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Career-learning space: new-DOTS thinking for careers education

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For more than 20 years, both careers education and guidance have drawn much of their rationale from the DOTS analysis which analyses practice for coverage of decision learning (D), opportunity awareness (O), transition learning (T), and self awareness (S). Its assumptions are rooted in theory, unifying the aims of careers education and careers guidance as enabling choice. More recent theory and practice engage a wider range of thinking: they acknowledge the complexity of contemporary career planning, and accommodate interactions which occur in the social and community life of the â–˜choosing personâ–™. The practical implications are for more progressive career learning, in conditions which enable â–˜due processâ–™ to establish viable bases for both choice and change of mind. This thinking more sharply differentiates careers education from guidance, setting out a strong rationale for the former. It does not replace DOTS, but extends it into a new-DOTS re-conceptualisation termed â–˜career-learning spaceâ–™. The effectiveness of career learning is determined by its transferable outcomes. New-DOTS thinking resonates with the conditions for transferable learning. There are possibilities here for building a strong consensus between practice, theory and policy.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling, c/o The Old Bakehouse, Elsworth, Cambridge, CB3 8HX, UK

Publication date: 1999-02-01

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