e i n t e r e s t i n the area of electronics, and through the analysis of what he could do with that, i t also emphasized choosing to make the most out of what you l i k e d doing. Although i t i s hard to say how much t h i s r e l a t e s to the PICE session, she has gotten more serious about completing her swimming t r a i n i n g , which has been a l o t of hard work. She has shown interest i n things before, but t h i s i s the f i r s t example of her r e a l l y working long and hard to achieve a goal. 6. IMPACT ON FAMILY COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIP He couldn't see any sort of impact on t h e i r communication as a r e s u l t of the session involvement. They are a very uniquely close and communicative family as a ru l e , t a l k i n g d a i l y with t h e i r daughter about school happenings and her feelings about them. 218 7. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT The session could have gone a b i t longer, but i t was also f i n e the way i t was. If there were to be any follow- up, probably the i d e a l timing would be within about a month afterwards, giving time to assimilate the session's information. One thing that the students may r e a l l y benefit from i n the school would be to have a program where parents come i n and t a l k about t h e i r own careers—what led the parent into the career, what motivates them, what i t i s l i k e , etcetera. Students need more tangible, 'real l i f e ' information, less t h e o r e t i c a l words on paper information. 219 Appendix I Participant Validations PARENT INVOLVED CAREER EXPLORATION: Responses to Interview Summaries STUDENT #1 I t was f i n e . Everything was there. STUDENT #2 I t was fine...no problems. STUDENT #3 I t was f i n e . STUDENT #4 I can't think of any changes. I t looks f i n e to me. STUDENT #5 I t looks pretty accurate; i t looks f i n e . STUDENT #6 I t was f i n e . STUDENT #7 Fine as i t i s . Are you going to keep doing i t with other students? STUDENT #8 It ' s ok; i t ' s perfect. PARENT #1 I t was f i n e . PARENT #2 I t was pretty accurate. You've captured the essence quite well. PARENT #3 I t looks f i n e . The only thing was I didn't mean to say we don't t a l k about plans, just that I don't t r y to influence her. We do t a l k about i t quite a l o t . The res t of i t i s f i n e . PARENT #4 That was f i n e . I was glad to see i t ; i t was very p o s i t i v e . I t relayed what I was kind of heading f o r . I f e e l a l i t t l e more i n tune now and I see that he's capable of conducting himself. 220 PARENT #5 I t ' s ok; i t ' s very good. I t was a very good opportunity for my relationship with my daughter. PARENT #6 I t was f i n e — n o problems. I thought i t was pretty much to the point.

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